DR. BERNARD CHEONG

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Feature -

What is your holy grail watch? Of course, there can only be one—the Greubel Forsey In­ven­tion Piece Num­ber 1 in plat­inum. Eleven were made from 2011 to 2011, and all sold. I own num­ber 00/11—the grail, plus the seal of friend­ship from the two founders, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey.

Why do you like this watch more than any oth­ers? This is a mu­seum-level work of zero er­ror, and com­posed of im­pos­si­ble an­gles and an in­cred­i­bly pre­cise as­sem­blage of parts. It has the most im­pos­si­ble level of crafts­man­ship and me­chan­i­cal ex­cel­lence. I love the char­ac­ter­is­tic black­pol­ished bridge, which holds the world’s only dou­ble tour­bil­lon—a con­cen­tric bal­ance wheel within two cages, both os­cil­lat­ing at dif­fer­ent speeds of more than three times the ro­tary count. The In­ven­tion Piece 1s made be­tween 2004 and 2007 have round or semi-cir­cu­lar aero­foil-like fin­ishes, which is a near-im­pos­si­ble gar­gan­tuan task to make by hand—and cur­rently im­pos­si­ble to achieve by ma­chine. Note that there are no round sur­faces on any part of the watch, not a sin­gle one. Plus, plat­inum can­not be pol­ished, cut or burred like other me­tals can. It sticks, and hardly loses any mass af­ter pol­ish­ing; it is sim­ply mas­saged back into the scratches. Its rar­ity and prop­er­ties make it ex­tremely costly to shape or work with. The amaz­ing thing about Greubel Forsey is that it makes very lit­tle profit from its watches, and you get ex­actly what you pay for.

Do you have more than one holy grail watch? There’s a phrase that has risen in re­cent decades—por­ta­ble wealth. The in­de­struc­tible, ver­i­fi­able, value loaded and ex­tremely small wrist­watch is in­con­spic­u­ous, and you could carry $10 mil­lion on any wrist, pocket or bag. Among the most gen­uine, the most sta­ble, the least likely to be repli­cated sources of por­ta­ble wealth are only two watches: the Greubel Forsey In­ven­tion Piece 1 in plat­inum, and the Greubel Forsey Plat­inum Dou­ble 30° Tour­bil­lon Vi­sion with a mother-of-pearl dial.

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