To Wear The Greubel Forsey “Architecture” Is To Wear a City On The Wrist

To Wear The Greubel Forsey “Architecture” Is To Wear a City On The Wrist

Haute Time
By Haute Time July 6, 2022

The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture by Greubel Forsey represents a complete departure from traditional movement construction and aesthetics and brings an architectural experience to the wrist.

Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture

Photo Credit: Greubel Forsey

Despite the Swiss watchmaker’s proclivity for innovation and pushing boundaries, never before has Greubel Forsey taken the technical and aesthetic integration of one of its timepieces as far as it has with the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture.

The new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture is not easy to comprehend at first sight. Its components are suspended in space, revealing a harmonious composition of surfaces, shapes and movements. Its case begins to demonstrate this spectacle through the large opening on the dial side, encompassed by relief-engraved Greubel Forsey values that inspired this creation: Architecture, Harmony, Innovation, Technique, Virtuosity, Passion, Science, Exclusivity and Creativity.

While the case looks perfectly round when observed from the dial side, it reveals its convex shape from other angles, along with a large synthetic sapphire crystal ring which envelopes the entire periphery of the case band. Since as early as 2007, Greubel Forsey has been integrating later sapphire crystal apertures. However, it has never before rendered a movement visible from above, below, and from every angle around the case band.

This new case construction enables an exhaustive look at even the smallest detail of the movement, but also allows light to penetrate almost unhindered. Furthermore, unit is this light which sculpts matter and reveals architecture in its intimacy, through a play of shadows and reflections.

Photo Credit: Greubel Forsey

Pushing the envelope further still, Greubel Forsey has now conceived a case which is not only convex but also resembles a conical frustrum in its geometry. In the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture, the diameter around the case back (47.05mm) is wider than it is around the bezel (45mm), thus combining the best of two worlds: It contains enough volume to fully showcase the movement architecture within, while at the same time giving the impression of being significantly smaller than it actually is.

Finally, the 50m water-resistant titanium case features three-dimensional, variable geometry lugs, hand-polished with hand finished straight graining, flowing seamlessly into a rubber strap with embossed text and finished with a titanium folding clasp.

Photo Credit: Greubel Forsey

While the case of the watch is a feat of technology and engineering in its own right, the movement is what stands out as the star of the show.

At 6 o’clock, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes is moored from a large spherical and open worked bridge, whose base remains hidden by design. In its form, the inclined escapement defies gravity, which is compensated in its function. To solve the problem of critical positions of the oscillator in relation to gravity, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes uses a fast rotation speed in addition to a 25° inclination. These combination of these two elements contribute to excellent chronometric performance, especially in stable positions.

The barrel bridge at 10 o’clock is sculpted similarly, with polished spherical surfaces, along with polished beveling and countersinks. The barrel cover is engraved, lacquered and circular-grained and contains three coaxial series-coupled fast-rotating barrels, one of which is equipped with a slipping spring to avoid excess tension. The caliber’s energy source provides 90 hours chronometric power reserve, which is indicated by a moving red triangle over a conical disk at 3 o’clock. This is also held in place by another large polished titanium bridge.

In the center, we find two large curved, open worked and polished steel hands, indicating the hours and minutes, mounted on a signature Greubel Forsey tripod bridge. The time indication is completed at 8 o’clock by a small second on a cylinder with polished flanks – mirroring and echoing every other component in its vicinity.

Photo Credit: Greubel Forsey

The 354 parts of the movement are sculpted and arranged asymmetrically yet harmoniously, similar to an organic process seen in the natural world. The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture will be limited to only 11 pieces in 2022, then to 18 pieces a year between 2023 and 2025 for a total of 65 exclusive timepieces overall.