Insider: Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain. Hands-on with an Exceptional Tourbillon Worth Close to Half a Million Dollars.

Following its royal blue predecessor, Greubel Forsey unveiled a brand new interpretation of the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain, this time with a natural titanium movement. The timepiece is still housed in a 5N red gold or white gold case measuring 44.5 mm in diameter and 15.2 mm in thickness. The simplicity of its external appearance resonates with the harmony of its internal architecture. It's three-dimensional character is subtly accentuated by the movement's many levels. Looking at the timepiece, the eyes are first drawn deep into the great elliptical cut-out, then you get struck by the hands, which seem to surge up from a metal geyser overhanging the sapphire crystal minute track. This latter conceals the Tourbillon bridge also made from sapphire crystal. The previous version radiated a flamboyant blue; however, the natural grey finish on this version gives it a discreet air of elegance.

The Dial

The exceptional Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain in 5N red gold is another one of the exceptional inventions from this manufacture. This timepiece measuring 44.5 mm in diameter is full of intricate details and a perfect example of ultra 'haute horlogerie'. Worthy of this detailed hands-on review, this is a watch where the eye is drawn from one place to the next, enabling careful observation of each separate element on it. Its gray dial with elliptical cut-out shows the 'grandeur' of the quality of work from Greubel Forsey. The dial features a 24 seconds tourbillon with rotation indicator between 7 and 8 o'clock that is suspended and inclined at a 25 degree angle thanks to a sapphire crystal bridge with an olive-domed jewel in a gold chaton. For unparalleled readability, the sapphire crystal is treated with anti-reflective treatment on both sides.

The dial features a sapphire crystal disc around the perimeter of the case with applied markers and a 12'oclock numeral marker. The tridimensional depth of the mechanism and the dial are a real treat for the eyes. The dial also features a 72-hour power reserve sector indicator at 4, a small seconds register at 9 o'clock and skeletonized hands with superluminova tips. Every single component on the front has been perfectly crafted with the utmost care and with remarkable attention to detail. The black and red elements on the dial create a symphony of contrasts that is unparalleled.

The Case & Crown

Just as if the dial and the movement weren't enough treat for the eyes, Greubel Forsey goes the extra mile by including two intricately hand engraved plates that are screwed to the 44.5 mm case on its case band on both sides bearing the now usual text in French that describes the values and attributes of this horological masterpiece. The plate on the crown side says: 'Savoir-Faire', 'Inventeurs Horlogers', 'Créativité', 'Technicité', 'Univers Original', 'Bienfacture d'Exception', 'Oeuvre Unique', 'Noblesse Esthétique', 'Inventeurs Horlogers', 'Créativité' and 'Technicité'. The perfectly sized crown features an engraved and black lacquered Greubel Forsey logo. Honestly, it really doesn't get more intricate than this when it comes to attention to details. 

The plate on the left case band features the following text also in French, that is pure horological poetry: "Nous, inventeurs horlogers, avons donné vie a ce garde-temps d'exception, subtile alchimie éntre créativité et techinicité. Notre savoir-faire exclusif et bienfacture se reclétent dans la complexité de cette realisation élaborée a votre intention." The translation of this text to English is: "We horological inventors, have given life to this exceptional timepiece, a subtle alchemy between technique and creativity. Our exclusive know-how and craftsmanship are reflected in the complexity of this creation for you." While this watch is water resistant to 30 meters we only wonder who would even dare to get in a pool or a shower with this timepiece on their wrist.

The Strap

To round out the amazing look of this masterpiece of horology, the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain is fitted with a very elegant and nicely hand-sewn black alligator strap. The strap is fitted with a comfortable and very easy to use deployant double-folding clasp in matching 5N red gold with the Greubel Forsey logo on the front of the clasp and with bead blasted sides.

The Movement

The beating heart inside the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain is fully visible via the display case back. Powering this watch is the manual-wound calibre Greubel Forsey GF01c with patented tourbillon. The movement is composed of 365 parts, one tourbillon cage with 88 parts —weighing 0.38 grams—, two coaxial series fast rotating barrels, 40 olived-domed jewels in gold chatons, frosted titanium main plates and nickel-silver bridges frosted and spotted with polished beveling and nickel-palladium treatment. When fully wound, this calibre provides a power reserve of 72 hours —3 days— while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph.

On the Wrist & Pricing

If you want to own one of the most fascinating timepieces out there and a watch that very few will have the pleasure of owning, then this Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain is the way to go. If you are accustomed to the best and that is your rule of thumb, this Greubel Forsey will for sure put a smile on your face every time you catch yourself contemplating it for extended periods of time. 

Sticker Price $470,000 USD. For more info on Greubel Forsey click here.