As a pre-SIHH teaser, the madmen behind Greubel Forsey revealed a watch with the world’s smallest foudroyante jumping seconds complication. Today in Geneva, the young brand put on a display showcasing the continued progress of three of its most important horological innovations.
While the updated GMT Earth may seem identical to previous iterations of the timepiece, the construction has been totally revamped. The dial now includes a multi-level hour ring in synthetic sapphire. There’s nothing quite like a GMT from Greubel Forsey and the added visual benefit from the sapphire really elevates the whole architecture of the piece. However, the real reason people gawk over these watches is the titanium globe that rotates once every 24 hours and can be seen from both sides. Yes, even your crazy uncle that’s a card-carrying member of the Flat Earth Society won’t be able to deny this flawless globe.
The most noteworthy aspect of the new Différentiel d’Égalité is that this is the first time that Greubel Forsey has included a dead-beat second in one of their timepieces. The watch has a regulated driving force that enables steady distribution of power from the mainspring barrel to the regulating organ, which allows the watch to keep precise time throughout its 60-hour power reserve. The timepiece is also equipped with a balance wheel stop and seconds reset that is activated by pulling the crown out. If you look through the exhibition caseback, you can see the hammer mechanism that allows this. The 30-degree inclined angle of the balance wheel and fixed escapement here are also conducive to greater accuracy and nullifying the effects of gravity.
The original Double Balancier was first shown at Baselworld 2009. Almost ten years later and we have an update in 5N red gold with a black gold and enamel dial. The physical dial, which only takes up about half of the available space, is described as a “curtain rising to reveal the duet of the two balance wheels connected by the constant spherical differential.” This is an apt description of the watch’s unconventional construction and it demonstrates how important showmanship is to Greubel Forsey. Given how technically complex the watch is, it wouldn’t be unheard of for aesthetics to be tossed out the window in favor of strict mechanical deliberation. Thankfully, the black gold dial and red gold case provide the ideal backdrop for this horological symphony.