Friday, April 7, 2017

Moritz Grossmann – SkyLife BENU Tourbillon Gold Special Edition

Moritz GrossmannSkyLife BENU Tourbillon Blue White Gold Special Edition

RUAG and Moritz Grossmann to unveil a unique master timepiece exclusively for aircraft owners at Baselworld

Emmen, Switzerland, 25th February 2017. RUAG Aviation has joined forces with German luxury watchmaker Moritz Grossmann to develop a timepiece exclusively for owners of aircraft. The Skylife Watch – which is scheduled to launch at the world watch and jewellery exposition, Baselworld, in March 2017 – is the result of a collaboration between the two companies, and epitomises the expertise and craftsmanship for which both companies are renowned.

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RUAG Aviation and German watchmaker Moritz Grossmann are to premiere the fruition of a creative process between the two companies, when they officially launch the Skylife BENU Tourbillon watch at this year’s Baselworld exposition in March. The Skylife Watch combines the finest materials and craftsmanship, and is the culmination of a unique project that brought together specialist designers and craftspeople from both companies.

We are delighted to have created this master timepiece with Moritz Grossmann,” says Pirmin Berger, Marketing and Communication Director at RUAG Aviation. “The Skylife BENU Tourbillon epitomises handcrafted elegance. It is the expression of the unique quality of life we enjoy – when we feel at home while travelling through the skies.”

The watchmaking excellence of Moritz Grossmann helped put the German town of Glashütte on the world map over 160 years ago. The timepieces he created by hand in his workshop were of unmatched precision and quality; he also established the German school of watchmaking in Glashütte to share his knowledge with future generations of watchmakers. His legacy lives on today in Moritz Grossmann watches, which are still handmade in Glashütte using the same techniques he pioneered. These timepieces continue to be sought-after among watch enthusiasts and collectors the world over.

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RUAG Aviation provides personalised cabin interior solutions for owners of business and private aircraft so they feel at home while travelling through the skies. The company embodies the very meaning of state-of-the-art Swiss craftsmanship, and it invests these precision skills in creating unique and customised environments, in which global travellers can enjoy tranquillity, peace of mind and absolute relaxation. All the comforts of home and the latest in technologies combine in the aircraft and helicopter interiors by RUAG Aviation.

It is this craftsmanship and passion for innovation that RUAG has brought together with Moritz Grossmann’s watchmaking expertise to create the Skylife Watch, exclusively for aircraft owners. “The Skylife Watch is a starting project both for RUAG and Moritz Grossmann. Specialists from both companies are sharing ideas and suggestions, and the collaboration is yielding an outstanding experience for future watch owners,” says Christine Hutter, Founder and CEO of Moritz Grossmann.

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Totally reconceived: the manufacture calibre 103.0

The calibre 103.0 movement of the SkyLife BENU Tourbillon represents a new concept with an array of surprising solutions. To translate into reality the aspirations of Grossmann's watchmakers with respect to precision, efficiency, and aesthetics, classic principles of horological design were critically reviewed and pivotal movement functions optimised.

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In particular, the SkyLife BENU Tourbillon is characterised by the following new developments:
  •     The Grossmann three-minute tourbillon according to Alfred Helwig
  •     The flying tourbillon cage with a V-shaped balance cock for which a design patent is pending
  •     The patent-pending stop seconds with a fine-hair brush
  •     The asymmetric-arm lever escapement
  •     The new configuration of the Grossmann balance and hairspring with an overcoiled terminal curve
  •     The newly developed mainspring barrel jewel bearing
  •     The brake ring on the fourth-wheel arbor made of guaiacum
  •     The ARCAP alloy for the going train wheels
  •     The patent-pending dual minute display with an extension of the minute hand

The Grossmann three-minute tourbillon with stop seconds

Amply dimensioned, the oscillator with the Grossmann balance is integrated in a unilaterally suspended, “flying” tourbillon cage according to Alfred Helwig (1886-1974). The famous watchmaker strongly influenced the evolution of Glashütte as a stronghold of German watchmaking. Alfred Helwig was a teacher at the German School of Watchmaking from 1913 to 1954; in 1920, he applied for a patent for the flying tourbillon. In 1922, he earned his master craftsman's credentials with a unilaterally suspended five-minute tourbillon. Originally, the tourbillon served the purpose of offsetting gravity-induced rate deviations in pocket watches that were worn vertically. Today, a well-formed tourbillon ranks among the genuine challenges for master watchmakers. As the author of the book entitled “Drehganguhren”, Alfred Helwig was a source of inspiration for Grossmann's calibre designers while they were developing their three-minute tourbillon.

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The tourbillon cage is freely suspended from a cantilevered, hand-engraved cock made of German silver. Its design is totally new, resulting in a distinctive manifestation of functional purity. The novel configuration of the tourbillon, which has an unusually large diameter of 16 mm, is beautifully showcased with a longer periodicity. Elaborately crafted, the upper part of the cage is a V-shaped balance bridge that requires only two posts, a significant hallmark for which a design patent has been registered.

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The lavish execution of the cage with two triangular posts is a prerequisite for an additional complication. For the watchmakers at Grossmann, the ability to accurately set the time is a crucial precision requirement for a tourbillon mechanism. To reliably immobilise the balance, the stop device must bypass the cage frame posts. An elastic human-hair brush can easily glide past the triangular posts and gently brake the balance at the circumference of its rim. The patent-pending stop-seconds solution completes this impressive implementation of a Grossmann timekeeping instrument (the patent application is endorsed by SIGNO, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology).

The asymmetric-arm lever escapement

Given the ambitious expectations imposed on a precise manually wound watch, the classic lever escapement was reworked for the BENU Tourbillon. Because of the use of a pallet lever with unequal arm lengths on a shared locking circle, all entrance and exit adjustment points are on the same lever arm, and even slight deviations can be precisely rectified. The pallet lever is composed of two parts: a thin fork with a blade-type guard pin, fashioned in the manner of Glashütte pocket watches, and the lever body with the visible sapphire pallets. The deflection of the lever is limited by a pin at the extension of the fork, which significantly improves the lever's mass distribution and equilibrium.

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The Grossmann balance

The spatial configuration of the balance and hairspring in the tourbillon cage was optimised for the BENU Tourbillon. The hairspring is attached upside down to the lower cage base beneath the Grossmann balance, resulting in an even more exquisite balance bridge design. Optimised for artisanal manufacturing techniques, the design of the Grossmann balance improves the adjustability of inertia and achieves high kinetic energy combined with minimised air resistance and the smallest possible mass.

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The number of screws in the balance wheel rim was minimised, and the bores in the rim are equidistant. This makes it possible to vary the moment of inertia by inserting screws with different head lengths in the bores. The Grossmann balance interacts with a Nivarox 1 balance spring. Its terminal curve is overcoiled according to calculations performed by Glashütte regleur Gustav Gerstenberger.

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The barrel bearings and the Glashütte stopwork

An extremely rare solution was chosen for the barrel bearings in the calibre 103.0 movement. The bilateral jewel bearings are located on the ratchet wheel and main plate sides. A gold chaton on the ratchet wheel carries the upper jewel for the mainspring barrel and tastefully complements the traditional finissage of the ratchet wheel. As customary, the lower jewel is embedded in the main plate. The mainspring barrel arbor extends through the hollow core to the chaton in the ratchet wheel; the barrel is perfectly stabilised with a maximised distance between bearings.

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A modified Glashütte stopwork secures the tension of the mainspring. After winding, it allows the ratchet wheel to reverse somewhat and slightly relax the mainspring. The stop click is firmly secured with the addition of a steel cover.

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Special facets of the wheel train

The train configuration of the Grossmann three-minute tourbillon exhibits several unusual features.
To reduce the kinetic energy of the tourbillon and the exposure of the lever escapement to stress, the periodicity of the cage was extended to three minutes with an additional wheel.
The pinion for the seconds is segregated from the power flow of the wheel train and driven with reduced torque. To prevent arbor and seconds-hand backlash, the pinion is constantly braked by a spring. Grossmann's watchmakers designed this function in a sustainable and maintenance-free manner by choosing guaiacum spp., an oily wood species, for the brake ring of the fourth-wheel arbor. It is classified as “rock-hard” and has good long-term tribological properties. This solution was inspired by the extremely dependable marine and tower clocks that John Harrison (1693-1776) crafted with great success in the 18th century. As a master carpenter, Harrison accrued considerable experience with various types of woods, especially the very durable ones he selected for his marine chronometers.

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Grossmann's contemporary precision timepieces stand for HERITAGE IN TIME beyond our era. It was also a key objective to preserve the beauty of the wheel train of the BENU Tourbillon, with its precious decorations and polishes, by precluding oxidation and damage to coated surfaces. The train wheels are made of ARCAP, a copper-nickel-zinc alloy coveted for its long-lasting brilliance. Crafted from beryllium bronze, the balance has a stately presence above the silvery going train.

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The unmistakable frame

The pillar movement with the main and 2/3 plates, a typical hallmark of Grossmann watches, embodies the traditions of Glashütte pocket chronometers. A balanced ensemble of components in untreated German silver with different types of finissage and two pillar spacers constitutes the tiered calibre that accommodates the separately removable winder. The graceful engravings on the movement parts are all fashioned by hand.

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The Grossmann winder with pusher

The watchmakers at Grossmann addressed the requirements imposed on a manually wound watch by focusing on improved convenience and greater functional reliability. The Grossmann winder with pusher incorporates a refined handsetting mechanism that eliminates two unwanted phenomena: it prevents the ingress of particles into the case during the setting process as well as unintentional hand position changes when the crown is pushed home again. When the user briefly pulls the winding crown out, this mechanism switches to the handsetting mode and stops the movement. Although the crown immediately returns to its home position, it can now be turned to precisely set the hands. Afterwards, the movement is restarted with the pusher adjacent to the winding crown without altering the positions of the hands. At the same time, this action switches the mechanism back to the winding mode.

The hallmarks of the Moritz Grossmann brand

The BENU Tourbillon also unites the traditional characteristics of Grossmann-style horological prowess with modern watchmaking elements and the typical features of the new brand:
•    Pillar movement with 2/3 plate and frame pillars in untreated German silver
•    Hand-engraved 2/3 plate and tourbillon cock
•    Wide horizontal Glashütte ribbing on the 2/3 plate
•    Modified Glashütte stopwork with backlash
•    Separately removable clutch winder
•    Raised gold chatons with pan-head screws
•    Screws annealed to brown-violet
•    White sapphire bearing jewels
•    3-band snailing on the ratchet wheel
•    Manually crafted steel hands, annealed to brown-violet

For further details about the skylife watch visit


RUAG Aviation is a leading supplier, support provider and integrator of systems and components for civil and military aviation worldwide.
Servicing aircraft and helicopters throughout their entire life cycle, the company’s core competencies include maintenance, repair and overhaul services, upgrades, and the development, manufacturing and integration of subsystems.
RUAG is an authorised service centre for OEMs of renown, such as Airbus Helicopters, Bell, Bombardier, Cirrus, Cessna, Diamond, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, Piaggio, Sikorsky, Piper, and Mooney, as well as a service centre for 328 Support Services, Hawker Beechcraft, Viking und MD Helicopters. RUAG Aviation is also a partner to the Swiss Armed Forces and other international air forces.
The company is also the manufacturer (OEM) of the Dornier 228, a versatile aircraft for challenging special missions and passenger and cargo operations.
RUAG Aviation is an approved Part 21/J EASA Design Organisation, Part 21/G EASA Production Organisation, and Part 145 EASA Maintenance Organisation. 
For further details visit and or contact Pirmin Berger, Marketing & Communication Director RUAG Aviation, mobile phone +41 79 204 55 61,
Contact for Corporate Information: Jiri Paukert, RUAG media spokesman
Tel. +41 79 758 47 77,


Moritz GrossmannSkyLife BENU Tourbillon Gold Special Edition

Reference: MG-001173 - Argenté Blue DialOnly available for aircraft owners

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Other Versions:

Reference: MG01.G-02-A000004 - Argenté Silver Dial

Limitation    50 watches

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Reference: MG01.G-02-A000779 - Argenté Black Dial

Limitation    50 watches

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Manufacture calibre 103.0, manually wound, adjusted in five positions
No. of parts:    245 (wheel train 186, cage 59)
No. of jewels:   30, 4 of which in screwed gold chatons (wheel train 17, cage 13)
Escapement:    Lever escapement
Movement dimensions
Diameter: 38.4 mm, height: 7.1 mm
Oscillator:  Grossmann three-minute tourbillon with stop seconds; shock-absorbed Grossmann balance with 4 inertia and 2 poising screws, suspended Nivarox 1 balance spring with No. 80 terminal curve, Gerstenberger geometry
Cage diameter:    16.2 mm
Cage speed:    1 revolution in three minutes, anti-clockwise when viewed from dial side
Balance diameter:    14.2 mm, frequency 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour
Power reserve:   72 hours when fully wound
Functions / features
­    Flying three-minute tourbillon with screw-secured driving wheel and V-shaped balance bridge (design patent pending)
­    Sweep minutes, off-centre hours and seconds with stop seconds, replacement of the missing minute scale segment from 25 to 35 minutes with a separate scale swept by the extension of the minute hand on the opposite side (patent pending)
    Stop seconds at the balance wheel rim with a pivoting fine-hair brush (patent pending)
­    Asymmetric-arm lever escapement with counterweight and lever banking pin
­    Grossmann balance with suspended balance spring, adjustable with poising screws in the rim
­    Newly developed mainspring barrel jewel bearing
­    Brake ring on the fourth-wheel arbor made of very hard, oily guaiacum
­    ARCAP train wheels
­    Grossmann winder with pusher to deactivate the handsetting mode and start the movement
­    Modified Glashütte stopwork with backlash
­    Pillar movement with 2/3 plate and frame pillars in untreated German silver
­    Hand-engraved 2/3 plate and tourbillon cock
­    Broad horizontal Glashütte ribbing
­    3-band snailing on the ratchet wheel
­    Raised gold chatons with pan-head screws
­    White sapphire bearing jewels
­    Separately removable clutch winder

Operating elements
Crown in 750/000 white gold to wind the watch and set the time,
pusher in 750/000 white gold to start the movement
Case dimensions
Diameter: 44.5 mm, height: 13.8 mm
Movement dimensions
Diameter: 38.4 mm, height: 7.1 mm
Three-part, in 750/000 White Gold
  • Solid silver, three-part, Blue, with Arabic numerals
  • Solid silver, three-part, Black, with Arabic numerals
  • Solid silver, three-part, Silver, with Arabic numerals 
Hands:     Hand-crafted, steel, annealed to a brown-violet hue or stainless steel
Crystal/display back:    Sapphire crystal, antireflective coating on one side
Hand-stitched alligator strap with butterfly clasp in 750/000 white gold

Moritz Grossmann Uhren: 

Moritz Grossmann, born in Dresden in 1826, was deemed a visionary among Germany’s great horologists. In 1854, his friend Ferdinand Adolph Lange persuaded the young, highly talented watchmaker to establish his own mechanical workshop in Glashütte. Apart from building a respected watchmaking business, Grossmann was committed to political and social causes. He established the German School of Watchmaking in 1878. Moritz Grossmann passed away unexpectedly in 1885, after which his manufacture was liquidated.

The spirit of Moritz Grossmann’s horological traditions sprang back to life in 2008 when trained watchmaker Christine Hutter discovered the venerable Glashütte brand and had it re-registered. She developed concepts and was inspired by the vision of reviving Grossmann’s legacy more than 120 years later with a particularly exquisite wristwatch. And she convinced private watch enthusiasts to support her in making this dream come true. On 11 November 2008, she incorporated Grossmann Uhren GmbH in Glashütte.
At Grossmann, gifted watchmakers are preserving traditions without copying historic timepieces. With innovation, superb craftsmanship, a combination of traditional and contemporary manufacturing methods as well as precious materials, they have created an “Origin of a new time” with their watches.

Rainer Kern
Leiter Kommunikation

Telefon: +49 35 053 32 00 20
Fax: +49 35 053 32 00 99
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