Greubel Forsey is probably one of, if not the first name that comes to mind when one talks about companies specializing in tourbillons. The company is almost obsessed with this mechanism and is adamant that it really does improve chronometric performance. Even their competition and other selective watchmakers freely admit their work is top notch.
If you are skeptical, know that their Double Tourbillon Technique watch won the 2011 International Chronometry Competition held by the Le Locle Museum of Horology. Hence, the tourbillon(s) in their watches are definitely not for show.
To be honest, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain is not new, and is derived from the earlier Invention Piece 3. Ariel had the chance to handle it a year ago and was blown away by its blue dial. Indeed, the “royal blue” dial is a work of art, and according to Greubel Forsey, they took a very long time to perfect the color. However, as pretty as it is, there are some who would inevitably find it too flashy. Fear not, for now there is a more sombre and serious version of the same watch.
This new variant features a light grey dial with exposed natural titanium from the movement beneath and integrated titanium bridges. As you would expect, the bridges are hand-finished expertly with highly polished bevels and frosting. With the exposed natural titanium, the new watch is therefore, quite confusingly may we add, known as the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain with natural titanium.
Of course, how could we forget the tourbillon? Unlike other manufacturers, the tourbillon in this watch is angled at 25 degrees and completes a revolution every 24 seconds – pretty fast for a tourbillon. In addition, we like that the tourbillon seems to be floating, and this is achieved by using synthetic transparent sapphire bridges. The dial is simply mesmerizing and brimming with artistry and fine craftsmanship.
As befits a watch with such an amazing movement, there is a sapphire display back, but the rear is arguably less exciting but no less intricate. There are three NAC-treated anthracite bridges which showcase Greubel Forsey’s expertise in hand-finishing. The bevels are mirror polished and there is straight-graining and snailed decoration on the mainspring barrel.
The latest version of Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain will be available in a white or red gold case, with the hands and indices being finished in the same material to match. Case dimensions remain unchanged at 43.5mm in diameter and 15.2mm in height, which is pretty hefty and sizable. A handcrafted alligator strap completes the watch. greubelforsey.com