Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

To be honest, I am not sure if this is the Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 or perhaps the Art Piece 1.2, etc... There have been few more mysterious ultra luxury watches released from legitimate brands than the Art Piece collection from everyone's favorite metal finishing fanatics over in Switzerland. I am told that the first Art Piece watch was finally delivered this summer in 2014. This is after the watch's "debut" in 2012. What you see here hands-on isn't even a finished model, but rather a prototype.

Two years ago, aBlogtoWatch covered the Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 here, and explained that it was to be a collaboration watch model done with Greubel Forsey and miniature artist Mr. Willard Wigan. No, Mr. Wigan himself is not miniature, but rather his compositions are incredibly small and designed to fit on the head of a match or nail, or in the threading hole of a sewing needle. Willard Wigan has enjoyed some celebrity, especially for some of the taxing techniques he must use to hand-create his compositions on such a small scale.

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

When the Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 watch was released, only a side view of the watch was available, and it wasn't even of a complete timepiece. What we saw was a sort of lens in the crown that seemed to contain one of Wigan's miniature works. It appeared that the work was right in the lens, but what we have since learned is that the lens acts as a magnifier and that the actual piece of art is a bit deeper inside of the watch. Photographing this effect is difficult to say the least. Let's just say that when you look directly at the crown you get a good view of the small character or item that Willard Wigan created for the watch.

Greubel Forsey has confirmed that each Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 watch will have its own unique artistic composition. Thus, there will be a series of Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 timepieces, none will have the same art in them, and Greubel Forsey will produce very few of them. It isn't clear whether or not the customers can request specific work from Mr. Wigan, though I am pretty sure a degree of bespoke artwork is part of the deal. Part of this is why the price of the watch has been rumored to be anywhere from one million to over five million dollars.

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The funny thing about Willard Wigan's work is that much of it is a bit cheeky or based on pop culture and popular media. If his stuff was larger and not hand-made, it would be the type of things you'd find being sold in tourist shops along Hollywood Boulevard. Subjects he has enjoyed in the past are cartoon characters, animals, politicians, and items people use in their normal lives. Greubel Forsey themselves offer a PDF that shows off a lot of his work and talks more about who Willard Wigan is.

Even though the nature of Wigan's work is different from what Greubel Forsey does, they have similar values and goals. Each works on a small scale and each is a fanatic for details that few people will notice. I think the idea of putting tiny pieces of art in highly exclusive super luxury watches makes sense. Of course, Greubel Forsey is going to nevertheless be a bit selective about those items they place in their watches. The watch you see here for example has a tiny sail ship that Mr. Wigan produced.

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I don't even have full tech specs for the watch, so my apologies for not getting specific with dimensions or the size. I do know that the case is in 18k white gold, and of course it is rather large, in typical Greubel Forsey style. The finishing also happens to be quite amazing (of course), and the design of the case is a nice blend between classic and cool. The main point of the prototype was to show the overall look and feel the watch, the tourbillon, and of course how Wigan's work is to be displayed.

According to Greubel Forsey, "A miniature microscope set into the caseband will allow full appreciation of this chef-d'œuvre." By that, they mean the nano-sculpture, but it sounds like in addition to the lens in the crown-style appendage at 9 o'clock, there will be another microscope-like item attached to the strap? Is that what they are saying? You can now begin to understand how I feel like this is one of the most mysteriously discussed watches around.

Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

What do you think?
  • Interesting (2)
  • Thumbs up (1)
  • Classy (1)
  • I love it! (1)
  • I want it! (1)
  • BigMike213

    Call me cheap, but for that price I expect a pusher on the side that when used Frank Sinatra comes back from the dead and sings to everyone what time it is.

  • nateb123

    For up to 5 million, you too can have a G-Fart.  Kleptocrats and their money are easily separated.

  • CG

    “mysterious”? No. Superfluous… yes…. a million bucks worth of needless.


    Asinine has encroached into pathetic.

  • JosephW

    My word. Consumption has become conspicuous again.

  • nateb123 That’s because it’s never really *their* money…

  • Audacious.

  • Guess I’ll have to wait for a more affordable Willard Wigan art piece from Rolex. You know that a Rollie date cyclops would be perfect for dial side viewing of the tiny sculpture. And what would I order? Why a sculpture of a very tiny triple axial tourbillon of course.

  • Ulysses31

    I’m afraid I don’t like this at all.  So many blank, empty expanses.  So many randomly-placed items with absolutely no sense of space, layout, flow, or artistry.  The crowns look interesting, and the tiny little ship is nice, though completely random.  The dial is cheap looking, like it was punched out of some layers and sandwiched hurriedly together.  The lovely blue colour is the only redeeming feature here.  Overall it’s about as stylish and artistic as a training shoe, with those bold swooping curves, but there’s nothing ornate or appealing about it.

  • socabaptist

    ok I don’t get it. I am trying to give the manufacturer the benefit of the doubt but again, it is a run of the mill tourbillon with a piece of art in the crown. I like Willard Wigan’s work, but there is nothing about the watch mechanically that makes it worth that money. What the dial is hiding is not that interesting or ornate. I don’t know what Mr. Wigan’s art goes for, but if you’re really into his art just buy one of his pieces.

  • antjay

    BigMike213  I was thinking more along the lines of a micro Jimi Hendrix playing The Star Spangled Banner on the hour , but frank would do .

  • antjayJimi playing the national anthem makes my proud to be an American. You can hear the battle in his rendition. Bring history alive. Plus I’m a Hendrix fan. I was listening to him today when I was picking up my daughter from her job at a watch store. If 6 Were 9…

  • Zeitblom

    So I’m not the only one who read it as G Fart….

  • Feller87

    I think the tribute to the creation of film watch was a much more interesting iteration of “artwork in a watch idea” seen here

    why have one picture when you can have 10 (or however many of them make up the movie animation) and at less then 1/10th of the price too

  • By ‘case band’ I think they are probably referring to the magnification lens you already see on the case – it is in the band that covers the circumference of the entire case. When you look at the side shots you can see that the part with the magnifier is sandwiched between 2 other case pieces, and so that middle ring would constitute the ‘band’. 

    Pretty cool, but i’ll hold me actual judgement until there are some real-life pics of a finished piece. Methinks the proper implementation of that ‘secret text’ will dash away any thoughts of the dial looking cheap. I’ve always like that about GF – they’ve done that one a few watches and the effect is impressive.

  • DG Cayse

    JosephW For some, it never left. And that is what keeps the world going round.
    Nothing ever happens until someone buys something some one is selling.

  • DG Cayse

    MarkCarson antjay Ahhh…3rd Stone from the Sun…Spanish Castle Magic…some great music…Angel….crashing chords and delicate notes intertwined with pure magic!

  • joshgraves

    Meh.  Not my cup of tea.  I want to see miniature mechanical wonders, not some unmoving micro sculpture. 
    Konstantin Chaykin has it right and his works actually tell the time as well.

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