I have always loved the (relatively) simplistic look of the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain but up until now I couldn’t quite say why.
The Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain
Of course, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain is a stunning timepiece, you don’t need to be a fine watch connoisseur to recognize that fact. The Rose Gold version in particular, with its striking oxidized royal titanium calibre, has always caught my eye but there was something else I could never put my finger on.
Thanks to its relatively simple time display the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain is sometimes referred to as the most accessible Greubel Forsey timepiece, both from a financial perspective but also for those new to the brand. It’s still extremely complex mind you but this is arguably as close to ‘entry-level’ as Greubel Forsey gets.
What I really like about this piece though, which was only elucidated for me last week during an enlightening discussion with its creator – Stephen Forsey – is the fact that it has actually been purposefully designed for those just discovering the world of haute horology and perhaps aren’t ready yet to get something as exotic as say a Double Tourbillon Asymétrique.
“It’s very personal this piece, you see”, explained Forsey, holding the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain in his gloved hands. “Worn with a shirt or a jacket, it is very easy to cover the left-half of the dial and so all people see is a fairly normally looking watch with a power reserve indicator. However anytime you want to see the tourbillon all you need to do is slide your cuff back slightly and all is revealed.”
All of a sudden this piece made so much more sense to me (unfortunately though I wasn’t wearing a long-sleeve shirt at the time, so I couldn’t demonstrate this concept for you in the pictures.) Yes, it offers the complexity we’ve come to know and love from Greubel Forsey, not to mention the unparalleled level of finishing the brand has become legendary for but in a way that gives the wearer control over who he chooses to share it with.
Plus it ensures the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain never becomes overwhelming, especially for someone new to world of high-end watchmaking. Struggling to wrap your mind around that inclined rapidly-rotating mechanism in front of you? Don’t want to draw too much attention to your new timepiece? Fine, simply slide your cuff down a bit and all of a sudden your wrist goes from being spectacular to subdued in under a second flat.
Well, that’s the theory anyway. Anyone who’s seen a Greubel Forsey timepiece before will tell you that even the sight of the case alone is enough to make a grown man cry and I have to say the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain is no exception. This is even more pronounced by the fact that the caseband bears micro-engraved inscriptions in French, depicting the values of Greubel Forsey’s philosophy.
Still, at least you’ll be able to keep the majesty of the dial all to yourself. Possibly. Probably not.
For more information about the the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain please visit the official Greubel Forsey website.
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