In 2015, Greubel Forsey released the first edition of its Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision, the “sophisticated yet simple” timepiece that would go on to win the Aiguille d’Or award at that year’s Geneva Grand Prix. This year, the brand extends the Vision collection, which began with a white-gold-cased, silvered-dial model, with four new platinum-cased versions bearing four new dial colors.
Despite the watch’s outward simplicity — at least compared to many of the brand’s other super-complex timepieces — Greubel Forsey’s renowned horological inventiveness is very much in evidence. The rapidly rotating 24-second tourbillon, inclined at a 25 degree angle, is visible from the back of the watch (a first for a Greubel Forsey), under a sapphire crystal dome that bulges from the exhibition caseback. This design made it possible for the inclined tourbillon cage to overlap the surface of the movement’s bridges and enabled the watchmakers to make the 950 platinum case extra thin — 13.65 mm high (16.03 mm in total, including the dome) — while still retaining its fairly large diameter of 43.5 mm (just a smidgen thicker than the original’s white-gold case). Also on the back of the watch is the “sector”-style power reserve indicator, which tracks the watch’s 72-hour power reserve by means of a pointer and a numbered scale.
The movement is comprised of 293 total parts, including 86 devoted to the tourbillon cage. It features two series-coupled barrels that rotate once every 3.2 hours. The free sprung, variable-inertia balance has a frequency of 21,000 vph. The nickel silver bridges are frosted and spotted with polished beveling and countersinks and feature straight grained flanks and nickel palladium treatment. Among the technical highlights visible is the distinctly designed lower tourbillon bridge, which calls to mind a Romanesque vault and whose arched and barreled surface is polished by hand.
The four new dial options available are anthracite black, blue, chocolate brown, and salmon. Other than the aperture placed at 9 o’clock that allows a glimpse into the movement, all the dials, which are made from gold, have an understated, elegant look, with lance-shaped hands (in polished or blued steel, depending on the dial) that are finished by hand; either oven-fired enamelled (on the salmon dial) or gold hour numerals and indices; an applied Greubel Forsey logo in gold below the 12 o’clock numeral; and a discreet small seconds subdial at 4 o’clock.
All four of the new Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision watches will be produced in very small editions of just a few pieces per year. Each watch has an engraved gold plate on the movement with an individual series number, and comes on a hand-sewn alligator strap — black, blue, or brown, depending on the dial — with a platinum pin buckle. They retail for $345,000. We had the rare chance to get up close and personal with several of these new timepieces both at SIHH 2017 and during a recent meeting with Greubel Forsey in New York City. Scroll down to see some photos of of them.