If there is anything at all ‘typical’ about a watch from Greubel Forsey it would be its atypical, unique and rule defying execution; across the entire collection and in every single aspect. So the case might need to protrude here or there asymmetrically, to accommodate the inclusion of a tourbillon or four, maybe even a miniature globe as required – done. Their dials are showcases for horological awesomeness, and everywhere the fruit of their labours are pushed to the fore. No, come to think of it, Greubel Forsey are not really typical in any way.
However, if we have learned anything about the timepieces from these two eclectic watchmaking partners, it would be to expect the unexpected, and true to form, the new Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision nearly slips under the radar thanks to its almost shy reserved presence (in comparison to its stablemates anyway).
In the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision Greubel Forsey have created a timepiece which is as exquisite in its manufacture as any of their watches, yet as far as appearances are concerned, it is sober and restrained and of course a thing of beauty to behold. Objectified by its slender profile and perfectly rounded case, its classic styling is a departure from the visual hor0logic extravaganza upon which Greubel Forsey have forged their well deserved reputation.
Whereas the Vision concept has already been seen, in the grand Double Tourbillon 30, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision is leaner – both physically and aesthetically. The watchmakers presented themselves with the challenge of reducing the case height and maintain a smooth upper surface, whilst still providing sufficient space to accommodate a tourbillon cage which, when in position, would be deeper than its host. Inevitably the solution requires a bump – well, this is Greubel Forsey after all – and on the underside of the watch, a little crystal demi-globe rises above the flat sapphire caseback and the tourbillon within ticks away, blissfully unencumbered, on its rapid 24-second rotation.
Inclined at a 25° offset, the tourbillon’s pronounced gyration accentuates the motion of the mechanism and indeed the watch itself. Of particular note are the bridges; so supremely mirror finished that the craftsmen responsible have been allowed to sign his work internally.
The dial, markings and hands appear almost simplistic at first, considering the dna, but on a closer inspection it is of course pure Greubel Forsey, in formal attire. The numerals, indices and markings have been engraved into the tri-level silvered 18Kt white gold disc, before being filled with dark blue oven-fired enamel. The pin sharp lance style hands have been stripped back to the bare minimum then flame blued to complement the dial markings, and at the 4 o’clock position, only an off-centered small seconds register complete the time only display.
Perhaps it is just a quirk of the images we have seen thus far, but with the tourbillon cage sat deeper into the watch and that accommodating glass bowl to the rear, more light seems to enter the tourbillon chamber than expected, and so there does seem to be an airy, spacious dynamic to the dial’s focal point at the 9 o’clock position.
The apparent simplicity of the dial side and the time display only serve to hide the complexity of the hand made manual winding movement within. Boasting some 288 components, all crafted in-house, the calibre is finished to Greubel Forsey’s exacting standards and can be appreciated through the sapphire caseback. The 72 hour power reserve indicator is thoughtfully located to the rear, meaning that face down there is much to admire, yet ensuring that the frontal aspect is as clean and pure as can be.
The Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision is cased in 18kt white gold with contrasting polished and satin finished surfaces. It is presented on a fine leather strap with tang buckle. Only 22 pieces will be made.
At circa €290,000 some may baulk at the price, but for those more familiar with Greubel Forsey, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision represents an opportunity to access a piece from this exemplary watchmaking duo which some experts agree might well be one whose value could appreciate with the passing of time.