greubel forsey - GMT
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
greubel forsey - GMT

GMT

greubel forsey
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525'000 €

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Notice of laurent

Probably one of the top five seen in my career.

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

The earth on the wrist

From the Tourbillon to World time: Greubel Forsey presents the GMT This timepiece marks a first for both Greubel Forsey and the history of GMT watches. After exploring, inventing, and developing new mechanisms in the world of the tourbillon over the last decade, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have now combined it with a new complication, the GMT, which they have naturally interpreted in their own way. With this remarkable timepiece, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have focused their energy on indicating a second time zone, a complication traditionally denoted by GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), the historical reference meridian for navigators. A highly-practical complication and one greatly-valued by connoisseurs, a second time zone is of particular benefit for globetrotting businessmen, frequent leisure travellers and those with family and friends around the world. True to their philosophy and continuous quest for perfection and innovation, Greubel Forsey have gone way beyond the conventional means of displaying a second time zone. The GMT features a wonderful, three-dimensional temporal representation: A rotating terrestrial globe offering a truly original view of time all over the world. This technical yet poetic marvel provides us with a completely new way of perceiving the different time zones. Nestled in a prominent position at 8 o’clock, the ‘flying’ globe is ingeniously secured at just one end of its rotational axis – the South Pole – allowing for optimal views of the intricate surface that has been crafted on the strong, yet lightweight, titanium sphere. While the globe makes one complete rotation every 24 hours anticlockwise – the Earth’s natural rotational direction – the position of the continents can be neatly cross-referenced with the 24-hour, day-and-night indicator on the equatorial chapter ring. The night-time hemisphere – 18:00 to 6:00 – is indicated by a blackened half of the ring around the globe, while the daytime hemisphere – 6:00 to 18:00 – is indicated by a whitened portion. The latter is superbly enhanced by a lateral window cleverly integrated into the caseband, which lets in light to symbolise daytime on the globe, and reveals more of the southern hemisphere. So if it is midday in England, the viewer can see at a glance that it is the beginning of the afternoon in Geneva or Rome, that the sun is only just rising on the East Coast of the United States and that the darkness of night has fallen over the Far East. Just one quick glance is enough to know the time anywhere in the world – a longer look and it will be for the sheer aesthetic pleasure of viewing the delightful details on the intricately crafted globe.

The intuitively interpreted globe is complemented at 10 o’clock by the 12-hour second time zone dial giving a precise indication of the time in a designated second country or city and is easily adjusted using the quick-set, dual-function pusher on the caseband at 10 o’clock. Cascading clockwise around the dial-side are the main indications comprising a principal hour-minute dial at 1 o’clock, on top of which is a small seconds dial at 2 o’clock, while at 3 o’clock is a sectorial power reserve indicator. The specially developed movement of the GMT features the 25° inclined Tourbillon 24 Secondes cage, one of Greubel Forsey’s major patented inventions. In addition to its superb chronometric virtues and reliability, its compact size allows space for the other complications. Spatially, the combination of elements on the dial-side is perfectly balanced, with a striking sense of depth offered by the globe and by the Tourbillon 24 Secondes at 5 o’clock which together form a triple asymmetry giving rise to a controlled tension that plays subtly with the circularity of the case, while never totally rupturing it. Turning over the GMT reveals the beautifully crafted ‘worldtime’ disc bearing the names of 24 cities each representing one of the different global time zones. Aligning the relevant city with the local hour on the outer chapter ring – or inner ring for cities with summer time - sets the dial-side globe in the correct position. Completing the display-back is a gleaming sun, providing a visual reference for midday on the worldtime disc and radiantly lighting up the movement of this stunning timepiece. The GMT is reinforced by the hallmarks of Greubel Forsey’s renowned superlative fine finishing and attention to detail.

The full range of traditional hand-finishing techniques have been employed including graining, bevelling, polishing, lapping, frosting and flat black polishing – a beautiful demonstration of savoir-faire in the pursuit of excellence.

On the technical side, the movement consists of 436 components, 87 of which are used in the tourbillon cage, which weighs in at just 0.36 grams. Two coaxial mainspring barrels connected in series provide a power reserve of 72 hours and the movement is equipped with a variable inertia balance beating at 21,600vph/3Hz and a Phillips terminal curve balance spring. Plates and bridges are hand-finished, frosted, spotted, bevelled, straight-grained, matt lapped and flat black polished. The dial is in 18k gold and the whole movement is housed in a white gold case of 43.50mm in diameter with a height of 16.14mm. The case is completed by domed sapphire crystals for the dial-side, display-back and lateral window, all treated with anti- reflective coating. 

Technical specifications

Case :
  • White Gold
  • Thickness: 16.14 mm
  • Wateresistant to  30 m (3 atm)
  • Round shape asymmetric
  • Diameter : 43.5 mm
 
Mouvement :
  • Manual winding
  • Tourbillon cage: 24 seconds
  • 87 components
  • Weight of the cage: 0.36 gr.
  • 50 jewels
  • Double coaxial barrels - 21,600 a / h.
  • Calibre GF05.
 
Functions :
  • Hours and minutes, small seconds
  • Sectoral indicator Power reserve 72 hours
  • Display GMT 2nd time zone
  • Display universal time by rotating the earth globe
  • Day / night display.
 
Dial :
  • Glass: sapphire
  • Color: silver
 
Bracelet :
  • Hand-sewn alligator
  • White gold folding clasp.

Who's who

“The first time I met Robert Greubel, he was working on Richard Mille’s Planetarium Tellurium. When I saw him at work, I immediately understood that he was a real high-flier – and that at that altitude, he wouldn’t be meeting many other people.” Laurent Picciotto’s earliest memory of the co-founder of what was to become “Greubel Forsey” speaks volumes about the master watchmaker’s personality. For once, the term is no exaggeration: Robert Greubel really does master watchmaking, from design right through to the production of each component. Robert Greubel grew up in Alsace and began his career in the family business, Greubel Horlogerie. He then moved to Switzerland to work for the International Watch Company (IWC), where he helped develop their Grande Complication. Three years later, he joined independent designers Renaud & Papi (later bought out by Audemars Piguet) as a prototypist for complications. He quickly rose to the position of managing director and then partner. At the turn of the century, his career took a new turn, too. In 1999, Robert Greubel began working independently and met his future partner, Stephen Forsey. Laurent Picciotto holds the latter in the same admiration: “As well as being a man of erudition, Stephen is also the kindest and most approachable person working in top watchmaking”, he says. Stephen Forsey’s career began in England: he was brought up in St Albans by his father, who was deeply interested in mechanics and engineering. From 1987 to 1992, he specialised in restoring timepieces, becoming managing director of Watch Restoration in London. He travelled to and from Neuchâtel on numerous occasions to follow the WOSTEP watchmaking training course – until the day in 2001 when he made a one-way trip, settling down permanently in Switzerland to set up Complitime with Robert Greubel. Based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the company produces complicated movements for major brands. Then in 2004, the two partners quit their jobs and officially registered their own brand, Greubel Forsey. “Initially, I was mostly aghast, largely due to their business model,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “Commercial strategy was the least of their worries; they were focused on doing extremely complex work in order to produce a tiny number of items... It was crazy!” Right from the start of that year’s BaselWorld, the brand’s degree of technical complexity made an impact. The very first timepiece was none other than a Double Tourbillon 30°. The brand’s DNA was already visible – a core business focusing on the tourbillon, with one hundred percent hand finishing to the highest standards of haute horlogerie. Stephen Forsey later explained that an item such as the Tourbillon 24 seconds requires 350 hours of work on finishings. Harry Winston soon spotted the brand’s potential. As early as 2006, the firm entrusted them with the production of its Opus 6. From then on, Greubel Forsey continued to push back the boundaries of top watchmaking in a constant quest for precision, presenting outstanding items such as the Tourbillon 24 Seconds Incline and the Differential Quadruple Tourbillon. Such an unusual brand was bound to find its place in the Chronopassion collections: “Over time, Greubel Forsey has successfully made its mark with timepieces that ultimately, are self-evident for everybody. Stephen and Robert really are on a quest – they’re obsessed! Their fascination with mechanics is contagious. There’s a sense of “pure research” in their items. At the end of the day, you’re never sure of fully understanding a Greubel Forsey. That’s what makes them so special.”

Journalist : Olivier Müller

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