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Review: hands-on with the Gruebel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon Blue

by Peter Chong on May 27, 2020
Reviews
Overview
Brand

Greubel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon Blue

Complication / Type of Watch

Quadruple tourbillon with displays for hours and minutes, 50-hours power reserve on a sector, 240-seconds outer-tourbillon rotation (on one of the outer cages), Small seconds (mean performance)
Black polished blue dial

While not a new watch, the Quadruple Tourbillon is Greubel Forsey’s Second Invention, and we had previously featured it in a Watchscapes article, but never a full review. So when the Blue version was released in 2018, we took the opportunity to do a hands-on guided by Stephen Forsey and photographed the watch. Here is our review.

Gruebel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon Blue

It must be said up front. The Quadruple Tourbillon Blue is a stunning watch. Aesthetically, you may quarrel the the girth, with the bulge at 7 o’clock which is balanced by a similar one at 2 o’clock. But there is no arguing about the visual impact. This is one which grabs one by the balls, so to speak. It positively screams, “Look at me!”. The blue dial is drop dead gorgeous, and is finished to a mirror like shine. And immediately one feels one is in the presence of something special. Very special.

Gruebel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon Blue

Press Release of the Gruebel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon

The Quadruple Tourbillon – invention

Greubel Forsey presented the Quadruple Tourbillon as their 2nd Invention, premiered in 2012. As the name suggests, Greubel Forsey have constructed two sets of their double tourbillons by connecting them together via a spherical differential. This allows independent ability of all the tourbillons to obtail a precise and reliable timing rate. The spherical differential transmits the average timing rate of the four tourbillons, thus improving the chronometric performance of all the regulating organs.

Greubel Forsey Invention Piece 2

This invention beats at the heart of several timepieces in the GF collection. A different take on the concept of harnessing the stability and precision afforded by four tourbillons is demonstrated in the Harry Winston Historie de Tourbillon 10, a project led by Complitime, a company owned by Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey.

The case dial and hands

The case, as one might expect is massive. The case has a diameter of 43.5mm, with a 16.11mm height. The diameter remains the same as the 2011 version, though the thickness have reduced somewhat from 16.28mm.

A quick comparison between the Invention Piece 2 and our review subject reveals that the movement is not the same, as the positions of the double tourbillons relative to the crown is at a different angle, suggesting a major change in the architecture. And the time telling hands have shifted from a sub-dial at 4 o’clock to the main dial.

However, this version of the Quadruple has been released previously in platinum with a silvered gold dial and in red gold with a black dial. Among other possible unique versions done at the request of clients. In this release in 2018, GF also showed an all black version in ADLC Black Titanium case with a black gold dial. See the Gallery at the bottom for some photographs.

But the main attraction of this particular model is the dial. The blue is a magnificent electric blue, resplendent and made even more stunning by the application of a mirror finish to it. Mirror polishing, also known variously as flat polishing, or spéculaire polishing is a technique which a laborious process of ever finer polishing paper applied perfectly level. The final finish achieved is a component which due the mirror effect in reflecting all light and not scattering it, will result in an absolutely black reflection. Any tiny imperfection in the level or a minute scratch will show up and spoil the visual.

The dial is gold, and CVD coated to create the stunning blue that we see. And then black polished to perfection. Usually black polish is performed on small components, like the jewel caps, or screw heads. But to achieve perfection on the entire dial of some 40mm plus is a great achievement. We know of perhaps only one other incidence of this – Tomonari Nakagawa who does this to the entire case and hands of his creations.

The movement

The movement is, of course unique to Greubel Forsey. The finishing, as is usual for GF watches is spectacular, perhaps one of the best. From the case back, the plate is in nickle silver with a grained finish. The bevelling and countersinks are all magnificently polished, gleaming in the light. The serial number of the watch is stated in an engraved gold plate (Proto 1 in our photograph below), and visually balanced with another with the text “GREUBEL FORSEY”.

The tourbilon bridges are black polished. These feature curved surfaces instead of the more standard flat ones, and the mirror finish is magnificently executed, with bevelling and a beautiful stainless steel cap for each of the jewel holding the tourbillon. Four of these bridges are present on each watch, two on the dial side, and another two on the case back.

One of the rear tourbillon bridges. Note the black polish on the bridge, on the bevel of the bridge and the black polished steel cap secured by black polished screws holding the gold chaton for the pivot of the tourbillon carriage.

The tourbillon cage feature two arms for each of the double tourbillons, are in a tapered conical shape which are also black polished.

Overall, this watch reaffirms our believe that Greubel Forsey has the best and highest level of finishing in the business. For a more detailed discussion on this, please see our series of interviews with Stephen Forsey where he talks about this aspect. This is a three part series, be sure to read all. Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

The competitive landscape

The Greubel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon Blue is competing at a rarified height never approached by almost all others. Internal competition is perhaps the most that it will draw. The Invention Piece No.2, if one can find one. Another might be the other Quadruples in the stable. The Red Gold with black dial and the Platinum version with a silvered gold dial are still available from GF, as is the new Black ADLC titanium version with a black gold dial. And other older versions may be available in the secondary market. Or the Quadruple Tourbillon GMT released in 2019.

Or the various Harry Winston Historie de Tourbillon No 1, No 7, No 8 and No 9 which are sold out, but also No 10.

Perhaps the only watch outside the stable with multi tourbillons is Antoine Preziusio’s Tourbillon de Tourbillon.

Concluding Thoughts

Needless to say, we are in love with the Greubel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon Blue. We love the magnificent blue dial. We love the concept of the quadruple tourbillon. We love the presence the watch has on the wrist. But most of all, we love the Greubel Forsey finish. If only our budgets will allow one to adorn our wrists. Ah…the stuff of dreams. But for those of you who can pony up the cash, we recommend this watch without the slightest of hesitation.

And as promised, here is a gallery of the Quadruple Tourbillon Black in titanium with black ADLC finish and a black gold dial, which we think is very attractive as well. Full information at Greubel Forsey.

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