If you thought Greubel Forsey would be trending toward more conservative designs after the brand’s first sub-40-mm timepiece, the Balancier Contemporain, was unveiled at SIHH in January, then you thought wrong. Today, one of watchmaking’s leading independent brands is combining two of its most popular and recognized timepieces, the GMT and Quadruple Tourbillon, into one single bold model, the brand-new GMT Quadruple Tourbillon.
Fans of Greubel Forsey should be well aware of the company’s experiments in the realm of tourbillon-enhanced timepieces as the first three of the brand’s trademark Fundamental Inventions since the firm was founded in 2004 revolved around it. First came the Double Tourbillon 30° in 2004, then the Quadruple Tourbillon in 2005, and finally, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes in 2006. Today’s release looks back into Greubel Forsey’s second Fundamental Invention and combines it with their innovative, three-dimensional GMT display that was first unveiled in 2011.
The original Quadruple Tourbillon effectively works by using the Double Tourbillon 30° as its base and doubling that layout one more time to create four total tourbillons that are coupled together to save space in the watch’s already large dimension. Also as in the Double Tourbillon, the cages rotate once per minute (inner) and every four minutes (outer); Greubel Forsey uses a spherical differential between the two tourbillons to distribute energy between them and to improve total chronometric performance.
The GMT, originally released in 2011, has also been one of Greubel Forsey’s most culturally recognized and horologically significant releases, with its notable three-dimensional globe that accomplishes a full rotation every 24 hours. The GMT has seen a variety of incremental updates since it was first introduced in 2011, including last year’s GMT Earth.
Greubel Forsey had to develop an entirely new movement over an approximate three-and-a-half year period to bring these two remarkable timekeeping mechanisms together. The manually-winding movement is comprised of 805 parts with three fast-rotating barrels. The brand has filed for three patents for this new caliber. Just like with the watch’s direct predecessors, a three-dimensional dial and movement architecture is on full display. Starting in the upper-right corner of the dial, the primary timekeeping display (hours/minutes) is the tallest point of the watch itself. On the lower part of the dial, a power-reserve display indicates how much of the 72-hour running autonomy remains; remarkably, the Quadruple Tourbillon GMT boasts the brand’s longest-running power reserve found in its 15-year history. At the traditional 4 o’clock spot, a coaxial small seconds and second time zone display are located, with the second time zone being adjustable in one-hour increments by means of a pusher that is directly flush with the case itself. Between the 8 and 9 o’clock zone is the GMT function that is visible courtesy of the oversize, three-dimensional globe. On either side of the Earth model are the dueling double tourbillons, each featuring an open and transparent construction, secured by black polished bridges and adorned with gold chatons as well as hand-polished beveling and countersinks. The balance uses a Phillips terminal curve.
The movement features the expected level of superlative finishing with nickel silver bridges that have been frosted and spotted with polished bevels and countersinks, and straight-grained flanks. A gold plate visible through the caseback is engraved with the watch’s limited edition number. The four tourbillon bridges are made of steel and are black polished with hand-polished beveling and countersinks.
On the watch’s caseback is a world-time disk with 24 cities that represent the different time zones across Earth. This disk also distinguishes between the time zones that implement Daylight Saving Time appearing in a light color and those that do not in a darker color.
The Greubel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon is limited to 66 total pieces with the first run of 11 watches confirmed to be in white gold. Other precious metal case materials will follow. The price is available upon request.