Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

In this article are two versions of the limited-edition Greubel Forsey Signature 1 watch that we originally debuted earlier in 2016 here. You might recall that the Signature 1 is the most accessibly priced watch that Greubel Forsey currently produces. All that really means is that it has a sub $200,000 price. Still, it is almost half as expensive as the next step up in the Greubel Forsey brand catalog.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey will produce a total of 66 Signature 1 watches, with 33 of those pieces in steel. My understanding is that those 66 watches will represent six smaller limited edition sets of 11 watches each. The blue watch is one of the steel models, and it is an exclusive for the United States - again, being part of a limited edition of 11 pieces. I also wanted to share images of the 18k red gold model. It is perhaps worth mentioning how traveling is an important part of our ability to cover these stories. I got to see the blue and steel model here in Los Angeles, and we photographed the 18k red gold model while in Dubai for Dubai Watch Week 2016. The previous article with the 18k white gold model was viewed in Geneva. It really takes a lot of travel and effort just to track down these rare items sometimes.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Taking into consideration the debut article on the Greubel Forsey Signature 1, which was an 18k white gold model, we've now covered the three available Greubel Forsey Signature 1 watches that have been produced, representing half of the total production of the series. I am not sure if I have yet seen the platinum version, which does exist (and it has a black dial, for the time being). I'd personally love to see a Signature 1 watch in a scratch-resistant-treated titanium case, which would be really interesting for me given that it would also be nicely finished per Greubel Forsey's standards.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

I will say that the Greubel Forsey Signature 1 is the most easy-to-wear watch from the brand I've ever put on my wrist. It used to be that when you thought of the exclusive brand's watches you imagined a sort of round case with a bulge in it (that sounds weird in writing). The Greubel Forsey Signature 1's case is perfectly round, traditionally rendered, but also very finely finished (for those prices, you'd certainly hope so). In steel, the Greubel Forsey Signature 1 has the most unique personality. I am not sure, but this might be the first steel watch that Greubel Forsey has produced. At least, it is the first one that I remember. In gold, the watch feels more "understandable," but in steel I think it has more personality - especially given the theme of the watch.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

At 41.4mm wide and just 11.7mm thick, the Signature 1 is also probably the smallest watch Greubel Forsey has made. With prices typically over $500,000, having such a mechanically simple watch that wears this comfortably is not something I would have guessed to come from the brand a few years ago. That said, market and client pressure on brands like Greubel Forsey compel them to produce a limited series of watches like this. Don't expect these prices or materials to typify the brand, but as a nod to collectors who demand it, you can get the finishing and aesthetics people have come to love from a company like Greubel Forsey, in a package that is a lot more convenient to tote around on your wrist regularly.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Clearly, this type of timepiece qualifies as stealth wealth. While it is clear that you are wearing a nicely made mechanical watch, all but the most highly aware horological aficionados will be able to separate it from the crowd. Also, if you want a similar aesthetic experience on your wrist (for a small fraction of the price), you might be interested in a Maurice Lacroix Gravity (hands-on here), which actually predates the Greubel Forsey Signature 1 by a few years.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

What you will not get in lower-priced watches is Greubel Forsey's utterly meticulous level of movement finishing and decoration. Even though this is the most simple mechanical movement produced by the brand, its components are each given loads of hands-on attention. A close inspection of the dial and movement reveals an obsessive level of decor including a series of polish styles and techniques. These range from frosting to striping and a lot in between.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the Signature 1 is Greubel Forsey's carefully produced caliber GFS1. Manually wound, the movement is produced from 190 parts operating at 2.5Hz (18,000bph) via the large 12.6mm-wide balance wheel under the nicely designed balance wheel bridge. The movement has a power reserve of 54 hours. Dial layout is attractive and invites a lot of visual inspection. The hours and minutes are indicated clearly on their own eccentric dial, while there is a rather small yet legible running seconds dial closer to the exposed view of the balance wheel. Under the balance wheel is the name of Didier J.G. Cretin, who the brand worked with on creating the watch. It is rather uncommon for a collaboration such as this to have a reminder placed on the dial in this way, but I think that collectors will find it interesting.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

The overall dial presentation is the biggest asset to the overall design, being legible, beautiful, and mechanically interesting. Moreover, it is comfortable to live with on a daily basis. If anything, the Signature 1 watch is Greubel Forsey's answer to "what Greubel Forsey can I wear every day?" Still, as a fan of the brand's great interest in the fine horological arts, it is hard not to miss other features such as the beauty of a delicate tourbillon or other complications such as a power reserve indicator. Those are all easily available in other models for just a few hundred thousand dollars more!

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Gorgeous, ergonomic to use, and comfortable to wear, the Greubel Forsey Signature 1 watches will easily be gobbled up by fans of the brand looking for something new. Further, I hope that Greubel Forsey dedicates about 10% (not more) of their production moving forward to watches in the $100,000 - $200,000 range each year. I would like to see further variation and new movements which represent more accessible, yet obviously very high-end watches to enjoy the beauty that we find in how nicely these watches are both designed and decorated.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Limited Edition Steel Blue For USA & Red Gold Watches Hands-On Hands-On

As I mentioned earlier, the steel-cased blue version of the Greubel Forsey Signature 1 is a USA-exclusive, known as the reference 9100 9004. It, like all the steel models, is priced at $170,000. The 18k red gold model is the reference 9100 8409, also limited to 11 pieces, and is priced at $185,000. greubelforsey.com

What do you think?
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  • BiLL

    They show you No 09/11 for the U.S.A. version?? I can only hope that was an unlucky coincidence instead of some cruel joke.

    • IanE

      Hmm, still one could see this as an assertion of civilised values refusing to give in to dark forces.

      • I like that. The dichotomy of human nature and its ability to simultaneously destroy and create, and the triumphant nature of contemporary, enlightened values over archaic, tribal mythology.

        • 200 Fathoms

          Took the words right out my mouth.

    • SuperStrapper

      I was going to ask if anyone else found it odd that a US-only edition numbered 9/11 was on display.

  • ??????

    Watch porn…

    • BiLL

      Yes sir, you don’t have to tell me twice.
      But are there any sites that you can recommend? You know, that nasty Belarusian stuff… 🙂

      • ??????

        Try A Blog to Fine Porn 🙂

        • BiLL

          abtfp.by

          • ??????

            ???? ?????, ?????????!

          • BiLL

            No, but thanks. I’m not really much of a coffee drinker. 🙂

  • ??????

    Didier J. G. CRETIN on the backside – I understand it is a name, but..

    • Roman

      That was my first thought.

  • Gokart Mozart

    Lovely beautiful watch, but I think the seconds dial should have been the same colour on the steel watch. The white subdial is a bit distracting and unbalanced.

  • Fun fact: that little pip of red on the 11th Minute marker is to indicate that this is one of the steel x/11 models.

    I tried this watch on in the flesh in October and I still think about it almost daily; it’s glorious.

  • IanE

    Oh no, more Greubel Forsey torture. I know I shouldn’t look – but I’m just (almost) human!

    • Berndt Norten

      You’re only human. You’re SUPPOSED to make mistakes

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Such a beautiful piece,……..ruined by the screws. .Picky ? ,…………for $185.000 , your bloody right i am.

    • Berndt Norten

      Right (quite right). You gotta bloody right to say-ay-ay

  • Gokart Mozart

    Ariel, I realise a lot of collectors will probably buy this but, can you use owner or buyer of the watch instead of collector as it makes it sound impersonal.

    This is used for expensive watches but owner is used for cheap (relatively speaking) watches.

    I know it is a minor point but it gives the impression the watch has been created/sold with the aim being to be a trading commodity like shares, in my opinion.

  • MEddie90

    One of the coolest time only pieces of the last few years, its nice to see GF step down from the more complicated offerings and try something simple and well done.

    I’ve always been more of a full dial guy but can appreciate the purpose of a small dial here, glorious balance wheel and bridge design (reminds me of Kari’s work) and just as beautiful from the back with the gear train and barrel on display. I love the barrel bridge with incorporated click and that rachet wheel is contoured and finished to perfection. Frosting and beveling is perfect as is usual for GF and the movement architecture and bridge shapes make their work instantly recognizable.

    As an aside it would be nice to see ABTW give their take on GF’s newly released “nano” watch mechanism.

  • JF Schnell

    Of their collection this one looks too simple but also gorgeous. I like this kind of watch making.

  • SuperStrapper

    Love that movement view. The frosted finish is sublime.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    I love these simple but exquisite two-hand high end-watches. As MEddie90 says, I prefer full dials. But with a very simple classic movement, open work/mini dials work beautifully.

  • Sevenmack

    The finish of the blue dial is amazing. The movement design on the back is sublime. I love it!

  • DanW94

    Great looking pieces. I especially love the large polished balance bridge they use. I prefer the red gold with the white dial, but I’d gladly take either. My prediction, Ariel pulls some strings, gets GF to donate one for the monthly giveaway, entries reach one million – Ray wins and promptly disposes of it in the boring bin.

    • BiLL

      And then I go to Scotvegas and raid his home like there’s no tomorrow.

    • I think Ray would not “clunk” this one. Then again, it does not have a date…

  • Omegaboy

    Love that little subdial disk sitting there. The guy should change his last name, though, or at least not display it on so nice a watch.

  • Shinytoys

    Not my favorite GF, but still a beautifully executed watch…

  • 200 Fathoms

    Beautiful.

  • Not crazy about the divot on the dial at 7, but otherwise, what a great looking watch with GF finishing. A pretty penny for a 3 hand watch but that misses the point entirely doesn’t it?

  • Grumpy Cat

    Nice watch but I can think 170,000 reasons I won’t be spending money on this watch.

  • harveyspecter

    great review but this watch doesn’t really do much for me. I might add that I don’t see anything from the Greubel Forsey to be that appealing, even to ultra-high-net-woth collectors.

    Indeed from a technical standpoint some might be true masterpieces but a lot of collectors will think about value at these price points and I don’t see any of these modern pieces increasing in value.

    Of course watches are *not* investments so the whole “value” idea is an illusion but in other pieces you can indeed at least recover part of your investment (you never know in life). But on these ultra-complicated pieces you can see them at auctions going away for much lower prices.

    A Breguet la tradition looks much more WOW and is available at a fraction of the price. It has also a very special historical significance that is entirely missing here.

  • Ulysses31

    Beautiful watches, especially the blue variant. The movement is somewhat dull though. Paradoxically, the incredible precision on display from the sharp corners and edges gives the watch a slightly raw, crude look. The sunburst pattern on the miniature dial on the blue version looks rather rough; I prefer a finer brushing.

  • palettj

    For $185k they cant throw in a deployant?

  • funNactive

    I like the design (especially the blue) but not the price.

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