Greubel Forsey, a very young Swiss watchmaker that was established less than ten years ago and is partially owned by the Richemont group, has a great number of notable models in its product range. Their gorgeous Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Seconds Contemporain was first launched last year and featured a very impressive combination of precious platinum body and royal blue dial. For the next year, the watch is reissued in a slightly less expensive, but even more visually appealing mix of materials and colors.
Still powered by their in-house Numero 11 hand-wound caliber (well, the name of the movement is different, but I can’t see a single visual difference between the older Caliber Proto 1 and this “new” engine), the watch is presented in a slightly more compact body that measures only 43.5 millimeters in diameter: around two millimeters less than that of the original.
Well, perhaps using the adverb is not completely justified. While, for the list of highly impressive complications it has, the timepiece is indeed quite compact, it still takes a great deal of space on a normal wrist. Also, being as thick as it is at more than 15 millimeters top to bottom, the watch is clearly very massive: don’t let those promotional photo that illustrate this brief review deceive you.
Still, getting those extra millimeters shaved off, the piece indeed looks a bit more suitable for daily use (if, of course, you can afford using such an expensive piece of luxury being worn as a daily beater) and I actually like its new proportions better than those of the original.
Besides downsizing the body, Greubel Forsey has also introduced a new choice of materials. At this time, the timekeeper can be ordered in both in attention-grabbing 18-carat rose gold and less conspicuous white gold bodies. As before, the cases are decorated with two hand-engraved gold plaques that provide the model with an even more expensive look.
Of course, dial is still the thing that gets its lion’s share of attention here. As you can see, this is a three-dimensional job with a top plate housing the technocratic-looking, easy to read power reserve indicator, while the lower one exposes the small seconds display, which is positioned between 9 and 10 hours, as well as the Swiss brand’s love child: the ultra-fast 24-second tourbillon escapement.
Although tourbillons, despite all the legends that follow them, still serve mainly decorative purposes, it is good to know that GF has found a solution that which “minimizes negative effects of gravity on the oscillator,” particularly in what they prefer to call “stable positions”.
Unlike their extreme Greubel Forsey Invention Piece 2 that was revealed two years ago, this new model looks almost serene. Well, at least it is easily readable thank to a pair of normal hour and minute hands and a set of luminous hour markers that are applied directly on a transparent synthetic sapphire ring right below the front crystal.
A real object of art, this beautiful watch will probably cost almost like a luxury, but this is only just: some things were made to be exclusive.
Photos: Greubel Forsey
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Seconds Contemporain watch specification
Price: TBA, very expensive
Movement: Manual, Numero 11, 268 components, two co-axial mainspring barrels, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: No data
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 72 hours
Movement decoration: Hand-finished
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, 24 seconds tourbillon, power reserve
Case material: 18-carat Rose gold / White gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.50 mm
Case height: 15.20 mm
Lug width: No data
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black hand-stitched alligator leather strap with a rose or white gold folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire