24 Hours Later: The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture from Greubel Forsey
There have been a lot of exciting developments coming from Greubel Forsey. So, today, Watchonista takes a look at the independent watchmaker’s newest creation: the Tourbillon 24 Seconds Architecture.
The La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland-based brand, Greubel Forsey, has always been a cult favorite among discerning collectors. Sut since the appointment of CEO Antonio Calce last year, there have been big moves in how the brand produces, markets, prices, and distributes its unique and carefully crafted timepieces.
And while we can’t say for certain that Greubel Forsey’s latest release, the Tourbillon 24 Seconds Architecture, is a result of this influx of energy, it does help throw a well-deserved spotlight on this dynamic piece.
As the name suggests, the Tourbillon 24 Seconds Architecture is all about structure.
Greubel Forsey is famous for its tourbillons, especially those with inclined and multiple-axis escapements. And ever since the independent brand was founded in 2004 by Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, the two have pushed their brand to the boundaries of traditional watchmaking by inventing and perfecting a completely new generation of tourbillons (i.e., the Tourbillon 24 Secondes, Double Tourbillon 30°, and Quadruple Tourbillon).
The brand has also explored new horizons in the areas of energy, space, and nanotechnology. For example, the Double Balancier Convexe, released this past March, features two unique inventions: two balance wheels that are separated and inclined at 30 degrees while only being linked by a constant spherical differentiator that provides constant power distribution to the mechanism. Therefore, the watch ensures accuracy and a 72-hour power reserve.
But in the case of the Tourbillon 24 Seconds Architecture, the brand wanted a complete departure from traditional tourbillon engineering. As a result, the brand's latest asymmetrically arranged calibre is constructed with 354 parts. These include polished titanium bridges atop the frosted finish of the mainplate, a gravity-defying escapement with a 25° inclination, fast-rotating barrels (overall, the watch beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations/hour), and more.
Room with a View
Of course, when you have a watch calibre this complex and beautifully assembled, you (naturally) want to show it off. Thus, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture features a large, synthetic sapphire crystal ring that envelopes the entire periphery of the caseband.
As early as 2007, Greubel Forsey has been integrating lateral sapphire crystal apertures. But never before has the brand rendered a movement visible from above, below, and virtually every angle around the caseband. Moreover, the synthetic sapphire crystal caseback offers yet another window into the mechanism.
These details offer the wearer an unobstructed view of the movement, and they can observe almost all of the movement’s 354 individual parts.
The Tourbillon 24 Seconds Architecture appeals to the touch as well. Because of its titanium construction and sumptuous lines, it wears quite comfortably on the wrist. Plus, the variable geometry bezel and the caseback both feature raised engraved text for a tactile experience.
And while the titanium case looks perfectly round when observed from the dial side, its convex shape becomes obvious when examined from other angles. Convex cases are still a relatively rare in watch design, but I have recently become a little obsessed with them. These curved surfaces add an extra visual fluidity to the silhouette. In the case of the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture, this dynamism is the perfect complement to the kinetic motion of the tourbillon movement.
Greubel Forsey calls this timepiece “a city on the wrist,” and it’s an apt description because the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture’s infrastructure, engineering, and decorative elements all come together organically to create a whole.
Yet, for all the complexity and craftmanship that goes into making the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture, it is still, at its heart, a watch you can wear every day.
For precision, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture’s movement is moored upon a spherical and openworked bridge. Meanwhile, the escapement uses a fast rotation speed along with its 25° inclination to ensure excellent chronometric performance, especially in stable positions, over its 90-hour power reserve.
For performance, the watch features two easy-to-read steel hands that are large, curved, openworked, and polished to indicate the hours and minutes.
Additionally, the power reserve indicator is a moving red triangle that floats over a conical disk at 3 o’clock.
Lastly, it is delivered on a rubber strap secured by a titanium folding clasp and engraved with the GF logo.
Pricing & Availability
(Images © Greubel Forsey)