Two of the industry’s “good guys,” brothers Bartholomeus Albertus Johannes (aka Bart, BG) and Tim Lambertus Joseph (TG) Grönefeld are making waves in the Swiss watch industry, even though they are based in the small town of Oldenzaal, the Netherlands. I caught up with them while they were in Geneva for the 50th anniversary of WOSTEP, the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program.
How is business?
TG: Better than ever. Since the start of our independent brand, Grönefeld: The Horological Brothers, business has been growing every year.
This year, we launched our fourth watch, the 1941 Remontoire with an eight-second constant force mechanism. This is the watch that really puts us on the map. Sales and pre-orders have never been so good. We are looking very positive for the future.
How are things different today than five years ago?
BG: On one hand, we see that at every launch of a new watch, we are getting increasingly known by a larger public. This also leads to more orders and revenue. On the other hand, we are spending more and more on marketing. We have always exhibited at Baselworld and for the first time next year, we will be exhibiting at the SIHH as well. We feel very privileged that we may attend the SIHH, especially because we are Dutch and not a Swiss brand.
TG: Five years ago, we were struggling to get known by the collectors. These days, things are going much better since we have won some serious awards, and people are starting to see Grönefeld as a serious independent watch brand.