by Kyle Stults on November 05, 2013
This new piece from ultra high-end watchmaker Greubel Forsey features a movement crafted of titanium and is available in a choice of red or white gold case, with production limited to just 33 pieces of each. The “Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain with natural titanium movement” has a sober architecture while putting on display Greubel Forsey’s third invention, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes mechanism (see Did You Know? below). The mechanism is supported at 6 o’clock by a barely detectable transparent sapphire bridge (close-up photo below).
There is a striking sense of depth to the dial as emanated by the arrangement of various components: the twelve o’clock stands out for being not only the sole numeral (in red or white gold) but also for being raised, descending separately from the raised sapphire chapter ring; the ‘floating’ tourbillon; and the long central tripod for the hour and minute hands.
Color elements also play an important design role — darker details on the display such as the power reserve indicator at 4 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock or the 24 seconds tourbillon at 6 o’clock contrast with the light grey of the natural titanium movement and integrated titanium bridges.
On the back of the watch, three NAC-treated anthracite bridges can be seen through the sapphire crystal display back. Greubel Forsey’s expertise in extremely fine hand-finishing should not go unnoticed: mirror-polished bevels (many of which feature internal angles), mirror-polished countersinks, straight-graining and snailed decoration on the mainspring barrel. GF also points out that there are also discrete nods to tradition on this contemporary timepiece, for example the domed olive jewels and heat blued screws, which pay elegant homage to master watchmakers of the nineteenth century.
In this closeup, you can see the movement bridges in nickel silver with ruthenium plating which gives them a much darker shade of grey:
Fine specimens of high watchmaking, no doubt! Price will about $450,000, give or take.
More at http://www.greubelforsey.com/
Did You Know?
The Tourbillon 24 Secondes is Greubel Forsey’s third fundamental invention, a highly-efficient, fast‐rotating – 24‐second revolution – tourbillon cage inclined at 25°, which minimises negative effects of gravity on the oscillator, particularly in stable positions.
by Kyle Stults on January 21, 2013
SIHH 2013…In addition to its Art Piece 1, Greubel Forsey presents a second new piece at SIHH 2013, the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon Technique Black. Of note, this is the first black timepiece in Greubel Forsey collection (excluding some special, one-off pieces), and it is also the first in the GF collection to have a a titanium case and rubber strap. Prior Double Tourbillon Technique pieces were offered in red and white gold.
The Double Tourbillon Technique Black features a unique, open-architecture in an entirely original and innovative interpretation of Greubel Forsey’s first fundamental invention (2004), the Double Tourbillon 30°. GF notes that “This construction allows for superior chronometric performance, a minimum volume/maximum balance diameter ratio as well as enabling the beautifully finished mechanism to be fully appreciated.” The Double Tourbillon 30° mechanism sits at 6 o’clock, with the unobstructed configuration of the open movement allowing full appreciation of the duo of tourbillons, one rotating inside the other.
Hours and minutes are displayed by luminous, open-worked signature Greubel Forsey hands against a transparent sapphire crystal ring, providing full visual access and luminosity to additional depths of the open dial. The red-tipped, four-pointed, sapphire crystal indicator 6 o’clock rotates in four minutes above the double tourbillon, and indicates 0-60 seconds along a quadrant.
by Kyle Stults on January 21, 2013
I caught a sneak peek at this piece back in October, but the full reveal of the Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 (done in collaboration with out-of-this-world talented microsculptor Willard Wigan) was not meant to be. Now here it is, though it is still presented by Greubel Forsey as a “work in progress.”. The quick premise is that there is a microsculpture in the left side of the watch. The crown looking device on the left is actually a magnifying glass of sorts — perhaps microscope is a better term — so that you can see the microsculpture that Willard Wigan has created inside of the Art Piece 1. The magnification is 23x and due to the nano-nature of Wigan’s work, this is the only way to appreciate Wigan’s microsculpture. Refer back to my original preview for more background on Wigan and the jaw-dropping mind blowing work that he does. And now to see if encapsulated in a Greubel Forsey timepiece — well, this is really something special. Note also that Greubel Forsey have decided to include their first fundamental invention — the Double Tourbillon 30° — in the Art Piece 1.
Above it is magnified 23x. Do you see the microsculpture in the watch case (below)???
by Kyle Stults on October 20, 2012
Consider this a teaser of sorts:
The Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1, with Micro-Sculptor Willard Wigan
Of all places (!), fashion website WWD (“Women’s Wear Daily”) got its hands on the image you see above. According to WWD, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey showcased a prototype of the project at the annual FIAC contemporary art fair in Paris. WWD quoted Robert saying that he expects to produce only one or two of the one-of-a-kind watches every year, with an estimated price tag in the range of 5 million Swiss francs, or about $5.4 million at current f/x.
My understanding is that the official unveiling of an “in-progress” Art Piece 1 is expected to come at SIHH Geneva, January 21-25, 2013; full completion not anticipated until the end of 2013.
In their September 18, 2012 announcement, Greubel Forsey stated: “Currently a work in progress, Art Piece 1 will feature a micro-sculpture that can be fully appreciated through specially created optics. The finished creation will be a veritable tour de force in terms of art, innovation, architecture and technical complexity.” The idea is to create a rotating hemispherical structure featuring several micro-sculptures (done by Willard Wigan), which will be easily observable through specially created optics.
Willard Wigan is a man whose talent is without precedent. The man creates sculptures that fit in the eye of a needle. Hard to fathom, but he does it! If you aren’t familiar with him, check him and his amazing art http://www.willard-wigan.com.
Below are a few sketches of the project with give a visual representation of the innovative concept to display Wigan’s micro-sculptures:
Greubel Forsey has developed an optical lens small enough to be fitted into the crown of the watch, so that the sculptures — fitted on a rotating hemispherical structure — can be seen inside the timepiece when it is held up to the eye facing sideways.
More to come!
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey 2009 initiated what they envisaged to be the start of an exciting and long-term project; a program of collaboration with leading contemporary artists. The aim of the project is to marry the art of watch making with that of visual art.
After learning of world leading micro sculptor Willard Wigan’s incredible nano-sculptures five years ago, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey decided to ask the artist if he would be interested in collaborating with them on a long-term project. The fruits of this collaboration will take the form of a co-creation combining the respective universes of Robert Greubel, Stephen Forsey and Willard Wigan. The objective is to produce a unique piece previously unimaginable in the field of art.
The goal set is the creation of a previously unimaginable horological work of art, encompassing a new operating structure, hemisphere and rotary optic system with an embodied microscope to house and present a Willard Wigan micro sculpture inside a Greubel Forsey art timepiece.
Well, watch fans, the hits just keep on comin’ out of London — MARCUS Watches of London, that is. As I have been profiling for the last week or so, the MARCUS Limited Edition Project is undeniable proof that this high-end watch dealer (Marcus Margulies) in London has some serious watch friends, and, perhaps more importantly customers the world over! How else to explain the amazing series of limited edition pieces created by the world’s most inspiring and talented watchmakers created exclusively for MARCUS Watches of London? In fact lest you forget these pieces are created for Marcus, many of them have the MARCUS “M” placed on the dial or other tip-offs such as the black+red or white+ red color schemes. Truly an incredible collection from the likes of Hublot, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, Corum….and now Greubel Forsey. There are very few Greubel Forsey accounts in the world and Marcus Watches is very proud to carry the entire collection — probably the only retailer who is able to offer such a large selection. Official opening of the MARCUS Limited Edition Project is this coming week….more to come, only @Perpetuelle.
Greubel Forsey for MARCUS London
“black” collection + red “12″
pic: Business Montres
Did You Know?
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have been known by insiders of the watch industry for many years as very eminent technicians who were consulted by the haute gamme watch factories to solve technical problems. Their particular skill is in tourbillion movements and their products are considered to be the best in the field. They set up in business together some ten years ago to promote their own name, and such is their reputation that the Richemont Group immediately purchased a 20% share.
Francois-Henri Pinault is a French businessman and the Chief Executive Officer of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR), a Paris-based congolmerate that owns Gucci, Yves St. Laurent and Bottega Veneta; his family is worth an estimated $11.5 billion. He is also the son of the PPR’s founder, businessman François Pinault, and husband of famous actor Salma Hayek. For his 50th birthday it seems that Mr. Pinault’s father bought him a Greubel Forsey GMT watch, which reportedly retails for £325,000, or about $500,000. This interesting tidbit was mentioned rather casually by Mr. Pinault in a story which ran recently in UK’s The Telegraph newspaper, viewable online at: Francois-Henri Pinault’s Puma: a Bolt from the blue (last paragraph the watch is discussed).
Story via: Revo Online / Ian Skellern.
Francois-Henri Pinault and his Greubel Forsey GMT Watch
Greubel Forsey’s Stephen Forsey wearing the GMT
by Kyle Stults on January 16, 2012
The Quadruple Tourbillon Secret represents a special link between Robert Greubel, Stephen Forsey and the collector. The ultimate refinement, this timepiece evokes to the passionate enthusiast the promise of an exceptional movement in which a magical mechanical ballet plays out on a hidden stage visible only through the display back. The dial side redefines the expression of telling the time with its harmonious arrangement of multiple dials. Ultra-exclusive, the Quadruple Tourbillon Secret comes in a unique edition of eight pieces in 5N red gold and eight pieces in platinum.
Conceal . . .
The Quadruple Tourbillon Secret redetermines the expression of time which plays out its many paradoxes. A play of seduction in which fantastic mechanisms are subtly revealed by indications imperturbably bearing witness to their existence; a play in which a contemporary dynamic is created by overlapping curves within curves, in which symmetry gives way to asymmetry.
. . . to better reveal
The ultimate in refinement, the ballet of the tourbillons is visible only through the synthetic sapphire crystal display back. This private micro-mechanical performance becomes a witness to the bond that unites the owner with the values of Greubel Forsey. A bond further strengthened by the precious exclusivity of the Quadruple Tourbillon Secret.
The Quadruple Tourbillon
This timepiece houses Greubel Forsey’s second fundamental invention, the Quadruple Tourbillon: a reliable high-performance mechanism comprising four tourbillons configured in independent pairs, which are linked by a spherical differential that averages out any timing errors between the two regulators. Particularly in stable positions, timekeeping accuracy is improved by the Quadruple Tourbillon.
Greubel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon Secret
43.5mm platinum red gold case (16.11 mm high), asymmetrical domed synthetic sapphire crystals on the dial side and for the display back; black alligator strap hand stitched with a folding clasp in platinum/red gold
by Kyle Stults on January 16, 2012
The Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain is a unique edition of 33 pieces featuring a titanium movement and platinum case. Absolutely gorgeous royal blue finish of the plates and bridges!
Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain
43.5mm platinum case (15.2mm thick), blue alligator strap is hand-stitched with a platinum 950 folding clasp
the Tourbillon: a highly-efficient fast-rotating – 24-second revolution – tourbillon cage inclined at 25 ° which minimises negative effects of gravity on the oscillator, particularly in stable positions.
This is the SIHH debut for the “super-complication” watchmaking due of Greubel and Forsey. They brought to town (Geneva) with them 3 mechanical masterpieces today (you can see the other two here) and this one I like the most – the “Tourbillon 24 Seconds”. All in all, I am still not a mad crazy about these watches – I find the designs a little too busy for my personal tastes – but as is the case in this wonderful business – to each his own! That said, Greubel Forsey are known to be strong innovators and they do some great work with the tourbillon, so you gotta respect a watch like this even if you don’t fully understand it.
This watch, 43.5mm cased in platinum, is very limited production and if you have well in to the six-figures to drop (spare change from your Lambo buy last summer?) then you may already be on the list for this one. Like it? Dislike it? Feel free to weigh in with a comment, below.
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