Greubel Forsey offers an option to breathe new life into an old watch. Not only with aesthetic changes, but also adding new functions and indications. We explore the complexities of this novel idea, which will be available from 2023.
Press Release info and commentary in italics.
This is an interesting concept. And perhaps the first ever offered by any watchmaker. They will undertake to upgrade your Greubel Forsey watch. Not only can the exterior parts be changed and aesthetics altered, but also the movement. And the modifications need not be limited to only aesthetic changes but also with the addition new functions and indications. This is only possible because Greubel Forsey is a totally integrated manufacture, having the know how to make and enhance every single part of the watches they create. This is also a show of confidence in their technical ability. While we cannot imagine how complicated this must be to incorporate new features, functions, indicators as well as aesthetics to their watches, we can certainly see that it is a very tall order. One with the highest levels of difficulty and requiring the best skills. And would love to see the process of doing one from start to finish.
Greubel Forsey is already giving us a peek on what is in store. For example, current owners of the Balancier Contemporain (in either version including the 2017 launch edition), which is already magnificent watch, can opt to have a second time zone, an inclined escapement, or even with a tourbillon (to replace the flat balance wheel) to be retrofitted. Do note that the original Balancier Contemporain was a time only watch without an inclined balance wheel. An incline balance was added in a variant known as Balancier S, released in August 2020, but even that new model was not equipped with a second time zone.
As an aside, a new version of the Balancier S (to be known as the Balancier S²) will be released for Dubai Watch Week on November 21, will carry this new facet of the maison’s identity. We have seen the release material, and it is superb, and cannot wait to see the real watch to handle and photograph it for a full length review.
As another example, the magnificent GMT, which already displays local time, a second time zone and universal time by its globe and cities disk, could be equipped with a further time zone display coaxial to the hours and minutes hands.
And as a final example, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision could be equipped with a Small Seconds disc at 4 o’clock, a large date display, a moon-phase, or a modification of its power reserve in favor of the three-dimensional approach of the Double Tourbillon 30° Technique.
News: Greubel Forsey Renaissance d’une Montre
“Our Atelier is evolving constantly and rapidly. Our timepieces are now more advanced than ever in terms of precision, reliability and innovation. However, our clients are intimately attached to some of the early Greubel Forsey timepieces in their collections. How can we preserve the soul of these timepieces while providing them with the very best of our current know-how?”.
The question asked by Antonio Calce, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Board Member of Greubel Forsey, has already been answered in the automotive and aviation industries. With programs aimed at retrofitting existing vehicles, brands are able to preserve the chassis, history and soul of one of its vehicles, while providing it with a major engine update.
This is exactly the principle of the “Renaissance d’une Montre” program. With a name reminiscent of the long-term “Naissance d’une Montre” projects helmed by Greubel Forsey, it will soon provide a “retro-fit” to the house’s creations. The owners of certain Greubel Forsey timepieces will soon be able to contact the la Chaux-de-Fonds Atelier to request changes to the exterior parts and even the movement of their watch, in order to provide it with a new aesthetic or new functions and indications. The same timepiece, the same story, the same soul, but a second life that each owner will be able to conceive in close collaboration with the brand.
This innovative program, a first in the history of Haute Horlogerie, will be fully operational from January 2023, once the different possibilities offered by each movement have been analyzed and homologated.
Greubel Forsey being a fully integrated manufacture, the field of possibilities is wide open. The “Renaissance d’une Montre” program will also extend to exterior elements, such as the material of the case, strap, crown or the color of the hands. De facto, each piece reworked in this way will become a very intimate and personal creation.
“This program will be instituted in 2023. It embodies a vision and a long-term strategy. We are opening up new creative means of expression. Greubel Forsey’s ambition is not simply to rethink Haute Horlogerie in terms of savoir-faire but also in terms of savoir-être. How can we extend the history of a watch? How can we bring more value to our clients’ collections? “Renaissance d’une Montre” is our answer.”Antonio Calce, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Board Member of Greubel Forsey