Although shop high quality watchmaking Greubel Forsey has constructed a variety of truly spectacular designs over the years, few elements stand out so clearly from the brand’s range as the three-dimensional sculpture of the Earth it uses for its GMT models. This in-depth and finely detailed presentation has evolved through several iterations since its inception, and for Geneva Watch Days 2022, Greubel Forsey presents a new generation of GMT-equipped watches that will entirely replace all previous GMT models in its catalogue. The limited edition Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe carries a heavy burden within the brand’s range, but offers a dramatic new interpretation blending many of its most iconic features with a world-class level of finish.
Greubel Forsey’s distinctive “variable geometry” case design concept is fully applied for the 46.5 mm wide titanium case of the GMT Balancier Convex. What at first glance appears to be a relatively simple tonneau case shape reveals hidden layers of complexity upon close inspection, particularly through the bezel design. The bezel itself, with its brushed top segment and wide polished bevel, follows a unique compound curve, forming an arc to match the rest of the pronounced curve of the case from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock while also bending downward. to meet the relatively flat case. sides at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock in pictures. Following these multiple curves while maintaining the proportions between each of the different segments of the bezel is no small matter of case design, but Greubel Forsey’s use of a domed sapphire crystal that follows this same multidirectional curvature without distortion notable involves a meticulous and extremely difficult manufacturing process. . Of course, this complex case design isn’t without its downsides, and the design’s overall 17.4mm thickness should cut an imposing figure on the wrist. Although Greubel Forsey equips the GMT Balancier Convexe with a sapphire caseback, the entire view under this crystal is devoted to a reference of the 24 time zones, followed in summer and winter time. In keeping with the sporty overall design, Greubel Forsey rates the watch for a solid 100 meter water resistance.
The dial of the Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe offers a cleaner, more distilled layout than its predecessors, but retains many of the brand’s most recognizable motifs. The biggest change, of course, is the positioning of the combination Main Time and World Time sub-dial at 1 o’clock. Rather than previous iterations’ attempts to drift these elements to the side in favor of highlighting more esoteric movement elements, this front and center placement both aids imagery readability and reframes the language. Greubel Forsey’s familiar design concept with a cleaner, more functional design language. ethos. Two floating triangular hands in red handle the primary timekeeping functions of this sub-dial. Just inside these are a pair of rings engraved espousing the core virtues of the Greubel Forsey brand, including words like “Perfection” and “Exclusive”. These are likely to be divisive among enthusiasts, but the engraving work itself appears to be impressively finished in pictures. At the center of the set is the sculpted hemispherical model of the Earth, which functions as a 24-hour world time hand in conjunction with the inner 24-hour ring. As this rendition of the Earth rotates, each location aligns to the corresponding current time, providing an intuitive, graphical display of all 24 time zones in the images. Just below that large sub-dial at 7 o’clock is the other visual centerpiece of the GMT Balancier Convex. The inclined balance wheel, sitting above the exposed movement plate at a 30 degree inclined angle, has become a staple of Greubel Forsey designs in recent years, and here the elegantly slender wheel and slender balance bridge highlight the visual depth of the overall design. The GMT complication is condensed into a small subdial at 9 o’clock, with a single 12 o’clock hand rendered in blued gold. A compact seconds sub-dial at 4 o’clock complements the dial-side complications of the GMT Balancier Convexe, featuring a minimalist execution with a blued hand. Greubel Forsey flanks these sub-dials with the exposed titanium movement plates and bridges, hand-finished with a unique shiny frosted texture.
Inside the Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe beats a new in-house hand-wound movement. Although apparently a skeleton design, most of the cogs in this unnamed new powertrain are hidden in the images, except for the prominent balance wheel at 7 o’clock. Although this is a new movement arrangement for the brand, this new powertrain features many of Greubel Forsey’s trademark innovations, including a pair of series-coupled coaxial barrels rotating at an impressive rotational speed of 3.2 hours. Likewise, the brand’s shock and awe approach to variable inertia balance wheel design is carried over from previous Greubel Forsey movements, including its 30-degree angle to the rest of the movement and the terminal Phillips curve. of the hairspring. The overall performance of this movement is solid, even breathtaking, with a power reserve of 72 hours at a rate of 21,600 bph. Greubel Forsey completes the watch with the option of an integrated titanium bracelet or a textured fabric-effect rubber strap in a striking cobalt blue.
It replaced a real watchmaking showpiece. Only 66 examples of the Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe will be manufactured, with 22 models scheduled for production each year between 2022 and 2024. The Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe is available now from authorized retailers. The starting MSRP of the watch is $400,000 at press time. For more information, please consult the Greubel Forsey website.