Just as if the news two days ago about the Mechanical Nano weren't big and impressive enough, Greubel Forsey adds to the excitement in preparation for the SIHH 2017 —from where we will be reporting live next Monday January 16th, 2017— with the release of one of the most impressive timepieces out there, we are talking about the Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie. A timepiece that took eleven years of research and development and assembling of no less than 935 parts in addition to the filling of two patents. The development of an acoustic resonance cage producing an extremely pure sound. The incorporation of eleven security functions ensuring maximum peace of mind. These few elements alone give an idea of the magnitude of the almost gargantuan task of creating the first Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie.
For every watchmaker even slightly fascinated by the history of watchmaking excellence, the Grande Sonnerie represents a culmination, a pinnacle that is often not reached in the space of a lifetime. Without a shadow of doubt, the Grande Sonnerie is one of the greatest of watchmaking complications. Since the very beginning of their partnership, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have been thinking out what their own, resolutely contemporary interpretation of this regal complication could be. For eleven years, the Grande Sonnerie shaped their day-to-day life. Eleven years, during which they worked in the utmost secrecy to assemble the 935 parts of this timepiece, striving in particular to achieve absolute harmony between the movement, the exterior and the acoustics. This timepiece represents the quintessence of their expertise and their ideal of watchmaking excellence. This Grande Sonnerie has powerful acoustics and is also water resistant to 30 meters —not that anyone would dare operating it underwater as it makes no sense.
The new Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie is ergonomically designed for optimum ease of use, while an exceptional repeater power reserve enables it to run for about twenty hours in “Grande Sonnerie” mode. The timepiece is equipped with a silent striking regulator and a Tourbillon 24 Secondes, all housed within the standard dimensions of a Greubel Forsey case where the most important elements and indications —such as the tourbillon, the cathedral gongs, the striking hammers, and the power reserve and mode indicators— were incorporated with the greatest care to ensure architectural balance. For this feat of horology, the watch designers succeeded in housing the 935 parts comprising this timepiece and its exterior in a space measuring 43.5 mm in diameter and 11.13 mm in thickness. The Grande Sonnerie is well and truly Greubel Forsey’s most complex creation to date.
The movement is manually wound, but the striking mechanism features a self-winding system which provides about 20 hours of power reserve in Grande Sonnerie mode. The minute repeater and its additional striking mechanism sounds the exact time on demand, down to the minute. This exceptional movement beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph with a 72-hour chronometric power reserve and is equipped with three modes to choose from: Grande Sonnerie —which strikes the hours and the quarters in passing—, Petite Sonnerie —which strikes the full hours in passing— and Silence —which does not strike in passing. The pure and rich sound of the Grande Sonnerie is enhanced by an acoustic resonance cage made from titanium. Greubel Forsey is now part of the very exclusive circle of the few watchmakers offering a Grande Sonnerie. Five to eight pieces of this timepiece will be offered per year.
Live pictures coming up next week straight from the SIHH 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sticker Price CHF 1,150,000 Swiss Francs —approximately $1,133,000 USD. For more info on Greubel Forsey click here.