In case you’ve been living under a rock, sports watches are the flavour of decade and the craze isn’t abating anytime soon. Manufacturers that had previously never made sports watches are now making sports watches. Greubel Forsey is a brand most well-known for its impeccably crafted contemporary watches that are neither dressy nor sporty. Sometimes, you’ll even wonder if it’s a watch or a kinetic sculpture. In 2019, the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based brand finally hopped onto the sports watch bandwagon and released its first official sports watch, the GMT Sport. As they say: better late than never.
GMT Sport “Sincere Fine Watches Special Edition”
The GMT Sport is not akin to any other sports watch ever made. If anything, it is closer to an art installment rather than a sports watch, as Greubel Forsey timepieces tend to be. This year, in honour of the brand’s partnership with Singapore-headquartered retailer Sincere Fine Watches, a special edition of the GMT Sport has been issued in an ultra-limited series of 5 pieces only. Here, we bring you the details and our thoughts on the GMT Sport “Sincere Fine Watches Special Edition”, the boldest version of Greubel Forsey’s lone sports model yet.
The Case, Dial, and Hands
A large part of what makes the GMT Sport so special is its case. Measuring a whopping 45 mm x 17.8 mm, the case of the GMT Sport “Sincere Fine Watches Speacial Edition” is rendered in lightweight titanium (thus making it less unwieldy), and features an elliptical bezel and sapphire crystal. To complement the case, the watch comes with two strap options. The first is an orange rubber strap with text in relief and a titanium folding clasp. Then there’s also a three-link titanium bracelet, which happens to be Greubel Forsey’s first ever metal bracelet not just for the GMT Sport model, but in its entire history. As you’d expect from the brand, the entire exterior of the watch is finished to exacting standards, alternating between mirror polishing, straight graining, and sandblasting.
As immaculate as the case and bracelet are, the real star of the show remains the “dial”. In truth, there’s hardly any dial left, for what you see on the face of the watch counts as parts of the movement. Compared to previous iterations of the GMT Sport, the displays and layout remain unchanged. The highlights are of course the tourbillon, sped up to make one rotation every 24 seconds and inclined at 25 degrees in the name of better timekeeping, and the rotating globe with fixed day-and-night UTC indicator. The only major change that can be found in the Sincere Fine Watches special edition is the colour scheme. Here, orange accents galore, most notably on the rotating globe. If the globe was hard to miss previously, it is virtually unmissable now. In fact, it is just downright hypnotic to look at.
The 435-part, 63-jewel movement that drives the Sincere Fine Watches special edition is the same one that powered earlier incarnations of the GMT Sport. It packs 72 hours of power reserve and operates at a stately 3 Hz frequency. Don’t let the name fool you, the GMT Sport packs way more than just GMT functionality. In fact, you can eyeball the world time off of the rotating globe display at 8 o’clock or flip the watch over for a more objective reading. The world time indicator on the case back displays city names and time zones, allowing the owner to read both UTC and Summer Time for 24 cities in 24 main time zones. In the Sincere Fine Watches special edition, “Singapore” is rendered in red. Some might call it redundancy but Greubel Forsey sees it as being thorough, as there is also a dual time display at the 10 o’clock position. That’s right, the GMT Sport has all three tiers of travel time complications: the dual time, the GMT, and the world time. To ensure that the movement doesn’t come to an untimely halt, a power reserve display is fitted at the 3 o’clock position to remind the owner to wind the watch periodically.
As much of a certainty as water is wet, the GMT Sport movement – like all Greubel Forsey movements – is superbly finished. There are plenty of decorative trimmings to enjoy; sharp anglage, polished bevels, mirror polishing, openworking – all executed immaculately among other things.
The Competitive Landscape
It’s a big, wide world out there and just about anything you can think of exists. That said, to find another watch that is identical to the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport is next to impossible. Not only is the timepiece very uniquely designed, it is also finished to a standard that would make even Switzerland’s most established watch Maisons cringe in unison. To say that a watch is a “piece of art” is not cliché if it is referring to the GMT Sport. As you might imagine, the GMT Sport “Sincere Fine Watches Special Edition” isn’t going to come cheap. This is a limited edition series of 5 pieces, and ordinarily, Greubel Forsey aren’t known to charge less than 6 figures. With the preceding iteration of the GMT Sport priced at well over SGD700,000, it perhaps comes to no surprise that the more exclusive Sincere Fine Watches special edition retails at over SGD900,000.
So, what compares best to a Greubel Forsey watch? Another Greubel Forsey watch, of course. The Greubel Forsey GMT Earth is probably the closest relative that the GMT Sport has. Both timepieces share the same functions and displays; the difference is that they are packaged differently. Instead of an elliptical bezel, the GMT Earth has a towering sapphire crystal, and instead of a tourbillon at 1 o’clock, it has a tourbillon at 5 o’clock. The GMT Earth has a more open design that allows its globe to be viewed from the top, side and bottom. It, however, lacks the 100 m water resistance rating that the GMT Sports has to be a true sports watch. When the GMT Earth in white gold debuted in 2018, it was priced at an eye-watering CHF610,000, which is similar to the current price of the GMT Sport “Sincere Fine Watches Special Edition”.
Another worthy alternative to the GMT Sport is none other than the Bovet 1822 Edouard Bovet Tourbillon. The Edouard Bovet Tourbillon is many things: a reversible wristwatch, a pocket watch, a table clock – though a sports watch it is not. It is also not a world timer, but it does tell the time in three time zones. And while it does not sport a three dimensional globe, the Edouard Bovet Tourbillon does boast two gorgeous hemispheres painted and engraved to depict the Earth. The watch is also fitted with a tourbillon of the flying variety, a day/night indicator, and a power reserve indicator. The Edouard Bovet Tourbillon is flamboyant, ornate, and in its own right, an art piece not unlike the GMT Sport. It isn’t nearly as well-finished as the Greubel Forsey, but then again, what watch is? Priced at over CHF300,000, the Edouard Bovet Tourbillon is about half the price of the GMT Sport “Sincere Fine Watches Special Edition” but just as spectacular.
In the realm of luxury sports watches, the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport “Sincere Fine Watches Special Edition” ranks amongst the most fantastical (and expensive). Built in durable and lightweight titanium, and with a water resistance rating of 100 m, the watch is not just a pretty face but importantly, also a proper sports watch. That said, you’d probably want to think twice before actually going scuba diving with it.