BACK TO BASICS
After a decade of reworking the tourbillon, independent watchmaker Greubel Forsey goes back to basics and introduces a classic threehand timepiece without any complications, the Signature 1. Yes, a three-hand movement sounds relatively simple in theory, but this being Greubel Forsey, it is anything but.
First, the philosophy: the Signature collection forms part of the Naissance d’une Montre project headed by Greubel Forsey along with Philippe Dufour and Michel Boulanger. The project gives one watchmaker the opportunity to craft and construct an entire timepiece inside out, using only traditional components and materials, hence paying tribute to the time-honoured skills of horology. The Signature 1 is the brainchild of master watchmaker Didier J.G Cretin, who has spent the past 10 years at Greubel Forsey. It took him six years to conceive and develop the manually wound timepiece.
Now, the watch itself: according to the watchmakers, the aim was to combine “simplicity and sophistication”. The former is seen in the fact that the Signature 1 is Greubel Forsey’s simplest functional watch as yet, with a three-hand timetelling mechanism. But instead of pulling a straightforward trick, Cretin has offset the hour and minute dial, with a small seconds miniature sub counter on the side. Technically, the watch is not simple either, as it features a new balance wheel system, with an in-house mainspring.
It also embodies sophistication, in the sense that the watch is of top-notch quality, whether in terms of movement construction or aesthetics. It is polished to perfection, and Greubel Forsey has opted for a Côtes de Genève striping on the dial-side for the first time.
Also a first, Greubel Forsey has launched the watch in a stainless steel version and is relatively more affordable than its previous offerings. It costs CHF150,000 for each of the 33 versions in stainless steel, and CHF170,000 (and more) for the remaining 33 in gold and platinum.