Greubel Forsey today unveils a new GMT Earth sporting a contemporary blackened titanium case, a black dial and black bridges.
A limited edition of eleven pieces, the newly darkened GMT Earth is Greubel Forsey’s third and final interpretation of the groundbreaking watch. When it first appeared in 2011 it featured a partial view of its dial-set titanium globe, which displays time around the world. Seven years later, in 2018, Greubel Forsey set the orb within a clear sapphire frame, which allowed unobstructed views of the laser-engraved globe.
The GMT collection has expanded in the years since that debut and now also includes the GMT Sport, the GMT Quadruple Tourbillon and the GMT.
This latest and final GMT Earth, with its titanium case, is the lightest of the trio (at 117 grams) when compared to the earlier white gold and platinum-cased editions. Titanium also brings with it full non-magnetic and hypoallergenic properties.
The dial here is the darkest we’ve seen in the GMT collection. Underscoring its black theme, Greubel Forsey uses a black treatment to darken the globe, all the frosted bridges, the mainplate and the sectorial subdials. Even the natural rubber strap is black.
As a reminder, the GMT Earth features four primary displays on its dial side. These include the off-center hours, minutes and seconds display, the red-handed GMT indicator, the power reserve indicator (near the crown) and of course the globe.
Situated between 7 o’clock and 9 o’clock, the Earth, which rotates once every 24 hours, features an engraved sapphire ring around the equator that acts as a day/night indication. This means you can quickly determine which hemisphere is in the daytime and which is at night.
A peek through the side of the case reveals the globe’s equator. And of course a wearer can enjoy the whirling Tourbillon 24 Secondes, positioned just below the power reserve display, which contributes to the watch’s high level of precision. Price: CHF 590,000.
Specifications: Greubel Forsey GMT Earth
(Limited edition of 11 pieces)
Movement: Greubel Forsey GMT with Tourbillon inclined at a 25 angle 1 rotation in 24 seconds. 72-hour power reserve, 21,600-vph frequency
Case: 45.50mm by 16.18mm titanium with titanium plates, engraved, hand-finished with text, screwed to the caseband, three-dimensional, asymmetrical, synthetic sapphire crystal bezel, water resistant to 30 meters.
Dial: Multi-level hour-ring in synthetic sapphire, galvanic growth hour indexes, engraved and lacquered minutes and small seconds, power-reserve and GMT indicators in gold, engraved and lacquered, circular-grained with black treatment. Rotating globe with day-and-night UTC indicator in synthetic sapphire, engraved and lacquered. Indications: GMT, 2nd time zone, rotating globe with universal time and day-and-night, complete and global view from northern to southern hemisphere, universal time on 24 time zones, summer and winter time, cities observing summer time, hours and minutes, small seconds, power-reserve.
Strap: Rubber or hand-sewn alligator and titanium folding clasp, engraved with the GF logo.
Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.
By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle
In this final installment of our series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight Girard-Perregaux and Richard Mille.
Girard-Perregaux has signed a multi-year agreement as the official watch partner of British automotive manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda and the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 team. Both brands are commemorating milestones this year: founded in 1791, the Swiss watchmaker is one of the oldest fine watchmaking manufactures still in operation and celebrates its 230th anniversary, while Aston Martin marks its return to Formula 1 after a hiatus of over sixty years.
For the 2021 F1 season, Girard-Perregaux branding appears on Aston Martin F1 car rear-view mirrors and team uniforms. Girard-Perregaux’s and Aston Martin’s design teams have participated in high-level discussions on movements, esthetics, functionality, material usage and ergonomics.
Several limited-edition timepieces will be unveiled, the first of which was released last June.
Revisiting a Girard-Perregaux legend, the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition is an 18-piece skeletonized high-end timekeeper with no dial or bezel. Three black PVD-treated titanium bridges appear to float between panes of sapphire crystal.
The lightweight, 79-component tourbillon cage weighs in at only 0.25 grams, thereby reducing energy consumption, while the micro-rotor’s vertical flank is etched with the Aston Martin name filled with white luminescence.
In a world first, Girard-Perregaux introduces an innovative material never used before in watchmaking on its calf leather strap: a central insert in rubber injected with white gold.
“Rarely do we work with others to reinterpret the Three Bridges, explains CEO Patrick Pruniaux. “However, on this occasion, we have made an exception, mindful of Aston Martin’s prowess for design.”
Later in 2021, a second timepiece will be launched, from another of the manufacture’s iconic collections. We can also expect to see Girard-Perregaux clocks in Aston Martin road cars.
Girard-Perregaux has a long history of collaborations with the automotive universe. During the mid-1990s, then owner and car enthusiast Luigi Macaluso began a ten-year partnership with Ferrari, and together they produced the highly-successful Ferrari watches.
“Girard-Perregaux has had strong ties to the automotive world in the past, which we were keen to reactivate in a stronger way,” notes Clémence Dubois, Girard-Perregaux’s chief marketing and product officer.
Calling its timepieces ‘racing machines on the wrist,’ Richard Mille is no stranger to the automotive world, with friends and partners like Jean Todt, Alain Prost, Felipe Massa, Sébastien Loeb and the Venturi Formula E team. The brand even owns an all-women LMP2 racing team.
After discussions for Richard Mille’s collaboration with both Ferrari’s racing and road car divisions were initiated last summer, this year it is partnering two F1 teams – Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren Racing – while continuing personal relationships with F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher.
The new multi-year tie-up extends from Formula 1, WEC endurance programs and Competizioni GT to the renowned Ferrari Challenge single-model championship for gentlemen drivers worldwide as well as for the Ferrari Driver Academy. Starting in 2022 Richard Mille will launch a series of watches bearing the famous Ferrari Prancing Horse logo, developed by Richard Mille’s team in Switzerland and Ferrari’s designers and engineers.
“Richard Mille has since its inception been viewed as the Formula 1 of watchmaking,” says Tim Malachard, Richard Mille’s marketing director. “The inspiration of materials and technology found in F1 being applied to produce extremely technical, ergonomic and light timepieces. It is also not a secret that those who like cars and motor racing are also fans of watches. Ferrari and Richard Mille share many common values, and many of our customers are owners of either brand, so another good reason to collaborate over the next few years.”
To mark its fifth year of partnership with McLaren Automotive, Richard Mille launched the RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail last May in tribute to the fastest road-going car the British carmaker has ever built, with a top speed of 250 mph. The watch is available in a limited edition of 106 timepieces to match the exclusivity of the 106 Speedtail hypercars.
“There are many similarities between the way that Richard Mille and McLaren approach common design and engineering challenges, such as saving weight, reducing vibrational impact and minimizing resistance,” says Rob Melville, McLaren automotive’s design director.
The watch’s lines mimic the car’s teardrop shape – significantly wider at 12 o’clock than at 6 o’clock – and its bezel indentations evoke bonnet openings while its pushers recall air outlets behind the front wheels.
The watch also debuts numerous firsts in a Richard Mille-manufactured automatic tourbillon: in-house power reserve display, oversize date and function selector complications. Richard Mille’s casing department required an unprecedented 2,800 hours over eighteen months to perfect the contours of the titanium and Carbon TPT case, with the conception of five prototypes before the optimum shape was reached.
As the case tapers between the bezel and caseback, Richard Mille developed an innovative upper crystal glass featuring a “triple contour” to protect the movement.
Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.
While all the previous six deeply artisanal Handwerkskunst models are horological works of both art and technique, this latest example may be the first to also revive (if only for this debut) a retired collection, the rectangular-cased Cabaret.
The limited-edition (of thirty pieces) watch is a special, possibly one-off version of a Cabaret that, in 2008, was the first mechanical wristwatch with tourbillon stop seconds.
The new Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst re-introduces (with updates) the still unusual rectangular-shaped movement A. Lange & Söhne used in earlier Cabaret Tourbillon models. But in addition to that already intriguing launch, the debut heightens the watch’s eye-appeal with an impressive applied enamel lozenge-patterned dial.
Each section of the dial has been separated with a decorated thin line, which also creates a dramatic three-dimensional aspect. Then A. Lange & Söhne coats the dial with a semi-transparent enamel layer that adds even more depth and showcases the dial’s metallic shades of grey. Price: 315,000 euros.
Here are the other debuts from A. Lange & Söhne for Summer 2021.
A.Lange & Söhne celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its famed Langematik Perpetual with two models, both with a blue dial. Look for it in both pink gold and white gold.
This is the watchmaker’s first self-winding watch with a perpetual calendar and the Lange outsize date. It features a zero reset mechanism and a primary corrector that simultaneously advances all calendar displays. Both models are made as limited editions of fifty pieces. Price: $91,800.
The fourth debut is a newly gold-cased Saxonia Thin with an arresting gold-flux-coated blue dial. The glittering manual-wind watch, a favorite (at least at iW) since its debut several years ago in white gold, measures 40mm by 6.2mm and really sparkles in any light to emulate a starry night sky. The secret: Thousands of copper oxide crystals embedded in the deep blue dial. In its all-new pink gold case, the watch comes in a limited edition of fifty watches. Technically, the watch offers the Cal. L093.1 movement with a superior 72 hours of power reserve. Price: $27,100.
Dial: 18-karat white gold, grey with hand-engraved lozenge pattern, semi-transparent enameling.
Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds; one-minute tourbillon with stop seconds; Up/Down power-reserve indicator; large date.
Movement:Lange manufacture Caliber L042.1, manually wound, decorated and assembled twice by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver; tourbillon and intermediate wheel cocks engraved by hand.
Strap: Hand-stitched black leather with grey seam, deployant buckle in 950 platinum.
Alongside the many new dome clocks and pocket watches Patek Philippe is debuting during its wide-ranging Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021 exhibition in Geneva this month, the manufacture is also presenting six ongoing-collection wristwatches re-interpreted with new artisanal craftsmanship.
These debuts include a Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon, a diamond-set minute repeater with retrograde perpetual calendar (Ref. 5304/301R-001), a minute repeater with perpetual calendar (Ref. 5374-001), the Ref. 7040/250G-001 Minute Repeater for Ladies, a richly decorated Golden Ellipse (Ref. 5738/51G-001), and a white gold Nautilus set with diamonds. Prices for all these models are on request.
The Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat
Patek Philippe has given this ultra-complex watch (with twelve complications) a stunning hand-engraved rose-gold case with a brown dial in grand feu champlevé and cloisonné enamel.
Patek Philippe’s engravers spent more than 100 hours creating the ‘volutes and arabesques’ case, crown and repeater slide. As Patek Philippe’s second most complicated model, the Sky Moon Tourbillon combines a tourbillon and a minute repeater that strikes on cathedral gongs, a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date, a moon-phase display and the leap year cycle.
From the back, you’ll see a celestial chart showing the apparent motion of the moon and the stars. Patek Philippe will deliver the new Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon with hand-engraved cufflinks in rose gold. It replaces the Ref. 6002G-010 in white gold with a black grand feu enamel dial.
The Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeaterwith a perpetual calendar
Initially available in platinum, this chiming watch with cathedral gongs now boasts a white-gold case with a glossy blue grand feu enamel dial. Also new are the slightly larger perpetual calendar (day, date, month, leap year cycle) displays, placed on slightly enlarged subsidiary dials. In addition, the white gold hands are now highly luminous, while themoonphase aperture is made using the champlevé enamel technique and then framed in white gold (see below).
Ref. 7040/250G-001 Rare Handcrafts Minute Repeater for ladies
This groundbreaking minute repeater is now extra luxurious with a blue grand feu flinqué enamel dial and a bezel with a Flamme diamond setting. The new model is slightly larger (36m) than the earlier models, and also boasts a diamond-set bezel.
If you recall the dial on the Patek Philippe “Siamese Fighting Fish” pocket watch from 2019, you’ll see a similarity with this new model. Artisans fully guilloche the dial’s gold plate and then coat it with transparent blue enamel that allows the underlying decor to shine through. This method is an old technique called flinqué enameling. Patek Philippe insures that this watch remains thin (5.05mm) by using its self-winding caliber R 27 PS, powered by a 22-karat gold eccentric mini-rotor.
Ref. 5738/51G-001 Golden Ellipse Haut Artisanat
This new design takes full advantage of one of Patek Philippe’s most classic case shapes. Here in white gold, the Ellipse boasts a stunning champlevé enamel dial that has been manually engraved. The watch’s curly-cue decor, known technically as ‘volutes and arabesques,’ nicely complements the oval case shape of the Golden Ellipse.
Inside Patek Philippe places its famed automatic Caliber 240 powered by an off-center recessed mini-rotor in 22-karat gold. The thin (6.58mm) watch joins the current Golden Ellipse collection, which also includes Ref. 5738P-001 in platinum with a blue sunburst dial and the Ref. 5738R-001 in rose gold with an ebony black sunburst dial.
Ref. 7118/1450G Nautilus Haute Joaillerie
Released in rose gold just a few months ago, this newest highly reflective diamond-set Nautilus can now be had in a white gold case. Set with a random pavé setting (also called snow setting), the watch’s case, dial, bezel, and the bracelet are decorated with nearly 13 carats of diamonds. Still, despite the glitter, the blackened white gold hands remain visible thanks in part to a generous coating of luminous material.
This 32.5mm white-gold case is fitted with the automatic Caliber 324 S movement that has been elaborately finished and visible through the sapphire-crystal case back. Sunglasses please.
Ref. 5304/301R-001 Minute Repeater with a retrograde perpetual calendar
Now in a 43mm rose-gold case set with eighty baguette diamonds, this grand complication was first launched in 2006 in a platinum case. Its new diamond frame boasts 6.22 carats of diamonds on its bezel, lugs and clasp, dramatizing Patek Philippe’s seriously complicated system for clearly displaying the day, month, and leap year cycle with transparent sapphire-crystal disks. To add subplots to the drama, Patek Philippe has also added white-gold inlays with engraved leaf motifs in the case flanks and the repeater slide.
The back offers its own window into the architecture of the self-winding caliber R 27 PS QR LU movement, most notably the minute repeater mechanism with two gongs. The viewer can also watch the whirring of the centrifugal governor during chiming. Finally, Patek Philippe artisans re-imagined the finished here with a leaf motif now visible on the rose gold mini-rotor. Patek Philippe has built so many stunning technical and artisanal highlights into this watch, we highly recommend you view the brands’ own visual tour, available here.
Through a new in-store digital application, Bulgari watch customers can now design their own Bulgari Octo Roma Naturalia, a 44mm manual-wind watch with a tourbillon and eye-catching stone-set bridges and mainplate.
The Bulgari app, called Maestria, allows the budding watch designer/owner to choose from three decorative natural stones: onyx, lapis lazuli and malachite. Any of these three stones can be placed onto the Octo Roma Naturalia’s skeletonized bridges/markers and on the mainplate within a rose gold, titanium or platinum case.
Available since April at Bulgari boutiques, and planned for the brand’s high-jewelry events in the future, the Maestria process starts when a Bulgari salesperson logs on and leads the customer through a series of steps that offer the customer a choice of stone, case material, case setting (including diamonds) and any engraving on the back.
Bulgari explains that once the design is chosen, its watchmakers will select the customer’s favored stone, which will then be hand cut and polished. When this step is complete, watchmakers will then insert thin slices of the same stone onto the skeletonized components as both markers and as the watch’s mainplate.
An additional slice of the chosen stone will also be inserted into the movement itself. All watches will be set with the Bulgari manual-wind caliber BVL206 with flying tourbillon.
In all, Maestria will offer the customer thirty customizable variations of the Octo Roma Naturalia. Base prices: $89,000 (onyx in titanium), $129,000 (malachite in rose gold) and $243,000 (lapis lazuli in platinum with diamonds).
For its new Grand Central Cintree Curvex, Franck Muller watchmakers found an innovative way to place the hour and second hands around the tourbillon cage, highlighting the large central tourbillon and a stunning guilloché dial.
That tourbillon (while large, the tourbillon here is not the brand’s largest) is housed in a redesigned Cintrée Curvex case with a separate bezel, allowing the crystal to reach the strap. Furthermore, Franck Muller has separated the bezel from the case, allowing for a series of impressive two-tone treatments.
This design totally changes the aspect of the original Cintrée Curvex and fully highlights the curves of this newly shaped watch.
And, in an unusual move, Franck Muller powers the new Grand Central Cintrée Curvex with an automatic movement. Many traditional tourbillon watches rely on manual-wind calibers.
Franck Muller wisely allows a clear view of the caliber (FM CX 40T-CTR) through a sapphire caseback, showing the traditional decorations, including Côte de Genève and sunray brushing. Prices: From $124,400 to $134,400.
Specifications: Franck Muller Grand CentralCintrée Curvex
Case: 58.70mm x 40.16 mm x 7.73 mm (various metals) with stainless steel internal bezel. Sapphire crystal. Water resistant up to 30 meters. Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds on the central tourbillon.
Movement: FM CX 40T-CTR Self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system. Power reserve is 4 days. Balance wheel frequency set at 18,000 alternations per hour.
Décor: Côte de Genève on bridges, sunray brushing on the rotor and barrel cover, spotting on the bottom plate. Chamfering on the bridges and rotor board. Rhodium plating and 24-kt. gold finish on textual engravings.
Bracelet: Hand-sewn alligator strap with gold folding buckle.
Gucci is celebrating its centenary with the launch of a high watchmaking collection, ramped up by the introduction of its first movement by parent company Kering. The in-house automatic Caliber GG727.25 makes its debut in the Gucci 25H, an ultra-slim timepiece collection available in stainless steel or precious metal.
The Paris-based Kering, which also claims Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux among its portfolio of luxury brands, designed and developed the movement, which is a product of Kering’s own manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds. And at just 3.70mm thick, the new movement is the perfect pairing for the 25H’s own slender profile, measuring a mere 7.2mm.
Two tourbillon versions are also part of the new collection, and their cases measure slightly thicker, at 8mm. The self-winding 24-jewel movement, visible through the caseback, features sixty hours of power reserve, and it runs at 21,600 bph, or 3Hz.
Steel to platinum
The 40mm timepiece, designed by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, seamlessly morphs from sporty status in steel to a more formal designation when dressed in yellow gold or platinum, as in the tourbillon versions. The minimalist dial of the 25H marks the hours with simple indices, while skeletonized hands—dotted with luminescence—traverse the satin-brushed lined décor.
Here, too, the movement is given its proper due, with GG727.25 prominently displayed front and center, along with Gucci’s double-G logo at 12 o’clock.
The tourbillon variations are marked GG727.25.T. Not so incidentally, even the movement identifications have significance: Michele considers the numerical designation talismanic.
The watch’s precision-crafted bezel obscures the crown, making it nearly invisible, and this unique architecture lends a seamless quality to the overall design, while also enhancing the fit. The five-link bracelet is both comfortable and handsome, and augments Gucci’s goal of making the timepiece “like a second skin on the wrist.”
The Gucci 25H includes several variations. The tourbillon in yellow gold with and an 18-karat bracelet is priced at $129,000, while the tourbillon in platinum with a platinum bracelet is $183,000. The 25H automatic in stainless steel with a steel bracelet is priced at $9,500; the stainless steel version with a diamond-set bezel is $12,200.
TAG Heuer this week expands its offerings within the Carrera Heuer 02T collection with a new limited edition cased in polished titanium and sporting a blue sunray dial.
Where previous Carrera Heuer 02T models feature darkened, skeletonized dials, sometimes with gold accents, this latest design is lighter-toned and with a sportier solid dial and – for the first time – a titanium bracelet.
You may recall that five years ago TAG Heuer launched the flying tourbillon chronograph movement inside this watch as the brand’s serialized ‘affordable’ tourbillon chronograph watch, priced around $16,000.
Now powering this newest watch, the Caliber Heuer 02T is still TAG Heuer’s primary tourbillon caliber and retains all its high-end technical features, notably an ultra-light carbon and titanium tourbillon cage and integration with a column-wheel chronograph. TAG Heuer is likely the sole Swiss watchmaker to offer this combination of chronograph, flying tourbillon and COSC-chronometer precision within the full collection’s price range, now starting at around $17,000.
Here TAG Heuer has blued not only the full dial, but also the bridges of the tourbillon cage, the rubber that protects the crown and the pushers. Even the ceramic tachymeter bezel and the rotor (visible from the back of the case) are finished in blue.
With this watch TAG Heuer for the first time connects one of its Caliber 02T models to a bracelet. Where earlier models sported rubber straps or alligator sewn on black rubber, the new Carrera Heuer 02T features the watchmaker’s own titanium H-shape bracelet with a steel/titanium safety clasp.
Price: $21,500 and limited to 250 examples.
Specifications: TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber Heuer 02T COSC
Movement: Caliber Heuer 02T COSC with carbon and titanium tourbillon cage, column-wheel chronograph.
Case: 45mm polished and brushed titanium, ceramic blue polished tachymeter fixed bezel, domed, beveled sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, water resistant to 100 meters. Crown with blue rubber and titanium, titanium pushers, titanium screwed sapphire case back with special engraving, limited numbered xxx/250.
Dial: Blue sunray brushed with three rhodium-plated and polished counters, white SuperLuminova Rhodium-plated polished hour and minute hands.
Strap: Titanium grade 2 H-shape bracelet, titanium and steel folding clasp with double safety push buttons; TAG Heuer shield.
Greubel Forsey now offers its GMT Quadruple Tourbillon with a titanium case and adds eye-catching new blue hues to the dial of the highly complicated 46.5mm watch.
With its new case, the watch is one-third lighter than the original white gold model, which Greubel Forsey debuted in 2019. To complement that lightness, the watchmaker attaches a new rubber strap, which quite effectively enhances the modern profile of the watch, adding a touch of sportiness. (An alligator strap is also available.)
As noted, the new dial treatment maintains that message, with an electric-blue-hued hour ring and power reserve indicator.Previously all black, the circular-grained hour ring retains its polished bevels, echoing the mainplate, which Greubel Forsey has made more contemporary with its own gray frosted and spotted finishing. The plate boasts a full complement of polished bevels and countersinks.
Greubel Forsey has also re-faced one of the watch’s many technical highlights: its titanium GMT globe. This miniature planet Earth, which Greubel Forsey debuted in 2011, now displays the continents amid newly bright blue seas, a livelier depiction than the globe rotating within the white gold GMT Quadruple Tourbillon two years ago. The new ocean color nicely matches the new blue finish of the power reserve, hour circle and strap.
These cosmetic changes haven’t altered the globe’s dramatic time display. The Earth is surrounded by a fixed 24 hours ring around the Equator. This ring displays local time for all the longitudes and takes into account the day/night with an indicator. A peek through the side of the case, through a sapphire window adjacent to the globe, reveals a clear view of the Equator and the southern hemisphere.
Beyond the new livery, the latest Greubel Forsey GMT Quadruple Tourbillon remains a feast for the eyes. The multi-level, three-dimensional dial offers the main hours and minutes subdial at the highest point (between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock), with the coaxial small seconds and second time zone at 4 o’clock forming the second highest point.
You may recall that each Double Tourbillon 30° features a first cage rotating in one minute and angled at 30°, fitted inside a second upright cage that rotates once in four minutes. Greubel Forsey explains that the combination of the inner cage inclination and the different rotational speeds of the two cages cancel any timing variations. A spherical differential transmits the average timing rate of all four of the tourbillon cages, improving their chronometric performance.
The back of the watch also delivers both awe and information. Universal time can be spied, with a fixed 24-hour scale showing day and night zones and a disk with abbreviations of twenty-four cities. The same disk also distinguishes between the time zones that utilize Daylight Saving Time and those that don’t.
Greubel Forsey plans to make eleven examples of this new titanium-cased GMT Quadruple Tourbillon, each priced at 760,000 Swiss francs. The watch will be made, eventually, as an edition of sixty-six examples.
Specifications: Greubel Forsey GMT Quadruple Tourbillon, in titanium
Movement: Manual-wind, olive-domed jewels in gold chatons, three series-coupled fast-rotating barrels, 21,600 vph, inner tourbillons inclined at a 30° angle w/1 rotation per minute. Outer tourbillons: 1 rotation in four minutes.
Functions and displays: GMT, 2nd time zone, rotating globe with universal time and day-and-night, universal time on 24 time zones, cities observing summer time, lateral window showing the equator and southern hemisphere, GMT pusher, quadruple tourbillon, hours and minutes, small seconds, power-reserve (72 hours).
Case: 46.50mm by 17.45mm titanium with asymmetrical convex synthetic sapphire crystal.
Dial: Multi-level in gold, anthracite color, gold hour-ring, colored blue, and blued power reserve with gold hour markers.
Strap: Rubber or hand-sewn alligator, titanium folding clasp, engraved with the GF logo.
With Bulgari’s contemporary style clearly evident throughout its record-setting Octo Finissimo collection, the Italian-Swiss watchmaker’s modernist approach to timepiece design is hardly in doubt. This week, Bulgari underscored that approach beyond its ultra-thin family with the new Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon, a surprising cutting-edge addition to its Haute Horlogerie collection.
The new watch represents an extension of Bulgari’s well-known mastery of the chiming watch, seeded to a large degree twenty years ago years ago when it purchased Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth, two horological ateliers well versed in complicated watchmaking. That deep knowledge, nurtured and enhanced within Bulgari’s workshops over the years, is the underpinning of the brand’s rise to prominence within the world of haute horology.
The new Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon features a three-hammer chime combined with a tourbillon regulator, with both complex technical creations housed in a 44mm black DLC-coated titanium case.
In contrast to the brand’s Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie from a few years back, this newest chiming model betrays few classical design elements on its dial. Rather than a solid dial with markers and numerals, the wearer sees a black titanium grid open to show the watch’s tourbillon and its chimes in action.
And while the three hammers and gongs appear traditional in shape and function, their placement on the dial side is still fairly unusual among chiming watches.
Bulgari says it has hollowed out the titanium case in order to reduce the amount of metal between the inside and the outside, thus enhancing the transmission of sound. The new case design includes three openings, each of which corresponds to a chime.
As Bulgari explains, “Chimes are fixed directly on to the case body for most effective transmission of sound and the case is crafted in titanium to ensure the clearest possible diffusion of sound. The back is also hollowed and revamped with a meticulously crafted titanium grid that protect this resonance zone and allow sound to be transmitted to the outside.”
Bulgari’s new, manually wound Caliber BVL428, which includes 432 components, features hand crafted gongs that Bulgari artisans harden at high temperatures, which gives the metal a bright sound. The melody of the Carillon plays the note C for the hours, the mid-re-C notes in sequence for the quarters, and the mid note for the minutes.
Listening the Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon digitally, and not in person, is pleasing, even uplifting. Given Bulgari’s history of making exceptional chiming watches, I strongly suspect a live performance of the chime will live up to the brand’s grand descriptions.
Bulgari has equipped the movement with one classical barrel ensuring a power reserve of at least seventy-five hours for the movement at full charge. The functioning of the sound mechanism is ensured by a spring that the watchmaker has placed into a barrel-shaped container drilled directly in the bridge.
The watch comes on a black alligator leather strap with a three-blade folding clasp treated with DLC Titanium. Bulgari will offer the Octo Roma Carillon available as a limited edition of fifteen, with each piece engraved individually on the crown. Price: $259,000.
Specifications: Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon
Movement: Mechanical manufacture caliber BVL428 with manual winding, minute repeater, 3-hammer carillon with Westminster chime, tourbillon and a power reserve indicator; 75-hour power reserve, 21,600 vph, skeletonized movement with bridges in black DLC coated titanium (8.35mm thick);
Case: 44mm black DLC-coated titanium with matte finish; open-worked titanium middle-case, specially conceived to enhance sound performances; white gold crown, set with a black ceramic insert; white gold push button to activate the chime.
Dial: Black DLC-coated titanium grid, exposing tourbillon and chiming components.
Strap: Black rubberized alligator leather with black DLC coated titanium 3-blade folding buckle.
Price: $259,000. Limited edition of fifteen pieces.