Greubel Forsey is one of the partner brands of Richemont and has its stand inside the SIHH - like Audemars Piguet or Richard Mille, for instance. However, the mad men of the manufacture don't evolve as fast as the other brands. One new model a year, maximum. The company remains quite small, with 100 people manufacturing 100 pieces a year. However, this small team has reached the incredible achievement of 17 calibers developed in-house, and three "Inventions Fondamentales", that is to say real breakthrough innovations in the world of horology.
In 2015, Greubel Forsey unveiled a new piece, but not a new development as such. The first steps were completed two years ago, and featured a kind of horologic computer. Its goal was to make predictable some irregular events in the calendar, such as the precise day of Easter, which changes every year. This is, in a nutshell, an embedded intelligence that can be transposed in any given timepiece.
The first watch to benefit from it is a QP. This is indeed the perfect destination for it: while the caliber takes care of all the traditional information related to a QP (date, month, leap year, moonphase), the mechanical computer is embarked next to the caliber to take care of equinox and solstice, as well as seasons.
The main challenge for Greubel Forsey was to make the whole thing legible. With such a volume of information, dials can quickly become confusing. To solve this problem, the manufacture placed a lot of information on the back of the watch. Who needs to know on a daily basis what year it is and in which season we are ? This is typically the information sent on the wrist side.
However, not less than nine indications can be read on the dial. Apart from hours, minutes and seconds, the QP à Equation displays day, grande date and month, as well as a power reserve, a night / day indicator next to a QP / HM indicator - showing the user if he is adjusting time or calendar. Thanks to this latest indicator, every adjustment can be done with the crown.
On the back of the piece lies the most important part of the watch, with a Manta ray design. Its use is pretty simple : it is made of two lines, one blue, one red, just up above a minutes scale. If the blue line crosses the scale at, for instance, 5 mn, it means that the solar time is 5 minutes earlier than conventional time. If it's a red line, it's five minutes ahead. The head of the Manta ray indicates the season and, inside of it, the equinoxe and solstice. Simple and easy to read but, above all, the fruit of many years of research. Which has a cost: 670,000 Euros.
The second main piece unveiled by Greubel Forsey is called Vision. It is, in simple words, a new use of the Invention #3 of the duet, the Tourbillon Incliné 24 Secondes. It is now proposed in a brand new disruptive case. Disruptive...for Greubel Forsey, that is to say very simple, round and pure - in fact, the contrary of what the industry generaly sees as "disruptive". While the manufacture had used our eyes to very complexe shapes and dials, with tailor-made cases to embark their crazy complications, the Vision case has nothing to offer than a round case, some index, a 12 and a 6, and a small second. In a way, the piece is quite close from the creations of Philippe Dufour, where nothing is more important than legibility and purity. The Vision, all made in white gold (dial included) will be a limited edition of 22 pieces at 290,000 Euros each.
Last but not least, Greubel Forsey unveiled two new versions of their GMT (master)piece, one in black and one with a 5N gold finishing (22 pieces as well, positioned between 510,000 and 550,000 Euros).
Visit the Greubel Forsey website