Augmented ergonomics, Assertive profile
Already in 2015, the GMT Black paved the way for the GMT Sport. Building on this foundation, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have invented and now present the result, a lightweight and ultra-strong, profiled titanium case with ovoid bezel and integrated lugs to showcase the new movement. Water-resistant to 100 meters, the new GMT Sport stands out as their most sport-oriented timepiece to date.
The movement was constructed from scratch – from the suspended arched bridge for the hours and minutes display, to the unique showcase of the Tourbillon 24 Secondes and the universal time display with three dimensional globe. Another truly assertive Greubel Forsey – and a revolution: the successful alliance between ergonomics, technicity and architecture.
Strong and truly original case geometry
The completely new and original titanium case, firmly positions this new GMT in a “sports” league of its own. In their creation of this timepiece, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have pushed back the limits of ergonomics and wrist comfort. They have invented a totally new case form, perfectly round from above, while revealing the accentuated arched and ovoid shape from other angles. The aerodynamics of this timepiece 4 patents are reinforced by its integrated lugs and strap resulting in distinct functional forms that perfectly fit any wrist.
The sweeping satin-finished bezel with Greubel Forsey’s values relief engraved on its outer bevel follows this unique case shape. The curved profile of the 45 mm diameter case and ovoid sapphire crystal provides the perfect showcase for an entirely new movement architecture with an arched bridge and inclined gear train.
Suspended three-dimensional displays
The display side of the GMT Sport presents classic Greubel Forsey architecture, an open, orchestrated theatre between suspended bridges, semi-apparent wheels and floating dials in three dimensions. In keeping with the sporting vocation of this timepiece, the focus is on legibility and efficiency. The hours and minutes are displayed by concentric open-worked hands whose curved profile follows the curvature of the case and movement. Mounted on the suspended arch center bridge with black treated openings, the gear train literally follows the curve of the bridge, overlooking the globe to drive the hour and minute hands.
Ensuring excellent visibility in the dark, the triangular tips of the arrow-shaped hands and the markers on the minute-hour-ring are enhanced with luminescent coating. An auxiliary dial between 10 and 11 o’clock combines the small seconds on a large rotating disc and the second time zone display with a hand. These two coaxial displays with red triangular indexes underline this timepiece’s technicity. The 72-hour chronometric power reserve (ensured by two coaxial barrels in series) is indicated on a sector at 3 o’clock with its openwork hand and highlighted red triangle.
Housed underneath the arched bridge, the power reserve differential is subtly engraved with Greubel Forsey’s values. Whether they are visible on the dial side or concealed in the case-back side, each of the 435 components of this hand-wound movement, including titanium plates and bridges, respect the most demanding criteria of the Greubel Forsey Atelier and the teams utmost concern for the finest workmanship.
The Tourbillon 24 Secondes, the source of exceptional precision
The 24 Seconds Tourbillon is showcased at 1 o’clock secured by its distinctive and highly polished tourbillon bridge with black finished openings. This third Fundamental Invention by Greubel Forsey in the field of the tourbillon (after the Double Tourbillon 30° and the Quadruple Tourbillon) stands out with its cage inclined at 25 ° completing one full rotation in 24 seconds. The faster speed combined with the inventive cage inclination, significantly improves chronometric performance in a single-tourbillon system, with minimal movement height.
This exclusive and patented configuration counters the disturbances induced on the movement by earth’s gravity, especially in stable positions. The rotating tourbillon cage housing the regulating organ has 88 components, for a weight of 0.38 grams – a feat made possible in particular by light-alloy pillars and titanium bridges.
A terrestrial globe showing universal time
Precision and reliability summarise Greubel Forsey’s ground-breaking GMT mechanism, presented for the first time in 2011, with the GMT Black presented in 2015. In this double-patented mechanism, the second time zone indication on the auxiliary dial between 10 and 11 o’clock is combined with a universal time display to intuitively read the current time anywhere in the world.
The remarkable innovation and striking spectacle of the terrestrial rotating globe – seen from above the North Pole – performs each complete anticlockwise turn on its axis in 24 hours. It’s surrounded by a sapphire crystal ring with 24-hour divisions; where the wearer can read local time for all longitudes, including the day / night indicator (light zone / dark zone). On the caseback side of the GMT Sport, outer and central rings complete the sapphire cities disc to give UTC Universal and Summer Time for 24 cities in major time zones.
This disc distinguishes those time zones applying summer time (on a light background) from those that do not (on a dark background). Reviewing the ergonomics, the GMT’s functions use two pushers located on the left side of the case; one to select the second time zone and the other for synchronising the local time with the globe. The titanium and rubber crown also ensures optimum setting.
In a sports league of its own
Created in a limited edition of 11 pieces, the GMT Sport with the key Greubel Forsey values in relief on the bezel has a black or blue rubber strap. A titanium folding clasp reinforces the comfort and ergonomics of this Greubel Forsey timepiece. The GMT Sport, an architectural performance with augmented ergonomics, signed Greubel Forsey.
The summit of true hand-watchmaking
With 95% of this timepiece – including the hairspring – made using only hand-operated tools, one single timepiece requiring an extraordinary 6,000 hours work (equal to three years man-hours), Hand Made 1 by Greubel Forsey takes traditional watchmaking to a new unprecedented summit. Never before has a hand-made timepiece exhibited such a high level of workmanship and precision. This timepiece, unique in the history of watchmaking, is the fruit of a technical and human endeavour of epic proportions, enlisting extraordinary talents and setting the course for the future.
Before the Industrial Revolution and the advent of mass production, watch components had to be made one by one requiring very specific skills, tools and completely hand-operated machines. Today, with industrialisation, excellence in hand craftsmanship has virtually disappeared and these skills are not even taught in schools. Throughout their training and careers, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have amassed extensive experience of hand craftsmanship, both in prototypes or replacement parts for restoration.
Deeply attached to these ancestral skills at the core of such a rich irreplaceable watchmaking heritage, the Naissance d’une Montre 1 adventure with Time Æon Foundation and their determination to pass on their know-how to future generations, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have now gone to unprecedented lengths by creating Hand Made 1, the first incarnation of this out-and-out approach.
Hand Made 1, a landmark in the history of watchmaking
Greubel Forsey unveils the result of this unprecedented watchmaking approach:
Hand Made 1 – an hours/minutes/seconds timepiece with a tourbillon. This creation took an uncharted course because simply replicating an existing calibre by hand was out of the question. The Hand Made 1 has been entirely created from scratch. The movement construction, traditional machining and hand-finishing specialists reflected at length on each of the 272 movement components and 36 case parts, understanding and concentrating on what the hand-made approach allows and how to get the very best out of it. The same questions were asked at every stage: “How can we design this part to be able to make it using traditional tools or machines such a jig borer or lathe? And which shape can we give it so the artisans’ intelligent hands can ensure extraordinary precision and the finest craftsmanship?”
The Hand Made 1 therefore demanded a total overhaul of the creative process, involving the people who would make and decorate each component from the very beginning. This project’s daring was only matched by the creativity and inventiveness required to find new technical solutions. Some parts of the movement were redesigned in order to simplify them. Meanwhile for other mechanisms such as the tourbillon, the number of components had to be increased to allow each part to be made by hand. The timepiece’s relatively modest dimensions (43.5 mm in diameter and 13.5 mm thick) further heightened the difficulty of this task.
Hand Made beauty
In this unique endeavour of Greubel Forsey’s handmade craftsmanship, each component tells a tale. It has its own development process and journey that makes it unique, undergoing long hours of cutting from the raw material guided only by the eye and the human hand. The technical and aesthetic perfection of this Hand Made 1 timepiece is immediately visible and in true Greubel Forsey style, it attributes equal importance to the invisible beauty of all the parts concealed inside the case.
The journey begins with the regulating organ, entirely produced by hand in Greubel Forsey’s workshops, including the balance spring, fashioned from an alloy in the Atelier. The balance spring is then rolled in a hand operated rolling mill (without computer assistance), a process that is certainly an endangered know how – only a few balance springs can be made at a time – whereas in contemporary industrial production, hundreds or thousands are automatically produced at once. The balance wheel is also entirely hand-made with an extraordinary standard of precision and finish.
The escape wheel, with its 20 individually-cut teeth, each with four surfaces that are later ground, is a true tour de force. Meanwhile the machining and finishes of the escape lever alone require a month and a half of work.
The hand making of the tourbillon carriage – with its 69 components weighing a total of 0.521 g – represented another sizeable challenge, as it is not possible to replicate the same geometry of a CNC machine on a traditional jig borer. An increased number of parts are consequently required to form this exquisite, almost airborne mechanism.
All the movement’s components are of course then hand finished true to the finest watchmaking tradition, including the bridges with their polished inner and outer vertical flanks, the unique “Gratté” mainplate, and the wheels with hand polished bevels top and bottom (40 sharp internal angles for a five-spoke wheel). The open dial stands out with its hand-enamelled chapter rings, paired with elegant, finely shaped flame-blued steel hands.
Naturally, the 18k white gold case is also, handmade, thanks to a pantograph mechanical lathe fitted with turning tools, before being patiently satin-finished on the sides and polished on the upper surfaces.
Created as just two or three timepieces per year, the Greubel Forsey Hand Made 1 is destined to become a new watchmaking landmark that unites both past and future.
This new step towards the summit in the finest of craftsmanship is substantiated on the dial at 6 o’clock, where the inscription HAND MADE replaces the usual SWISS MADE.