SIHH 2018 is the first major show of the year and Greubel Forsey has two new watches to show off. The first- the Greubel Forsey GMT Earth- is an updated version of the brand’s iconic GMT watch. The second – the Greubel Forsey Differentiel d’脡galite – features a constant-force mechanism and is the brand’s first watch to feature a dead-beat seconds complication. Let’s take a quick look at them now, beginning with the GMT Earth.
The Greubel Forsey GMT Earth only comes in white gold and is, as I mentioned earlier, and updated version of their GMT watch. You know, the bonkers watch with an inclined 24 seconds tourbillon and an actual spinning globe on the dial? Case diameter is 45.5mm and case height is 16.18mm, making the GMT Earth a chunky watch. In terms of complications and functions, the GMT Earth is identical to the original GMT. What has changed, however, is some aesthetic detail on the dial and most importantly, the globe. The globe on the GMT Earth is now entirely visible from the North to the South pole.
Achieving this is no mean feat and required Greubel Forsey to exercise all their knowledge about applying sapphire crystals to the movement. The end result, at least from the press photos, seems to be worth it as there is a greater sense of drama and airiness that comes from having a fully exposed globe. Elsewhere, the GMT Earth has all the same functions and complications as the original GMT watch. The time is displayed on an off-center dial and to the left is a sub-dial for a second time zone. The spinning globe is positioned below the GMT sub-dial and can be used to quickly (and roughly) tell the time anywhere in the world. Finally, at the bottom right corner of the dial is the 24 seconds tourbillon and power reserve indicator.
Turning the watch around, you can now see the bottom of the globe and you still have the useful 24-city world time disc, which shows the time in 24 time zones. The disc even has handy indicators to show which cities observe daylight savings time. Like all other Greubel Forsey watches, the GMT Earth is finished to an extremely high degree. The GMT pusher at 10 o’clock, for example, has a raised engraving on a hand-punched background. The main plates of the movement are made of nickel silver and are frosted and spotted with polished beveling. Likewise, the bridges are frosted and beveled and have special nickel-palladium treatment. The tourbillon bridge features flat black polishing, which is extremely laborious and difficult to accomplish. This is just a handful of the finishing treatments done to the GMT Earth.
The second watch is a brand new watch for Greubel Forsey and it is called the Differentiel d’脡galite. As the name suggests, it contains a constant-force mechanism. The idea here is that as the mainspring unwinds, it charges a secondary spring that releases energy in consistent pulses to the escapement so that it maintains a constant balance amplitude through the watch’s power reserve. As a result, Greubel Forsey was able to incorporate a dead-beat seconds complication into the watch- a first for the brand. Like the GMT Earth, the Differentiel d’脡galite is only available in a white gold case. Case diameter is 44mm and case height is 15.30mm, making the Differentiel d’脡galite (like most other Greubel Forsey watches) a pretty big watch.
The dial of the Differentiel d’脡galite is considerably simpler. You have your main hour and minute hands in the center of the dial, a subsidiary seconds dial between 4 and 5 o’clock, and a power reserve indicator at 1 o’clock. There’s a large cutout in the bottom left of the dial showing off the constant-force mechanism as well as the dead-beat seconds mechanism. The dead-beat seconds is pretty clever too. Since the dead-beat seconds allow owners to set and read the time precisely, Greubel Forsey has added a hacking as well as a zero reset mechanism to the dead-beat seconds. When you are setting the time, the dead-beat seconds hand automatically jumps to zero, allowing users to easily set the watch against a reference atomic time.
The Greubel Forsey Differentiel d’脡galite has a manually wound movement consisting of 359 parts and a power reserve of 60 hours. The movement is highly finished with frosted main plates and bridges, polished bevels and jewel countersinks, and relief engraving on components like the barrels.
In closing, the GMT Earth is a welcome update to one of Greubel Forsey’s signature pieces, while the new Differentiel d’脡galite is an elegant take on a highly technical and practical complication. I think both watches should be well received by watch collectors with deep pockets and an appreciation for high-end horology. The Greubel Forsey GMT Earth is limited to 33 pieces and is priced at 610,000 CHF. The Greubel Forsey Differentiel d’脡galite is also limited to 33 pieces and is priced at 265,000 CHF.greubelforsey.com