Greubel Forsey‘s brand style is often modern in design but traditional in decoration and construction, an approach that is best seen on watches with skeletonized movements on their dials. Now, the brand has reimagined its often classic movement aesthetics and combined it with a sleek, sharp case to create the Tourbillon 24-Second Architecture.
While the architecture is fundamentally an iteration of the brand’s fastest spinning and tilting tourbillon, it is powered by an all-new movement with diving bridges and satisfyingly sharp lines. Housed in a sleek titanium case with an integrated strap, the new movement is undoubtedly inspired by its best-selling sports watch.
When I first saw pictures of the perfect watches, my instinct was that it lives up to its name – it’s impressive and very architectural. I love the complicated form in the movement, which creates a great depth, while also being slightly organic thanks to the curved polished bridges. The details of the streamlined case are impressive, especially the sides and edges.
In fact, the architecture is a huge step forward from its predecessors in terms of architecture, no pun intended, how it creates a more contemporary aesthetic for the movement, while retaining the iconic elements of Greubel Forsey, Such as the huge bridge used for the canon pinion. Hold the gem in your hand or jewelry.
An element of its successful architecture is the clever and generous use of geometry in the construction of the case and movement, which now rely on more forms and planes than before.
For example, not only is the case curved on the underside for a better fit, but the sides of the case also slope inward and upward, making the bezel narrower than the back of the case. This helps reduce the perceived size of the case, a useful feature for a brand known for oversized watches.
While the architecture may be the most modern Greubel Forsey to date, it still demonstrates the brand’s understanding of high-end classic watchmaking – but with a modern twist. The movement is chock-full of details like mirror-polished bridges, but they’re made of titanium instead of traditional steel.
Successfully seamlessly combining historical and contemporary watchmaking, the architecture distinguishes itself from its often completely classical counterparts, such as Voutilainen or Ferdinand Berthoud, or ultra-modern, such as fashion Richard Mille.
Perhaps because of its unique proposition, the architecture sells for around $500,000, a respectable sum but on par with comparable models from Greubel Forsey in the past. But the architecture is unique in both design and execution, making it a far more appealing proposition than the brand’s earlier offerings.
object of time
The building is an impressive object – its scale is practically almost a pocket watch – but the format and style of its execution is entirely 21st century.
One of its most modern elements is the case, which is essentially a tall sapphire ring sandwiched between the bezel and back, both of which are titanium. The sapphire ring means the wearer has a near-panoramic view of the movement, which is certainly fitting for a movement with such depth and detail.
Notably, the sapphire ring is drum-shaped with the sides sloping slightly inward towards the bezel. This makes the bezel about 2mm smaller than the case back, adding to the visual and technical complexity of the case.
As with the other 24-second tourbillon variants, one of the details worth investigating is the high-speed tourbillon inclined at 25 degrees. The barrel consists of three vertically stacked mainsprings with a running time of up to 90 hours, divided by three o’clock Sector indicator measurement of position.
But the highlight is of course the movement. The movement that forms the dial landscape does not use any large bridges or plates on the front. Instead, all moving parts are held in place by multiple bridges, giving the movement a highly technical and sophisticated look. Not only the number of bridges creates the appearance, but also the size of some of them.
Equally impressive is that all bridges are actually highly polished titanium, an alloy that is more challenging to mirror finish than steel. But Greubel Forsey goes a step further: some bridges, such as those of the barrel, are arched and rounded, a new boom for the brand.
The barrel and tourbillon are shown on the front, and the back is basically the bottom plate of the movement. The plate covers most of the back, although part of the gear train is exposed. While the plate is large, the details on the back are far from basic.
Finishing is impeccably executed as it is up front. The top of the plate is frosted, the bevel is mirror polished, and each jewel is set in a gold sleeve. One of its most refined features is the tourbillon’s lower bridge, which is brushed concentrically – and of course, all its edges are hand-chamfered.
Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24-Second Architecture
Diameter: 47.05mm (strap) and 45mm (bezel)
Height: 16.8 mm
Material: Titanium and Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m
Movement: Tourbillon 24-second mechanism
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator and tourbillon
Frequency: 21,600 windings/hour (3 Hz)
: Manual winding
Power reserve: 90 hours
Strap: Rubber strap, titanium folding clasp