With not a few connoisseurs believing Greubel Forsey to be the makers of the very best watches on earth, it’s no surprise that their new releases are anticipated with pulses raised. This company has become the poster child for extreme tourbillons, and SIHH 2016 was no disappointment.
Perhaps the most newsworthy is the Double Balancier à Différentiel Constant, which uses two inclined balance wheels “to optimize performance in stable positions”, the Différentiel Sphérique Constant providing more steady amplitude. Less than half the dial remains, Greubel Forsey eloquently describing the look as “an architectural world built on many levels, a miniature futuristic city constructed between the balance wheels whose inclination is almost dizzying”. The debut version is a unique edition of 33 pieces in white gold; other colors will follow.
To answer the question of “How does one combine simplicity and extreme sophistication?”, Greubel Forsey has released the Signature 1. While it is busier-looking than the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision, it’s almost minimalist compared with most watches from the brand. Its special quality is that every Signature creation will be the work of “one talented watchmaker [who] will elaborate his or her timepiece within Greubel Forsey’s universe”.
Greubel Forsey GF Signature 1
Movement: Caliber GFS1 manual-winding movement; hours and minutes; small seconds
Case: 41.4mm; stainless steel, 18K white or red gold, or platinum
It is an extension of the “Naissance d’une Montre” project aimed at perpetuating disappearing skills.
Each watchmaker will operate “within the Greubel Forsey’s philosophy”, benefiting from the atelier’s facilities and the company’s expertise, to ensure that the final item exhibits all the virtues associated with the brand, technically and aesthetically. Equally, the watchmaker will express his or her own attitudes within the confines of the project. The first is by the unfortunately named Didier J.G. Cretin, who will co-sign the creation with Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey.
Cretin’s Signature 1 is a manually wound threehander with Greubel Forsey-designed balance wheel and a gold dial. It will be released in an edition of 33 pieces in gold and platinum, with 33 in steel available by advance order, “thereby maintaining and reaffirming the rarity of [their] timepieces”.
Lastly, Greubel Forsey has a habit of winning awards. On 29th October 2015, it received the Grand Prix of the Aiguille d’Or for the aforementioned Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision — their second victory. To mark this, the ompany has released a version in red gold, with dial in an anthracite color. There’s irony at play here: the Grand Prix went to the only Greubel Forsey that looks even remotely conventional.
Greubel Forsey Double Balancier à Différentiel Constant
Movement: Caliber GF04 manual-winding movement; hours and minutes; 72-hour power reserve
Case: 43mm; 18K white gold