Ten-hut! Important watch on deck. It’s a Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie. Eleven years of research and development. No fewer than 935 parts. Two patents filed. And the development of an acoustic resonance cage producing a rich, robust and extremely pure sound, not to mention the inclusion of eleven security functions ensuring maximum peace of mind.
These few elements give an idea of the magnitude of the task that went into creating the first Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie.
The Grande Sonnerie represents a pinnacle that is often not reached in the space of a lifetime. Without a shadow of doubt, the Grande Sonnerie is one of the greatest of watchmaking complications.
Since the beginning of their partnership, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have been thinking out what their own, resolutely contemporary interpretation of this complication could be. For eleven years, the Grande Sonnerie shaped their day-to-day life. Eleven years, during which they worked in the utmost secrecy to assemble the 935 parts of this timepiece, striving in particular to achieve absolute harmony between the movement, the exterior and the acoustics.
The watch represents the quintessence of their expertise and their ideal of watchmaking excellence. With powerful acoustics the watch is water resistant to 3 atm. It is designed for optimum ease of use, while an exceptional repeater power reserve enables it to run for around twenty hours in “Grande Sonnerie” mode. The watch is equipped with a silent striking regulator and a Tourbillon 24 Secondes, all housed within the standard dimensions of a Greubel Forsey case.
The most important elements and indications (such as the tourbillon, the cathedral gongs, the striking hammers, and the power reserve and mode indicators) were incorporated with the greatest care to ensure architectural balance. The watch designers succeeded in housing the 935 parts comprising this timepiece and its exterior in a space measuring 43.5 mm in diameter and 16.13 mm high. The Grande Sonnerie is truly Greubel Forsey’s most complex creation to date.
The movement is manually wound, but the striking mechanism features a self-winding system which provides about 20 hours of power reserve in Grande Sonnerie mode. The minute repeater and its additional striking mechanism sounds the exact time on demand, down to the minute. The specific characteristics of the watch include, in particular: 21,600 vibrations/hour and a 72-hour chronometric power reserve. There are three modes to choose from: Grande Sonnerie (which strikes the hours and the quarters in passing), Petite Sonnerie (which strikes the full hours in passing) and Silence (which does not strike in passing). The pure and rich sound of the Grande Sonnerie is enhanced by an acoustic resonance cage made from titanium.
With this new release, Greubel Forsey becomes part of the elite coterie of watchmakers offering a Grande Sonnerie. Five to eight pieces of the watch will be realized each year.