The Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M first debuted at Baselworld earlier this year and it instantly became one of those timepieces that would garner an “oh, that watch” from anyone you tried to talk to about it. It’s a sort of offbeat three-hander from Germany with an interesting time setting mechanism and a semi-transparent mesh dial. Me, I’m a fan, though I know that’s a controversial opinion, and I jumped at the chance to spend some time with the Atum Pure M a few weeks ago at Dubai Watch Week.
Moritz Grossmann is one of the handful of GlashÃ¼tte watch manufactures that was resurrected in the last two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The first modern Moritz Grossman watch was shown in 2010, just two years after the company incorporated. Since then, we’ve seen a few different collections evolve with distinct models, including the Benu Tourbillon, the crown jewel of the current offerings. The styling of the cases and dials is generally a nice mix of traditional and modern elements, and the long, sharp hands in particular are instantly recognizable. Movement finishing is executed in an old-school German style, with frosted three-quarters plates and such. It’s a distinctive look and approach to watchmaking.
To me, the Atum Pure M is a distillation of all these characteristics, taken to their logical conclusions. The watch is a three-hand time-only watch, with a large sub-seconds register down at six o’clock. The 41mm stainless steel case (seen here with a DLC treatment) is 11.35mm thick and has long, arching lugs and a relatively small crown. The dial on this watch is what really sets it apart though. The outer ring is brushed metal with a circular grain pattern, luminous applied markers at the hours, and Arabic numerals at three, nine, and 12. And, oh yeah, the center is made of mesh.
This is where the watch either wins you over, or loses you entirely. The central section of the Pure M’s dial is real woven metal mesh (that’s where the “M” in the name comes from, by the way). The idea is that you can look through the dial and see the movement at work, but to varying degrees depending on how you hold the watch. Straight on, you can see almost right through, and then as you turn the watch, the mesh seems to almost open and close. Personally, I’m into the look and think it’s an interesting play on the idea of an openworked or skeletonized dial. I know a lot of people who feel otherwise, for what it’s worth.
If the front of the watch is industrial and modern looking, turning the watch over is like hopping in a time machine. The caliber 201.0 is about as traditional a reserved-looking German movement as you’ll find anywhere. The frosted German silver three-quarter plate, the long fine adjustment mechanism on the balance, the visible winding wheels, and the diamond endstone offer plenty to look at and enjoy, but with a sort of stoic vibe. Again, big fan here, and it’s nice to see a brand trying to do it’s own thing instead of just looking through an already well-thumbed playbook.
There is something quirky about this caliber though. It has a unique patented time-setting mechanism that lets you set the time very accurately. When you pull the crown, you’ll notice it’s spring-loaded and will instantly snap back into place. But the time still stops. You then set the time as you’d like, and when you’re ready you just press the little button in the caseband at four o’clock to start the movement again. This way you don’t accidentally rotate the hands as you push the crown in and you can start it much more quickly if you’re trying to set your watch to another timekeeping source. It’s pretty fun to play with and adds just enough curiosity to make this more than a basic ticker.
The Atum Pure M is available with either a plain stainless steel or DLC stainless steel case, priced at $12,400 and $13,100, respectively. There are four colors of lume to choose from as well, with white, blue, orange, and green all available. The steel versions are not limited, but only 50 DLC watches will be made with each of the four lume colors. For more, visit Moritz Grossmann online, and check out our 2014 visit to GlashÃ¼tte and the Moritz Grossman workshops right here.