In A League Of Its Own: The New Greubel Forsey GMT Sport
Greubel Forsey combines ergonomics, technicity, and architecture in the creation of its first sports watch.
When an email arrived in my inbox this morning asking me if I could "whip something up on Greubel Forsey", it made me laugh out loud. That's like asking someone to whip up a quick beef wellington for dinner or a plate of rose-perfumed macaroons for tea. Some things are just not that quick or simple.
When it comes to the territory of complicated watches, Greubel Forsey is the outright ruler of the land. Every year I sit in their SIHH press conference, pencil and notebook in hand, hoping that I'll be able to understand at least some of it. Admittedly, I have come a long way since my very first Greubel Forsey press conference, where I just sat there in total confusion, like I had walked into an astrophysics class when I was expecting art history (I did that at university by the way).
Anyway, enough rambling, let's whip something up on the brand-new Greubel Forsey GMT Sport.
Starting On The Outside
The new Greubel Forsey GMT Sport follows on from the GMT Black presented in 2015 with its sporty black design, however, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have redefined almost every single element of the GMT Black in the creation of something entirely different.
Let's start with the case that comes in a brand-new shape and puts comfort and ergonomics center stage. It comes in a lightweight and ultra-strong profiled 45mm titanium case that is round from the top but arched and ovoid in shape when viewed from other angles to maximize comfort on the wrist. The case features integrated lugs and an integrated strap that fit perfectly. And just to give you an idea of the complexity of this "little" system alone, it is the subject of four patents.
The case is completed by a satin-finished bezel with Greubel Forsey's values engraved onto the outer bezel and an ovoid-shaped sapphire crystal, providing the perfect view on an entirely new movement architecture.
New Movement Architecture
The GMT Sport features an entirely new hand-wound movement with a power reserve of 72 hours (ensured by two co-axial barrels in series). The movement is comprised of a whopping 435 components, all of which have been finished to the highest standards of the Greubel Forsey Atelier.
A 24 Seconds Tourbillon is positioned at one o'clock and represents the third "Fundamental Invention" by the watchmaking duo, after the Double Tourbillon 30° and the Quadruple Tourbillon. This new tourbillon stands out with a cage that is inclined at 25° and makes one full rotation every 24 hours. This inclination, paired with a faster speed, have significantly improved the chronometric performance of this single-tourbillon system, without increasing the height of the caliber.
A Tour Of The Dial
In keeping with the sporting theme of the GMT Sport, the dial has been designed with a focus on legibility and efficiency. The hours and minutes are displayed by concentric curved openworked hands that follow the curvature of the case and movement. Mounted on the suspended black-coated arched bridges is the gear train that overlooks the globe and drives the hour and minute hands. An auxiliary dial between 10 and 11 o'clock displays both the small seconds on a rotating disc and the second time zone. At three o'clock, a power reserve differential is visible with an openworked hand and a red arrow.
The GMT Mechanism
Greubel Forsey's GMT complication was first unveiled in 2011 and has two patents. How it works is that the second time zone is read on the auxiliary dial between 10 and 11 o'clock, which can then be combined with a universal time display given by the rotating globe. The globe is surrounded by a sapphire crystal ring with 24-hour divisions so the user can read local time in all longitudes as well as see whether it is day or night.
On the caseback side of the GMT Sport, the outer and central rings indicate UTC Universal and Summertime for the 24 cities in major time zones. This disc shows which time zones follow summertime (light-colored) and those which don't (dark-colored). Two pushers located on the left side of the case change the second time zone and synchronize the local time with the globe.
The GMT Sport is water-resistant to 100 meters, comes on a black or blue rubber strap, and is limited to 11 pieces.
So there you have it, another magnificent creation from Greubel Forsey with a new sporty look and feel, intuitive reading and mind-blowing mechanics. Something tells me this wasn't something that they "whipped up" in a hurry either!
(Images provided by Greubel Forsey and Watchonista)