Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Reviews -

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.

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