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Greubel Forsey - A new signature and a new double balance

Greubel Forsey A new signature and a new double balance

A closer, much closer, look at the two new models presented by Greubel Forsey at this year’s SIHH.

The new Signature 1 timepiece presented by Greubel Forsey at SIHH 2016 breaks new ground in two different ways. It is the first in a project which, as the name suggests, gives individual watchmakers at the company a freedom of expression to produce “their” watch following the Greubel Forsey philosophy and co-sign their creation together with Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey.

The first example is co-signed by Didier J.G. Cretin, who has created the first manually wound calibre with just three hands in the Greubel Forsey collection. The hours and minutes are displayed on an off-centre dial in gold with a polished bevel and the seconds are shown on a subsidiary dial, also in gold and with the same decoration. This leaves a generous amount of room to show the large Greubel Forsey concept balance, which is held in place by a beautiful mirror-polished balance bridge with conical supports.

A new signature and a new double balance

Co-signatory Didier J.G. Cretin’s touches can be seen on the mainplate bridges, which feature wide “artisanal” Côtes de Genève engraving, oversized polished bevels and a wonderful hand-chiselled decoration on the mainplate surrounding the balance. This new timepiece will be available in white gold, red gold and platinum, each as an addition of 11 pieces. But the second way in which this project breaks new ground is that a separate edition of 33 pieces will also be produced in stainless steel – for the very first time in the Greubel Forsey collection. This version will thus become the brand’s “entry-level” model, though its price only reflects the difference in the cost of the metals used for the case, since the sublime level of decoration on the dial and movement remains the same.

The double balance is nothing new at Greubel Forsey, since it has been part of the brand’s “Experimental Watch Technology” since 2009 as the sixth Greubel Forsey invention. In its latest incarnation, however, there are two notable differences: The new Double Balancier à Differentiel Constant separates the two balances (they were originally positioned on the same axis) and their angle of inclination is reduced from 35 degrees to 30 degrees, allowing for a smaller and thinner case.

Greubel Forsey Double Balancier à Differentiel Constant

A large aperture on the dial shows off the two balances between 4 and 6 o’clock and 7 and 9 o’clock respectively, the two connected for the first time to a constant spherical differential that minimizes amplitude errors and can be seen rotating once every four minutes between the two balance assemblies. A discreet subsidiary counter on the mainplate near the 3 o’clock position counts out the seconds. Even though it bears just four hour markers and a solitary 12 numeral, plus a power-reserve indicator, these indications on the dial are in high-quality champlevé enamel.

The first version of the new Double Balancier à Differentiel Sphérique is available in an edition of just 33 pieces in white gold. Other, non-limited, versions will follow. This superlative timepiece will set you back over twice the price of the Signature 1 piece, notably because it actually has even more components in the movement than the Tourbillon 24 Seconds Vision model (285 components compared with 275), which only adds to the painstaking, time-consuming and, therefore, costly decoration of the movement.
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Greubel Forsey carries out fully independent production of fine watches in its workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds. These watches are highly technical, innovative and timeless, and feature a particularly meticulous finish that is one of Greubel Forsey’s defining characteristics.

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