In 2013, super high-end watchmaker Greubel Forsey introduced two new pieces at the SIHH; Art Piece 1, which reportedly is still a work in progress and my personal favorite, the Double Tourbillon Technique Black. As the name suggests the latter is an evolution of the brand’s first invention, the Double Tourbillon 30°, introduced back in 2004. And, in a first for the brand, it’s black.
Now, you may disagree with this statement but I’ve always thought of GF as a highly traditional brand. Yes, their inventions are incredibly innovative, mind-blowing in fact but aesthetically the brand has always adhered to very traditional guidelines when it comes to the choice of case metal and finishing techniques.
Of course that is not a criticism by any means. I personally am a huge fan of the brand and I think we’d be hard pressed to find a reader on here who isn’t at least slightly in awe of their superb creations. However it does set the tone for the significance of this latest release. You see this is the first time – with the exception of a few one-off pieces – that the brand has ever made a black watch. More interesting still, this is the first GF piece to feature a titanium case and rubber strap, a significant deviation from the precious metals they are accustomed to using.
It’s an exciting development to say the least and so it will be very interesting to see the reactions from collectors, especially as one could make the argument that the longer-term value of a piece is governed in some part by the metal it is made of. Arguably pieces in gold (red, white, etc.) are preferred as they are less subject to changing trends but by the same token, pieces like this that represent a completely new direction for a brand can also become highly prized.
The dial is completely open-worked affording the viewer incredible views of the complex movement, including the Double Tourbillon 30° mechanism that sits at 6 o’clock. The sight of the two tourbillons, one rotating inside the other, is truly breathtaking to behold and undoubtedly will provide countless hours of enjoyment to the lucky few owners.
Despite the intricacy of the dial construction however it is quite easy to read. Hours and minutes are indicated on a sapphire crystal ring encircling the outside of the dial by the open-worked hands, whilst the power-reserve indicator lets you keep track of how much of your 120 hour supply remains. There is also a four-pointed sapphire indicator at 6 o’clock connected to the double tourbillon which completes one full rotation every four minutes. As the indicator moves through its cycle 0-60 seconds are tracked along the bottom quadrant.
The Final Word
Final pricing is yet to be confirmed but I would expect it to be lower than other models in the GF line-up simply because it is not made from a precious metal. Don’t let that put you off though as this will undoubtedly become one of the more distinctive Greubel Forsey pieces in the years to come, if for no other reason than the fact that it represents a significant deviation for the brand from their usual mainstream production. Not that there’s much that GF does that you could actually classify as ‘mainstream. Still, you get the idea.
Plus let’s face it, it looks really cool!
Category: SIHH 2014