Greubel Forsey

Revolution (Hong Kong) - - SIHH 2017 - TEXT BY SEAN LI

It used to be

that the tour­bil­lon would be one of the higher ex­pres­sions of the watch­maker’s art. When you’re Greubel Forsey though, and the tour­bil­lon is al­ready a sig­na­ture, the bar is set higher – sig­nif­i­cantly so. The next log­i­cal step is a chim­ing mech­a­nism, and Greubel Forsey have fi­nally ad­dressed it af­ter no less than 11 years of re­search. Sim­ply called Grande Son­nerie, the time­piece bears all the ex­pected Greubel Forsey traits, such as the in­clined tour­bil­lon, and the su­perla­tive fin­ish­ing that is used through­out the watch. The case is made in ti­ta­nium to ben­e­fit the acous­tics; no­ble me­tals are more tra­di­tional, but they tend to ab­sorb sound, while ti­ta­nium, by be­ing a harder metal, al­lows it to prop­a­gate bet­ter. The three modes you would ex­pect are present: grande son­nerie, whereby the hours and min­utes are sounded out ev­ery 15 min­utes; petite son­nerie, where the hours are sounded at the top of each hour, with the quar­ters only ev­ery 15 min­utes; and si­lence when nec­es­sary. In or­der to de­velop the power re­quired for the grande son­nerie to op­er­ate for a day, the strik­ing mech­a­nism has its own power re­serve that’s wound au­to­mat­i­cally, while the time­keep­ing func­tions are wound man­u­ally. It’s not a lim­ited edi­tion per se, but the com­plex na­ture of the piece means that Greubel Forsey only ex­pect to pro­duce up to eight pieces per year.

You know that

feel­ing when you’ve just got your an­nual bonus, and you’ve got your eye on a Greubel Forsey piece, but you just wish they’d have other color op­tions? It seems that Greubel Forsey them­selves were not quite sure which color they would want to de­velop for their Tour­bil­lon 24 Se­con­des Vi­sion, so they’ve done the log­i­cal thing: they’ve pre­sented it in three new col­ors, choco­late, blue and an­thracite black. This is the Greubel Forsey for the col­lec­tor who wants some dis­cre­tion, where the tour­bil­lon is vis­i­ble through an aper­ture on the dial, but it’s only fully re­vealed when you turn the watch over space is added for the in­clined tour­bil­lon by build­ing a bub­ble into the sap­phire case back. It’s an un­usual step for the brand, as Greubel Forsey has never be­fore done dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the same watch in plat­inum. The new di­als join the ex­ist­ing model with a salmon dial, so you might have a big­ger is­sue at hand: de­cid­ing which color you would ul­ti­mately want!

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