Johan Grönefeld. The birth of a watchmaking.
Gerhard Louis ("Johan") Grönefeld was born on 14th July 1896 in Oldenzaal. He began his career as a watchmaker in 1912. Taught by his uncle, Johan established his workshop and boutique in the shadows of Saint Plechelmus, a basilica and tower dating from 1240. He was both an exceptional watchmaker and a consummate businessman whose prowess with watchmaking tools, combined with creativity and inventiveness, earned him a glowing reputation in Oldenzaal and beyond.
Sjef Grönefeld. Following in his father’s footsteps.
Johannes Grönefeld, known locally as Sjef, was born on 5th November 1941, also in Oldenzaal. Inspired by his father, he too entered the sphere of jewellery and watchmaking. Still today, the Grönefeld family own and run the workshop and boutique on Steenstraat that Johan established. It was within the confines of their grandfather’s workshop that Bart and Tim would play as children, to the metronomic sounds of ticking clocks and watches.
Bart Grönefeld. The die was cast.
Bart Grönefeld was born in 1969. After completing his studies at the Oldenzaal technical school, Bart travelled to Rotterdam where he attended a school for watch technicians. From there, he travelled to Switzerland and trained at the world-renowned Wostep school in Neuchâtel. After leaving Wostep, the bright lights of London beckoned and Bart worked for Asprey, the prestigious jewellers. One year later, he returned to Wostep, keen to advance his understanding of complicated watches. Each day was spent working with a group of talented artisans on minute repeaters, chronographs and grande sonneries. Later, his younger brother, Tim, joined him in Switzerland at Renaud et Papi.
Tim Grönefeld. His brother’s equal.
Tim Grönefeld was born on 12th March 1972. His career would take him along a similar path to that of his older brother. After leaving the same technical school as Bart in Oldenzaal, he attended Vakschool in Schoonhoven, a vocational college for watch technicians. Tim chose to follow his older brother, and travelled to Switzerland where he was soon showing his skill as a watchmaker. It wasn't long before he was put in charge of training other watchmakers. Moreover, he was given responsibility for tourbillon and regulator escapement assembly, thus playing a key role in the quality control of complicated movements.