The Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M watch is an interesting timepiece that I was surprised to see from the conservative Glashütte, Germany-based watchmaker. Even though Moritz Grossmann is named for an important historic watchmaker from the region, the company as it is today is less than a decade old. You might not immediately realize that by viewing their typically traditional-looking watches, as their designs are for the most part a clear nod to the region’s past…. but with the Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M model, that now changes a bit.
Moritz Grossmann does a few things right, and in my opinion, the first thing to tell people is that they make their own hands. I am a watch hands snob way more than I am a movement snob, to be honest. I’ll even buy a boring quartz watch if it has nice hands (I have… many times). Moritz Grossmann produces their own hands, and the resulting quality is evident. What really makes a good pair of hands is really how carefully they are made. The vast majority of hands which are created using mass-production techniques are actually pretty crappy. It is really just a fact that the methods required to produce good hands – like a tourbillon – are best done by a skilled human craftsman, for the time being.
Moritz Grossmann makes hands a lot like fine tweezers are made. The needle-sharp tips are hand-ground and perfectly sized for the dial. Color is inserted by manually applying something they call “HyCeram,” which is a ceramic/resin mixture that is available in a host of colors. Between two case styles and four dials, the hand and hour marker color in the Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M is available in white, green, blue, and red. As I’ve been saying, I truly appreciate the extra time and attention put into the hands, and because of this important feature in Moritz Grossmann watches, it actually raises the rank I would otherwise give the brand in my mind.
Now that it is clear how much I like Moritz Grossmann’s hands, I can talk about what is actually new in this watch, and that is the unique dial style with its mesh-style view into the movement. The Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M is an evolution on the Atum Pure, which was designed to be a simplified and more accessible version of what the brand normally produces. That means less movement finishing and a more basic operation, but still a lot of the core values you should look for in something from the up-and-coming German brand.
With the Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M, the brand attempts to play with the notion of being able to partially view the movement through the dial – here with mesh creating that semi-skeletonized look. Mesh on watch dials is extremely uncommon, and the simple novelty of it works. I actually don’t think it makes for an amazing view into the movement, but rather that the basic aesthetic of mesh metal – in addition to the rest of the Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M’s face design – makes this timepiece a winner.
I think what I most appreciate is the contemporary versus traditional appeal of the design. I do interpret the design of the dial in the Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M to be very modern in its appeal. Moritz Grossmann seems to agree, as evidenced by the futuristic style of the font used for the Arabic numeral hour markers. I personally see the dial as a combination of industrial aesthetics with clean, sharp modern lines. Together they add a layer of visual interest on a layout and overall watch dial proportions which are extremely classic and functional. Thus, Moritz Grossmann takes the best of Glashütte watchmaking history and enters it into the modern era, as opposed to simply creating something that looks as though it could have come from decades past.
My hope is that Moritz Grossmann realizes what they’ve accomplished with the Atum Pure M and continues to expand on it. For me, the appeal is similar, albeit distinct, to why I like the Armin Strom Edge (hands-on here). What I more specifically hope that Moritz Grossmann realizes is that they can be successful with modern as well as traditional designs. The Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M plays with the notion of what a traditional Glashutte-region timepiece can be, and builds on it. The fact that the foundation of how the design is still traditional, but in a more modern skin is what I think works so well. I feel that what works in the dial design can be further emphasized, not just in the dial but also in the case, as well as explored for future iterations of this concept.