Positioned to be the most significant North American luxury watch event of the year, WatchTime New York 2021 is only weeks away, and anticipation is growing. Among more than 25 participating brands showcasing rare and new-to-market timepieces is Greubel Forsey, returning to Midtown Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 22-24 and set to showcase the updated GMT Sport that it debuted earlier this year.
When it comes to luxury sports watches, several well-known brands and their iconic models instantly come to mind: Audemars Piguet and its Royal Oak, Patek Philippe and its Nautilus, Vacheron Constantin and its Overseas, to name just a few of the obvious contenders. Ultra-high-end Greubel Forsey was thus an unlikely entrant to this field, but it began asserting itself in the luxury-sport space in 2019 with its original GMT Sport. At Watches & Wonders 2021, the brand amps up the sportiness with a new model boasting a simplified bezel and an integrated steel bracelet.
Taking cues from the original GMT Sport model (below), the new one features a slightly more streamlined take on the case design as well as an updated dial colorway. The watch is the first new model from Greubel Forsey since the GMT Quadruple Tourbillon in titanium, launched at the start of this year, which served as the brand’s only entry in this year’s Watches & Wonders event.
The satin- and polish-finished 45-mm titanium case uses what Greubel Forsey has previously called an “original case geometry” — i.e., a new shape, which resembles a traditional round watch case from the top view but reveals an arched and more ergonomic shape from the side profile. This is the same case shape used on the original GMT Sport, its rationale being to push the limits of comfort for the watch on the wrist, thus offering wearers something truly unique in terms of wearability.
Unique to the new model is a bezel with hand-finished, horizontal straight-graining on its top surface and hand-polished contours and flanks. This finishing differs sharply from the relief-engraved “brand values” bezel seen on the previous model, and allows for “a soft yet striking new form.” On its left side are two pushers, one to select the second time zone and the other for synchronizing the local time with the dial’s 3D globe.The case is secured to the wrist using an integrated titanium bracelet or a rubber strap, both fastening with a double-folding clasp.
The dial of the watch uses an aesthetic in line with previous Greubel Forsey designs, and one essentially the same as on the previous GMT Sport, albeit now opting for blue accents over the previous grey ones. Throughout, you can view the open architecture of the movement, with its combination of suspended bridges, semi-apparent wheels, and floating subdials, all in three dimensions.
Most prominently, you’ll notice the 24 second openworked tourbillon near the 1 o’clock position, a power reserve at 3 o’clock, a terrestrial world-timer towards the bottom right of the face, and a subdial displaying both running seconds and a second time zone at the 11:30 position. The caseback of the watch contributes additional functionality, with outer and central rings completing the sapphire cities disk to give UTC Universal and Summer (or Daylight Savings) time for 24 cities in the major time zones. This disk distinguishes these time zones that use Summer time (by applying them to a light background) from those that do not (which are given a dark background).
Inside the watch is the same movement installed in the 2019 GMT Sport, which was a specially designed caliber for use in the high-valued model. The hand-wound movement is capable of a 72-hour power reserve and beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph. The complicated mechanism is constructed using 435 individual parts, among which are two co-axial, series-coupled, fast-rotating barrels, a variable-inertia balance wheel with gold mean-time screws, the inclined tourbillon, and no less than 63 individual jewels.
Like all Greubel Forsey watches, the updated GMT Sport will be highly limited — just 33 pieces, each priced at CHF 520,000, or about $560,760.
To see the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport in-person, along with countless other rare, luxurious timepieces, be sure to book your tickets now for WatchTime New York 2021!