Greubel Forsey: The Tourbillon Specialist
Greubel Forsey is synonymous with exclusivity, unique designs, and first-class watchmaking. Their specialty is the tourbillon, and select limited editions boast up to four of these complicated components, guaranteeing exceptional precision.
Watchmaking for the 21st Century
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have been delighting watch fans with their exclusive and extraordinary creations since 2004. These two master watchmakers have made it their mission to bring watchmaking into the modern era with their innovative and unconventional ideas. Greubel Forsey timepieces stand out with their unique designs, flawless execution, and technical innovations you won't find from any other watch manufacturer.
The manufacturer's work with tourbillons has earned them plenty of attention in recent years. Three inventions, in particular, have grabbed headlines: the Tourbillon 24 Secondes, the Double Tourbillon 30°, and the Quadruple Tourbillon. The first creation features a balance that sits at a 25° angle within the tourbillon cage and takes 24 seconds to complete one rotation. The Double Tourbillon 30° boasts two tourbillons: One is a minute tourbillon with its balance inclined at a 30° angle, and the other is a four-minute tourbillon with skeletonized cage pillars. Finally, the Quadruple Tourbillon combines two double tourbillons connected via a spherical differential. All three of these inventions guarantee especially precise timekeeping.
Another stunning Greubel Forsey creation is the Double Balancier, which comes with two inclined, linked balance wheels. Again, the goal is to achieve the highest precision possible. Then there's the Différentiel d’Égalité that focuses on the even transfer of power from the barrels to the rest of the movement. Greubel Forsey achieves this by adding a secondary spring that the mainspring rewinds every 5 seconds. This extra spring then transfers its energy to the movement at regular intervals. Those looking for a new take on the perpetual calendar should consider the Le Computeur Mécanique. Here, Greubel Forsey's watchmakers use a co-axial arrangement of gears and discs to display the calendar information and equation of time.
You can only find this proprietary mechanical computer in the manufacturer's most strictly limited collections. For example, Greubel Forsey only produces five copies of the Quantième Perpétuel (QP) à Équation per year. There's also the Signature 1, which has a limited run of 66 pieces: 33 in stainless steel and 11 in platinum, white gold, and rose gold, respectively. Finally, the GMT Sport from 2021 also has a production run of only 33 pieces.
In addition to their intricate technology, all Greubel Forsey watches share immaculate finishing and unique designs. Off-center displays and layered skeletonized dials are a common sight. However, all this exclusivity comes at a price, and most Greubel Forsey timepieces demand six-figure sums, with some even exceeding the one-million-dollar mark.
Reasons to Buy a Greubel Forsey Watch
- Luxury watches of the highest order
- Innovative technology: Quadruple Tourbillon, Double Balancier, and Différentiel d’Égalité
- Strictly limited production numbers
- Extraordinary recognizable designs
Prices at a Glance: Greubel Forsey Watches
|Model||Price (approx.)||Material, features|
|Balancier||131,000 USD||White gold, GF balance, small seconds|
|GMT||202,000 USD||White gold, second time zone, world time, 3D globe|
|Balancier S||232,000 USD||Titanium, GF balance at a 30° angle, sporty case|
|Double Tourbillon 30° Technique||251,000 USD||Titanium, double tourbillon with a balance at a 30° angle|
|Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain||327,000 USD||Platinum, 24-second tourbillon|
|Double Balancier 35°||416,000 USD||White gold, double balance at a 35° angle|
|GMT Earth||476,000 USD||White gold, second time zone, world time, 3D globe|
|Quadruple Tourbillon||713,000 USD||Platinum, quadruple tourbillon with a balance at a 30° angle|
|QP à Équation||950,000 USD||Rose gold, perpetual calendar, equation of time, 24-second tourbillon|
|Art Piece 1||1.78 million USD||White gold, nano-sculpture, double tourbillon|
How much do Greubel Forsey watches cost?
Greubel Forsey watches exude an aura of exclusivity thanks to their unique designs, low production numbers, and considerable price tags. The most affordable Greubel Forsey timepiece on Chrono24 will set you back around 131,000 USD. From there, the sky's the limit. Most models demand between 235,000 and 500,000 USD. However, versions with diamonds on their bezels, cases, and lugs regularly sell for upwards of 1 million USD.
Balancier: Greubel Forsey's Entry-Level Model
The Balancier is the largest collection in Greubel Forsey's catalog. It contains four subcollections, and as its name implies, the engineers pay special attention to the balance wheel on these watches. The standard edition features a single balance wheel developed and manufactured in-house by Greubel Forsey. It is especially aerodynamic, resulting in improved performance.
This component is one of the many details that make this timepiece such a sight to behold. The 43.5-mm white gold case bulges out slightly at 8 o'clock, and a cutout in the dial provides a view of the 12.6-mm balance wheel within. A small seconds at 4:30 and power reserve indicator below 12 o'clock complete this timepiece.
While the Balancier has an official list price of 205,000 CHF (approx. 222,000 USD), with any luck, you may be able to find this model on Chrono24 for as little as 131,000 USD.
Balancier S: The Sporty Edition
The Balancier S is a sportier, more modern take on the classic Balancier. Its case is an arched ovoid – a shape you will also find in other Greubel Forsey collections. From above, it looks like a perfect circle; however, when seen from the side, you discover it curves from 6 to 12 o'clock. As a result, the watch appears to change shape depending on the angle you view it from.
Once again, the balance wheel is the star of the show. It sits on a 30° angle at 7 o'clock, right next to the small seconds at 8. There's also a power reserve indicator at 1 o'clock. Greubel Forsey decided against a conventional dial for this model, instead choosing to put much of the movement and its bridges on full display. One of the most notable details is the barrel engraved with the company's motto at 11 o'clock.
The manufacturer sells the Balancier S for 195,000 CHF (approx. 211,000 USD). However, due to their limited numbers, these timepieces rarely appear on the open market.
Balancier Contemporain: Small and Classic
The Balancier Contemporain has a much more classic look. Its 39.6-mm case is available in white or rose gold and is rather compact by Greubel Forsey standards. Its balance features prominently at 6 o'clock, while the small seconds sits at 9. The time appears on an off-center display at 3 o'clock. Both the time display and power reserve indicator sit above the rest of the dial, lending this timepiece a nice sense of depth.
Greubel Forsey offers this model for 195,000 CHF (approx. 211,000 USD). Once again, you are unlikely to find one for sale on the pre-owned market.
Double Balancier 35°: Two Wheels Are Better Than One
The Double Balancier 35° is this collection's flagship model. It boasts Greubel Forsey's proprietary double balance system. You can view these two inclined components through large cutouts in the dial at 5 and 9 o'clock. Between the two openings, you'll find a small seconds at 7 o'clock. A power reserve indicator at 2 o'clock rounds out the dial.
The white gold Double Balancier 35° has a list price of 390,000 CHF (approx. 422,000 USD), and the extremely rare sapphire edition requires a much larger investment of 695,000 USD.
GMT Greubel Forsey Watches: True Works of Art
Greubel Forsey's GMT watches are among their most famous models, in large part due to their unconventional designs. Perhaps the most striking feature is the three-dimensional globe world time display that spins at 8 o'clock. Thanks to a slight bulge in the case, there is more than enough room for this stunning component. Furthermore, sapphire crystal on the side provides a view of the equator. While the standard model only shows the Northern Hemisphere, the GMT Earth depicts the entire planet, the bottom of which you can observe through a sapphire crystal case back.
On the back of the Grubel Forsey GMT, you'll find an additional world time display with 24 city names representing the standard time zones. These displays can even account for the observation of daylight savings time.
The watch's namesake GMT display sits at 10 o'clock, directly across from the prominent 24-second tourbillon. A push-piece at 10 o'clock enables the wearer to adjust the GMT time in one-hour increments. One exception is the GMT Quadruple Tourbillon, an extremely rare Greubel Forsey GMT edition with its push-piece at 4 o'clock. Its GMT display is also located at the 4 o'clock position to make room for the twin double tourbillons at 6 and 10 o'clock.
The main time display is found on the off-center dial at 2 o'clock, which itself features a subdial with the small seconds at 3 o'clock.
Greubel Forsey offers their GMT watches in platinum, rose gold, white gold, or black-coated titanium. On Chrono24, prices for these timepiece range from 200,000 USD for a white gold edition to 480,000 USD for a GMT Earth. At the very upper end of the price range, you'll find versions with diamond-studded cases selling for roughly 1.4 million USD.
The GMT Sport boasts the same functionality as its sister models, including the rotating globe. However, thanks to its titanium case that curves from 6 to 12 o'clock, this sporty edition has a more modern appearance. This look is heightened by the central time display held in place by a V-shaped bridge. You'll find the GMT display at 10 o'clock, while the 24-second tourbillon is located at 1:30. Finally, a power reserve indicator at 3 o'clock lets you know how much energy the watch has left.
The GMT Sport has two push-pieces on its case: one at 10 o'clock for setting the GMT time and another at 8 for adjusting the world time display.
You can choose from models on a blue rubber strap or titanium bracelet. Both versions are extremely rare and require an investment of between 530,000 and 600,000 USD.
Watches With up to Four Tourbillons
The tourbillon is among Greubel Forsey's specialties. As a result, the range of models with this complication is extraordinarily vast. For example, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes collection contains four subcollections. The most classic versions belong to the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision series. These timepieces pair round 43.5-mm cases with narrow bezels. You can choose from models with a flat dial and stamped Roman numerals or a dial with Arabic numerals and bar indices on a slightly raised platform. Both variants come with a small seconds at 4 and a 24-second tourbillon at 9 o'clock. A circular dial cutout provides a glimpse of the tourbillon within.
The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain takes a more modern approach. The use of different levels gives this 44.5-mm model a sense of depth. The 24-second tourbillon occupies the 7:30 position, while the small seconds rests at 9:30. The right side of the dial is higher than the left side, and it's here you'll find the power reserve indicator at 4 o'clock.
Both the Vision and Contemporain are available in platinum, white gold, or rose gold and change hands for anywhere from 250,000 to 330,000 USD.
Double Tourbillon 30°
The double tourbillon with its balance at a 30° angle is among Greubel Forsey's most interesting innovations. Thus, the manufacturer dedicates several watches to this mechanism, including the famous Double Tourbillon 30° Technique and Double Tourbillon 30° Vision.
The Technique takes its name from its technical appearance. It features a heavily skeletonized dial with multiple levels and central hour and minute hands. The small seconds sits at 9 o'clock, just below the prominent barrel, which is held in place by a V-shaped bridge engraved with the company's motto. A power reserve indicator at 3 and a double tourbillon at 6 o'clock complete the dial.
You can find the titanium Double Tourbillon 30° Technique with a black coating for as little as 250,000 USD on Chrono24. The gold, platinum, and sapphire editions are much rarer and more expensive.
The Double Tourbillon 30° Vision has a more classic design. A curved cutout stretches across the dial from 4 to 8 o'clock and offers a view of the double tourbillon at work. The rest of the dial is solid and features a power reserve indicator at 2:30 and a small seconds at 9:30. You can call one of these timepieces your own for roughly 230,000 USD.
Tourbillon Watches With Asymmetrical Cases
Greubel Forsey also produces tourbillon watches with their trademark asymmetrical cases. Each case bulges slightly at 8 o'clock, providing the tourbillon with ample room to operate. Many cases also feature a smaller bulge at 2 o'clock. For example, the Double Tourbillon 30° Asymétrique uses this extra space for its power reserve indicator. On the Quadruple Tourbillon, you'll find the small seconds and power reserve indicator sharing this same position. However, most of the Quadruple Tourbillon's dial is taken up by the twin double tourbillons, which spin at 5 and 8 o'clock.
The Quadruple Tourbillon is also available as a Secret edition. While technologically identical to its sister model, its dial is completely closed, hiding the namesake quadruple tourbillon from view.
Asymmetrical Greubel Forsey tourbillon watches rarely pop up for sale. However, when they do, they usually sell for between 355,000 and 715,000 USD.
Art Pieces, Signature 1, and Other Top Models
In addition to all the previously mentioned collections, Greubel Forsey's catalog is packed with other highly intriguing timepieces. Enthusiasts are particularly fond of the watches in the Art Pieces collection. Each model features a double tourbillon with a balance at a 30° angle. Furthermore, these timepieces require you to push a button to display the time.
One of the most popular editions is the Art Piece 1. It comes with a sculpture measuring less than one millimeter tall at 9 o'clock. Artist Willard Wigan crafted each nano-sculpture by hand. A specially developed magnifying lens on the left side of the case enables you to view the artwork in all its glory. This extremely rare timepiece has an astonishing price tag of more than 1.75 million USD.
With a list price of 590,000 CHF (approx. 638,000 USD), the Art Piece 2 Edition 2 is a steal compared to the Art Piece 1. However, you will have to do without the nano-sculpture on this timepiece. Instead, an oversized power reserve indicator stretches across the dial's left side. Greubel Forsey uses rotating discs for the time display, which you can find at 4 o'clock. Like every Art Piece watch, you have to activate a push-piece to see the time.
Introduced in 2016, the Signature 1 is rather simple – by Greubel Forsey standards, at least. It comes with an off-center dial with the hours and minutes at 2 o'clock, as well as a small seconds at 9. Instead of a tourbillon, this watch features a balance developed specifically for this timepiece. This component sits beneath a bridge at 8 o'clock and ticks at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour (vph).
Long-time Greubel Forsey watchmaker Didier J.G. Cretin designed the Signature 1 and laid the groundwork for a future series of watches developed and built by the brand's talented watchmakers.
There are 33 copies of the Signature 1 in stainless steel, as well as 11 copies in platinum, rose gold, and white gold, respectively. Prices vary by material and range from 175,000 to 230,000 USD.
Watches With Perpetual Calendars, Equations of Time, and Chiming Mechanisms
Greubel Forsey manufactures several timepieces that combine tourbillons with other intricate complications. Two examples include the QP à Équation and Grande Sonnerie. The former boasts a 24-second tourbillon, perpetual calendar, and equation of time. The latter also features a 24-second tourbillon, but pairs it with a grande and petite sonnerie and minute repeater.
Purchasing either of these models requires a fair amount of patience, as they rarely appear for sale. If you do find one, be prepared to spend around 950,000 USD for a QP à Équation and 1.54 million USD for a Grande Sonnerie.
About Greubel Forsey
Frenchman Robert Greubel and Englishman Stephen Forsey founded their company, Greubel Forsey, in 2004. Greubel comes from a watchmaking family and began working for IWC Schaffhausen in 1987. There, he worked on the Grand Complication project. Three years later, he left the company to join Renaud & Papi as co-Chief Operating Officer. It was there that he met Forsey, who had previously served as the head of Asprey of London's watch restoration department and completed several courses from the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program (WOSTEP). In 1992, Forsey took over the development of highly complicated calibers at Renaud & Papi.
Greubel and Forsey became self-employed in 1999 and founded their first co-venture, CompliTime, in 2001. This company focused on developing and constructing complications for other manufacturers. In 2004, the Greubel Forsey brand emerged from this earlier business.