TECH SPOT: Greubel Forsey’s orbital wonder

gmt-world.jpg

A GMT with a difference – an orbitally correct spinning globe.

You can’t stop the world from turning, but you can mimic it, and that’s exactly what this GMT from Greubel Forsey does with its own orbitally correct spinning globe on the dial.

Recognised as the masters of the tourbillion, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey of the inventive Greubel Forsey company have been working together for more than two decades, and continue to create striking tourbillons that wow at every turn.

Referring to its timepieces as inventions, Greubel Forsey last year unveiled the GMT, a striking multiple timezone watch with a playful addition — a rotating titanium globe positioned at 8 o’clock, rotating once every 24 hours and spinning anticlockwise to mimic the earth’s very movements.

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Greubel Forsey was founded in 2004 and the GMT is arguably the fruit of everything the brand has achieved to date. From the initial launch of the award-winning Double Tourbillon 30°, the two watchmakers have since created the patented Tourbillon 24 Secondes cage, its third invention that is also central to the GMT timepiece.

The GMT’s globe depicts the time across the world, displaying a picture of the countries and their timezone through its continued rotation. The titanium globe is secured at the South Pole end of its rotational axis, making a complete turn each day.

The globe is surrounded by a chapter ring with the 24-hour day outlined in a daytime hemisphere from 6am to 6pm and also a 12-hour night hemisphere. It even features a window in the case band allowing light to enter from the side of the watch, representing how daylight falls on the south side of earth.

A 12-hour second timezone is positioned at 10 o’clock. The wearer can use a push button positioned on the caseband to adjust the time to their present city or country, while the principle hour and minutes are displayed at 1 o’clock and a 72-hour power reserve is positioned at 3 o’clock.

Below that is the Tourbillon 24 Secondes cage, positioned at 25° that undergoes rapidly changing positions with a high angular velocity, minimising the effects of gravity on the regulating organ and maximising timekeeping accuracy.
The Tourbillon 24 Secondes cage was chosen for the GMT because of its compact size, allowing more space for other complications within the watch.

The timepiece has already been described by leading avant garde Parisian watch retailer Chronopassion as “probably one of the most unique watches we have received since 1988”, and a simple flip of the watch reveals even more detail on the caseback that justifies such a bold statement.

The exhibition back features a disc engraved with the names of cities in each of the 24 time zones including London, Bangkok and Hawaii. As the disc rotates, it lines up with a surrounding 24-hour ring, providing an alternative view of universal time.

The back of the timepiece is also decorated with an 18ct gold sunburst pattern, which also happens to represent midday at the 12 o’clock position on the world time disc.

This tourbillon is a timepiece that shows off Greubel Forsey’s dedication to watch making, striving to display both a second time zone and universal world time as fluidly as possible.

The brand describes the second time zone as “a highly practical complication that will be greatly valued by watch connoisseurs, globe-trotting businessmen, frequent leisure travellers and those with family and friends around the world”. Certainly, after its airing at SIHH last month, this watch has surely captured the attention of innovation-admiring globetrotters.

GREUBEL FORSEY GMT: THE STATS
» 436 components – 87 within the tourbillon cage
» 43.5mm case, with height of 16.14mm
» Two co-axial mainspring barrels providing a 72-hour power reserve
» Hand-finished decoration including frosting, spotting and bevelling
» 18ct gold dial and movement housed with a 18ct white gold case
» Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal glass for the dial-side, display-back and side window
» Hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with a Greubel Forsey folding clasp in white gold
» RRP: approx £350,000

 

This article was taken from the February 2012 issue of WatchPro magazine. To read a digital version of this issue online click here.

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