As you’re aware, our “For Your Consideration” series talks about brands and watch models that are the very definition of being a luxury purchase. Far from being something we expect our readers to run out and pick up (but hey, if you do, drop us a line), but instead to point out the interesting things happening out on the high end, and maybe giving you an idea of a Grail Watch to go for at some point in the future. That’s why today, we’re talking about the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture.
To look at the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture is to question “how is that all put together?” Fortunately, you’ve got views from the front and back of the case, as well as from the sides (yup, sapphire windows there as well) to allow you to try and figure that all out. So, not only is the movement in this watch an extremely technical exercise, it’s one in artistry. It had to be put together in such a way that it looked good from just about any angle.
Helping there you’ve got polished titanium bridges standing out from the matte finish on the mainplate. The tourbillon, always a good bit of frenetic eye candy, hangs from an openworked bridge that we purposely cannot see the base off, tricking you into thinking things are floating. And those are just the highlights – I think the collector with a good loupe will not easily grow tired of looking at all of the bits and pieces.
Of course, a watch is a tool, and it has to be able to do it’s job – telling time. Here, you’ve got the large handset spinning over things, though it could be a tad tricky to pick out the handset from the rest of the metal behind it (then again, this is GF – we’re guessing there’s some finishing here that catches the light differently to help them stand out). The small seconds are over at the 8 o’clock position. That leaves you wondering what that is at the 3 o’clock, right? That’s the power reserve indicator, marking out the up to 90-hour power reserve that can be held in the barrel over there at 10 o’clock.
All of this is set into a case that’s full of angles and curves. While it looks round from straight on, the caseback is actually a few millimeters wider than the front, and the whole thing has a bit of a convex shape to it as well. Greubel Forsey points out that this is creating a conical frustrum (more on that here), which highlights other capabilities to what they can produce. Not to mention making sure the movement elements could all fit tidily into the very-open case.
Such pieces of artistic engineering are neither common, nor are they inexpensive. This year, just 11 pieces of the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture will be made, and available for $500,000. The next three years, another 18 will be made (each year) for a total run of 65 pieces in total. greubelforsey.com
Tech Specs from Greubel Forsey
- NUMBER OF PARTS
- Movement: 354
- Tourbillon cage: 86
- NUMBER OF JEWELS
- Olived-domed jewels in gold chatons
- CHRONOMETRIC POWER RESERVE: 90 hours
- FREQUENCY: 21’600 vibrations/hour
- Inclined at a 25° angle, 24-seconds rotation • Light alloy cage pillars
- Titanium cage bridges
- Gold counterweight
- Titanium and synthetic sapphire crystal
- Three-dimensional, variable geometry bezel with raised engraved text
- Raised engraving “Architecture 1” and “Greubel Forsey”
- CASE DIMENSIONS
- Diameter: 47,05mm (caseband) and 45,00mm (bezel)
- Height: 16,80mm
- WATER RESISTANCE OF THE CASE
- Water-resistant 5 atm – 50 m – 164 ft (standard NIHS 92-20/SN ISO 22810:2010)
- DIAL SIDE
- Three-dimensional, variable geometry hour-ring, indexes with Super-LumiNova
- Power-reserve indicator, circular-grained, engraved and lacquered
- Gold small second indicator, circular-grained, polished flank
- 24-seconds tourbillon rotation indicator
- STRAP AND CLASP
- Non-animal material, rubber with text in relief, titanium folding clasp, engraved GF logo