Greubel Forsey continues to reinvent itself with a new interpretation of their Invention no.3 – the Tourbillon 24 Secondes with a new movement in a totally new case. Here is the information on the new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture.
Press release details with commentary in italics. We have had a hands-on with the novelty, but as the watch just arrived in Singapore yesterday, have not had the time to photograph and process the thinking and photos yet. Will publish a full detailed review next week. But do catch us on our Instagram @deployant for live photographs and IGStory for the wrist roll.
New: Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture
Retail price for the new Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture in titanium is SGD 706,200 inclusive of GST. Now available at Sincere Fine Watches Takashimaya.
The new model is called the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture. An interesting name. I coined the term “Watchscapes” way back in 2010 when I was inspired by Greubel Forsey’s movement architecture which when zoomed in with a high magnification lens of a camera looks like a landscape of a watch – hence watchscapes. And it was indeed a nice surprise, perhaps to have this idea reaffirmed by Greubel Forsey, by naming their latest watch the Architecture.
The GF Tourbillon 24 Seconds is not a new watch from Greubel Forsey. But a rethinking of the base movement which first appeared in their Invention Piece 3 in 2009. The mechanism of the Tourbillon 24 Secondes is highlited in the IP3, which features a large 24 hour subdial dominating the dial side with hours indicated by a red triangle and the minutes by a blue triangle. A small seconds subsidiary dial is displayed at 5 o’clock and at 8 o’clock is the single tourbillon is set at a 25° incline to rotate at a fast rotational speed to make one revolution every 24 seconds.. A power reserve indicator is provided at 2 o’clock. Four gold dial plates on the dial are engraved with a message in French from Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey.
The new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture looks nothing like the vintage 9/11 which we show above. In fact, this is a totally new interpretation of the Invention No3, only bearing small differences to the original IP3. For example, the movement dimension is ever so slightly different. The diameter has changed from 36.2mm to 38.7mm, as has the height from 11.51mm to 12.35mm. The parts count has decreased from 370 to 354, and even the tourbillon cage has one less component than the 87 in the IP3. The number of barrels has also increased from 2 to 3, now coaxial and coupled in series though still rotating at 1 turn in 3.2 hours. From what we gather in comparing the new with the old, the basic idea of both movements are the same, but these are two totally new calibers.
The movement is now a more conventional time display, with curved bridges/cocks holding the coaxial barrels and the tourbillon – of course, as is typical for Greubel Forsey finished to the absolute top level of the art. But more of this in our full hands on article later.
The case is also totally new. Though it takes the design cues first suggested in the absolutely mind blowing GMT Grand Sport released in 2019 (click link for our full coverage). But the new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture pushes the design envelope a bit further. Now featuring normal looking, curved lugs and attached to a rubber strap.
Perhaps letting the cat out of the bag, but we are super happy to say that this is one helluva impressive watch, and a must buy for those with the (admittedly huge) budget, and who are fascinated by the mechanics & architecture of this magnificent watch. More on our full hands-on review next week.
GREUBEL FORSEY “ARCHITECTURE”: A CITY ON THE WRIST
The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture is unlike any Greubel Forsey timepiece ever created. Its case is wholly atypical, its construction purpose- ful, its components sculptural, their mechanical interplay kinetic and the movement – simply spectacular! This new Greubel Forsey calibre within a new convex conical frustrum case shape represents a complete departure from traditional movement construction and aesthetics and brings an architectural experience to the wrist.
History is made of continuous progress and, at times, clear ruptures. Fine Watchmaking is no exception, with 250 years of patiently accumu- lated achievements and, from time to time, breaches, upheavals or revolutions.
Greubel Forsey initiated some of them with the Double Tourbillon 30°, the Quadruple Tourbillon, the Double Balancier and the Mechanical Com- puter of the QP à Équation, to name just a few. From an aesthetic point of view, its asymmetrical and convex case shapes, or its inclined escape- ments have opened up new paths in watchmaking design. But never before has Greubel Forsey taken the technical and aesthetic integration of one of its timepieces as far as it has with the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture.
AN UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW
The new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture is not easy to apprehend. Its components are sus- pended in space, revealing a harmonious compo- sition of surfaces, shapes and movements. The case showcases the spectacle within firstly through the large opening on the dial side, en- compassed by relief-engraved Greubel Forsey values that inspired this creation: Architecture, Harmonie, Innovation, Technique, Bienfacture, Passion, Science, Exclusivité, Créativité.
While the case looks perfectly round when observed from the dial side, it reveals its convex shape from other angles, along with its large synthetic sapphire crystal ring which envelopes the entire periphery of the caseband. Greubel Forsey has been integrating lateral sapphire crystal apertures since as early as 2007, but has never before rendered a movement visible from above, below, and from every angle around the caseband.
This new case construction enables an exhaus- tive look at even the smallest detail of the move- ment, but also allows light to penetrate almost unhindered. It is light which sculpts matter and reveals architecture in its intimacy, through a play of shadows and reflections. It bathes the movement to reveal it fully and in all of its com- plexity and is thus itself a vital contribution to the aesthetic of this exclusive timepiece.
A COMPLETELY NEW CASE CONSTRUCTION
In addition to its aesthetic contribution in show- casing the movement, the case offers a very unique experience on the wrist. Its convex shape profile ensures optimal ergonomics and wrist comfort. Pushing the envelope further still, Greubel Forsey has now conceived a case which is not only convex but also resembles a conical frustrum in its geometry. In the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture, the diameter around the caseback (47.05mm) is wider than it is around the bezel (45mm), thus combining the best of two worlds: It contains enough volume to fully showcase the movement architecture within, while at the same time giving the impression of being significantly smaller than it actually is.
Finally, the 50m water-resistant titanium case features three-dimensional, variable geometry lugs, hand-polished with handfinished straight graining, flowing seamlessly into a rubber strap with embossed text and finished with a titanium folding clasp.
A MOVEMENT UNLIKE ANY OTHER
While the case represents a significant technical feat in its own right, the Greubel Forsey move- ment remains the star of the show. The polished titanium bridges immediately stand out from the frosted finish of the mainplate, and spectacularly so: Emerging seemingly out of nowhere, they wind their way through the movement to finally impose themselves flush with the sapphire crystal.
At 6 o’clock, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes is moored from a large spherical and openworked bridge, whose base remains hidden by design. In its form, the inclined escapement defies gravity, while in its function, it compensates for it. To solve the problem of critical positions of the oscillator in relation to gravity, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes uses a fast rotation speed in addition to a 25° inclination. These two elements combined contribute to excellent chronometric performance, especially in stable positions.
The barrel bridge at 10 o’clock is sculpted simi- larly, with polished spherical surfaces, along with polished beveling and countersinks. The barrel cover is engraved, lacquered and circular-grained and contains three coaxial series-coupled fast-ro- tating barrels, one of which is equipped with a slipping spring to avoid excess tension. The caliber’s energy source provides 90 hours chronometric power reserve, indicated by a moving red triangle over a conical disk at 3 o’clock. It too is held in place by a beautiful polished titanium bridge.
In the center, we find two large curved, open- worked and polished steel hands, indicating the hours and minutes, mounted on a signature Greubel Forsey tripod bridge. The time indication is completed at 8 o’clock by a small second on a cylinder with polished flanks – mirroring and echoing every other component in its vicinity.
AN EXCLUSIVE FUSION OF TECHNICITY AND AESTHETICS
The 354 parts of the movement are sculpted and arranged asymmetrically yet harmoniously, almost as if they had issued from an organic growth process found in the natural world. Each component is suspended in an unexpected three-dimensional plane, yet it is exactly where it should be aesthetically, technically in relation to every other component. The movement is vi- brant and urban, yet it has space to breathe. The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture is a marvel of contemporary design and a physical manifes- tation of the Greubel Forsey Art of Invention.
The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture will be limited to only 11 pieces in 2022, then to 18 pieces a year between 2023 and 2025 for a total of 65 exclusive timepieces overall.
Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture Technical Specifications
Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture En titanium
Hand-wound movement with 2 patents
Tourbillon 24 Secondes • hours and minutes • small seconds • 24-seconds tourbillon rotation • power-reserve
NUMBER OF PARTS
• Movement: 354
• Tourbillon cage: 86
NUMBER OF JEWELS
• Olived-domed jewels in gold chatons
CHRONOMETRIC POWER RESERVE
• 90 hours
• 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”
• 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)
• 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
Hay relojes de buen aspecto, hay relojes de aspecto nítido y luego están los relojes que emanan un brillo de otro mundo. No se donde leí esa frase que le viene cosida a mano a este magnífico contador de tiempo.
Lo observas y haces una retrospectiva en tu mente buscando algo que se le parezca dentro de tu añeja base de datos de tantísimos que habrás visto en tu vida, nada, el resultado de la busqueda es cero. Estamos ante un producto de la más alta calidad conseguida hasta la fecha por los humanos en acabados mecánicos, pero también en su envoltura exterior. La caja es un ejercicio de magia con la geometría. Se puede decir sin reparos que escala sobre elevada altitud pero ojo! con privación de oxígeno. Nada de botellones suplementarios. La cima aqui a sido alcanzada con el mérito mayor. Sin facilismos ni atajos. Los cambios en el diseño han sido para bien, el abandono del barroquismo abre una nueva senda muy prometedora para esta casa. Pero hablemos del reloj. Este reloj es un titán y como tal reclama el uso de titanio en su maquinado mas dificil con la implementación de geometría variable, que tiene sus raices en la aviación y el automovilismo, pero aquí es llevada al dificil ámbito de las piezas pequeñas. Del calibre no tengo mucho que decir, fué magistralmente explicado en el artículo y solo añadiré que entre tantas cosas a celebrarle, una destaca por su escasez en el mercado: la armonía, tan escurridiza y dificil de conseguir que solo los genios tienen ese “toque” que te deja bobo cuando miras asombrado su obra. Este reloj lo tiene por donde quiera que lo mires