Just unveiled at SIHH 2012 is the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain.
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey are perhaps best known for their development of the tourbillon. Not content with its "traditional" arrangement, they stubbornly tinker with it, and in doing so have created some of the most innovative and exquisite tourbillon watches you are ever likely to see.
The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain timepiece is technically accomplished, technically superb and er.... very blue. Now, there is more than one kind of "blue" used in the creation of beautiful watches - there is the Maurice Lacroix kind of blue, sensible and conservative even when sun-brushed; there is "vintage" blue as used by Girard Perregaux for their 1966 Blue Dial Chronograph ... intensely vivid? that would be De Bethune "blue". Greubel Forsey's blue is an all-consuming kind of blue - and not content with simply creating a blue dial, they have oxidised the plates and bridges so it's eye-piercing inside and out.
There is an extraordinary depth to this watch - it is truly three-dimensional. The lively tourbillon is "elevated" on its sapphire bridge at an incline of 25 degrees, the hands with their distinctive ample, chunky arrow-tips rise proudly from the lower reaches of the dial. The only numeral, the number 12 is chunky, block-styled and pokes out, clearing a space between layers of sapphire.
As a counterbalance to all that synthetic stuff, the small seconds dial and the power reserve indicator are made from gold. The titanium plate and bridges of the movement have been oxidised, resulting in that stunning shade of royal blue, before undergoing hand finishing by some of the most picky craftsmen in the business. The tourbillon alone has 88 parts, is housed in a titanium cage and completes each revolution in a mesmerising 24 seconds.
Such a nobel watch deserves a worthy case and Greuble Forsey choose platinium - this piece measures 43.5mm across and features domed sapphire front and back.
Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain will be a limited edition of 33 pieces.
More tourbillons and other terrific, technical stuff from Greubel Forsey -