Today, we bring you a new watch that left many in awe at the SIHH 2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. The new Greubel Forsey GF01 Signature 1 Unique Edition was presented as the point of entry watch into the Greubel Forsey brand. This watch not only represents a new era for Greubel Forsey, but it also revives a popular concept dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries known as 'subscription watch' and made popular by Abraham-Louis Breguet. A 'subscription watch' is pretty much a prepaid watch that allows the future owner to prepay for the timepiece —sometimes in full, sometimes in installments— or put it in some sort of layaway plan —before it is even produced—, and for the creator of said timepiece, to get immediate access to cash flow to create the timepiece.
The new SIHH 2016 Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Unique Edition timepiece is not only very unique because it's being offered in stainless steel —a metal never before used by Greubel Forsey—, but also because this new signature creation, allows for a talented watchmaker part of the existing Greubel Forsey team, to work on a timepiece from scratch using Greubel Forsey's resources and components, and then co-sign the creation with Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey.
The co-creator in the case of the new Greubel Forsey GF01 Signature 1 Unique Edition is Didier J.G. Cretin. Didier is a brilliant watchmaker and longtime team member at Greubel Forsey that has created this manual wound watch with three hands without a tourbillon function, and which instead, features an exclusively designed Greubel Forsey balance and an all gold dial. The new Greubel Forsey GF01 Signature 1 Unique Edition is offered in a limited edition of 33 precious metal pieces —11 in 18K white gold, 11 in 5N red gold and 11 in platinum— and for the very first time, an additional 33 of them in stainless steel.
While the gold and steel versions feature a white silvered solid gold dial with hours and minutes in black, the platinum version will feature a black-anthracite solid gold dial with hours and minutes in white. The small seconds located at 8 o'clock are in white silvered gold with diamond finish beveling.
The balance is the most prominent feature on the dial, placed at a sharp angle between 8 and 6 o'clock and finished with a mirror polished bridge. Regarding the hands, the gold and steel versions will come with polished blued steel hands with hand polished countersink and the platinum version will sport polished gold hands also with hand polished countersink.
The new Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Unique Edition is fitted with case available in four different metals —for the first time also available in stainless steel— measuring 41.40 mm in diameter and 11.70 mm in thickness. The watch is equipped with a convex sapphire crystal and a display case back with 'Signature 1' and 'Greubel Forsey' raised engraving. The case features a straight-grain finish with highly polished chamfers and a mirror polished bezel. The individual number for each watch in this 66-piece limited edition is hand engraved on the case back.
The beating heart inside this new 'time only' Greubel Forsey creation is the GFS1 manual wound calibre. This manual wound movement is composed of 190 parts —61 parts for the escapement platform—, 21 jewels in olived-domed gold chatons, barrel equipped with a fixed mainspring-bridle and winding system with sliding click. The main plates are nickel silvered with Côtes de Genève, frosted and spotted with straight-grained flanks and nickel-palladium treated. Didier J.G. Cretin's signature appears on the blackened plate at the bottom of the movement.
The movement also features a circular-grained steel barrel bridge with hand-polished bevelling and countersinks and a gold plate engraved with the individual number. The escapement platform features straigth-graining, polished steel pillars and a flat black polished steel balance wheel bridge. The movement beats at a frequency of 18,000 vph to provide a power reserve of 54 hours when fully wound.
The round out the elegant look of the new Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Unique Edition, the watch is fitted with a hand-sewn alligator strap with matching pin buckle —depending on the metal of the case— with hand-engraved Greubel Forsey logo.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its actual size and very comfortably. This new watch by Greubel Forsey is definitely a more wearable creation with unparalleled wrist presence and mesmerizing appearance. However, the price tag of 150,000 Swiss Francs for stainless steel might deter more than just a few when it comes to considering buying the new Greubel Forsey Signature 1 Unique Edition.
Sticker Price CHF 150,000 Swiss Francs for stainless steel and 170,000 for all other metals. For more info on Greubel Forsey click here.