“A trip to London is always a good excuse to go see classic British cars,” admitted Stephen Forsey, the self-appointed motor-head at Greubel Forsey.
Mr. Forsey’s most recent trip to London also provided an opportunity for him to give a quick lesson in tourbillons to the staff of Marcus Watches, a boutique founded by Marcus Margulies.
The tourbillon, patented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801, is a mechanism that contains the watch’s ‘engine’ in a rotating cage to negate the effect of gravity. It’s often the last complication a watchmaker tackles, due to its complexity, although Greubel Forsey didn’t get the memo.
The brand famously launched, in 2004, with a Double Tourbillon 30°, a timepiece with one tourbillon cage rotating in 60-seconds at an angle of 30° turning inside an outer cage with an orbit of four minutes. The complication presented itslef in a novel, and spectacular way.
The Swiss brand, which is currently celebrating its 10th year in the watchmaking industry, has quickly become the tourbillon specialist, by building its reputation around adaptations of the Double Tourbillon 30°.
In 2011, Greubel Forsey set the record for the most accurate hand-made mechanical watch, when the Double Tourbillon 30 Degrees Technique scored 915 out of 1000 points at the Concours International de Chronometrie. The record still stands today.
During his visit, Mr. Forsey also showed off the Quadruple Tourbillon, the world’s first quadruple tourbillon wristwatch.
Only six are made each year, since the tourbillons for this piece can take up to 10 months to make from start to finish. The rarity of the watch plays a part in its price, a whopping $800,000.
Mr. Forsey’s trip reinforces the creative relationship between Greubel Forsey and Marcus.
The watch retailer, based on Bond street, in London, currently houses a nine-piece collection of specially-commissioned timepieces, all in black DLC coated platinum with the boutique’s famous red at the ’12 o’clock’ marker.
During his visit, Mr. Forsey admitted he had a soft spot for the Greubel Forsey GMT, although he warned that his favorite creation would be “the next one.”
Photo credit: Haute Time. Additional photo courtesy Greubel Forsey.