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.