In-Depth: The Greubel Forsey Signature 1

In-Depth: The Greubel Forsey Signature 1

The Greubel Forsey Signature 1, in steel.

In inspecting the watch I had both the chance to not just wear a Greubel Forsey watch – which is continually something to anticipate – yet additionally, in restoring the watch to their atelier in La Chaux-de-Fonds, I had the option to see the watch underway. Consequently, this is something of an alternate top to bottom audit from the standard thing, as it incorporates an inside investigate a “straightforward” watch that underneath the moderate plan, has a similar over the top tender loving care and designing that are the attributes of watchmaking at Greubel Forsey.

Given the thought for the watch (and the arrangement besides), there were various starting issues to overcome. First was the plan of the equilibrium haggle spring. These components, for the Signature 1 are restrictive Greubel Forsey plans. In spite of the fact that, as Stephen conceded, they are not really going to inconvenience Nivarox as a provider, this is a flight for the firm. Previously, in other tourbillon watches, they have utilized the equilibrium haggle as provided. The accentuation was on the tourbillon component: the plan of the pen and point of pivot.

The whole development is an exclusive plan, including the equilibrium wheel.

Look at all other Greubel Forsey observes separated from this one, and you will see that all the equilibrium wheels appear to be identical. The explanation is that Greubel Forsey were focusing on the tourbillon plan. The way of thinking for the EWT (Experimental Watch Technology), where all instruments are created, is a logical methodology: any remaining components are held steady so it is conceivable to test simply the one factor being changed. When testing for various tourbillon confine plans, subsequently, any remaining components including the equilibrium and equilibrium spring continue as before. On account of the Signature 1, another equilibrium wheel was created: it is the primary component changed in the development in this instance.

Once the choice had been taken to build up another arrangement – Signature, and with it another equilibrium wheel (for Signature 1 in any event) – the real improvement measure requires some investment. The Signature arrangement is to be a community arrangement of watches between Robert Greubel, Stephen Forsey, and a senior watchmaker. The senior watchmaker for Signature 1 was Didier Cretin, who has been at Greubel Forsey since its establishment. In surveying the Signature 1 it merits investigating the components that make this watch unique – both from other Greubel Forsey watches, and from other “basic” profoundly completed time-just watches on the market.

Work in advancement: the development of the Signature 1, in part completed, on the seat at Greubel Forsey.

First the plan of a restrictive equilibrium wheel. To some the plan seems to be like the Naissance d’une Montres ; yet not really. I really asked Stephen that very inquiry, and he said that while he could see that perception may be made, the Naissance and Signature were grown autonomously. Indeed, watchmakers will compare and talk about, however would one say one was balance wheel a subordinate of the other? No. They are completely discrete cycles as far as advancement. To make the statement, Stephen put the equilibrium wheels for the Signature and the Naissance close to one another and sure enough, the distinctions were self-evident. The Signature balance wheel was created separately.

The balance is a free-sprung, movable mass sort, with Breguet overcoil; note the dark cleaned balance spring stud.

If there is no association between the two, at that point the following inquiry is clearly, for what reason was the equilibrium wheel planned in that manner? Stephen answered that the plan was settled on among them: Robert, Stephen, and Didier. Following quite a while of working with watches, long stretches of exploration and learning, the combined man-years information on the three watchmakers  was that the equilibrium wheel should look thusly. The even plan takes into account dependably even motions and the equilibrium is a customizable mass sort, with an equilibrium spring utilizing a Breguet overcoil. 

The hands are pretty much as deliberately completed as the development components.

The watch is a pared down adaptation (just in the feeling of complexity, not nature) of the more complex Greubel Forsey watches. Stephen commented that it was really hard to make a less difficult watch, yet keep the entirety of the Greubel Forsey stylish codes and wrapping up. The Signature is very straightforward. When visiting the Atelier in La Chaux-de-Fonds I was adequately blessed to see the watch in parts. The explanation was that the model was being analyzed to see, prior to beginning creation, if there were any last changes to be made; this managed the cost of a chance to perceive what subtleties lie underneath the moderate scaffolds and plates.

The development is a material for a full scope of top of the line completing techniques.

On the origin barrel, the choice was made to dark clean the three-prong connect on the converse side of the watch. In addition to the fact that it adds to the look and complexity of completions on the watch, it likewise adds to the time taken, and the expense caused, in creating each watch – a choice came to in spite of the way that the cost had been concurred on before this most recent completing choice, which isn’t an astonishment for Greubel Forsey. 

The decrease in complexity lets Greubel Forsey grandstand the development as far as possible. You can follow the stuff train from the twisting barrel through the escapement, and to the hour, moment, and second hands; all are obvious through both the front and back of the watch. 

The development design permits you to see all the mechanical components of the going train (from option to left, fountainhead barrel, focus wheel, unnecessary extra person wheel, and fourth wheel, on which the seconds hand is placed).

The configuration brings to the front all the completing that Greubel Forsey sees as standard. Completing, at this level isn’t just for the life span of the development parts (less erosion on moving surfaces and all that) yet additionally to permit the development of the watch to be careful. This isn’t lavish completing for simple improvement. This is completing for artisanship: to show how a carefully assembled watch is unique in relation to simply machine made. Dr. George Daniels is renowned for having said that a really significant level hand completed watch, whenever done to the most elevated level, would look machine made. Yet, for this situation, the flawlessness of finish is shown components that must be accomplished by hand, for example, the level brushed completing seen within the case. Gradually, with a “buff” rough stick, the lines are drawn across the metal surface. Attempting to make a similar get done with an electric device brings about a somewhat wavy example, as it’s hard to hold the electric instrument consistent while completing the finish. 

Certain components of the completion are minor departure from the customary iced overlaid finish of very good quality English pocket watches.

The completing on the Signature is excellent. The chamfering, corners, and dark cleaning are without issue. The calculated pieces of the plate mirror light, just as different pieces of the watch. The progression savvy design on the plates on the facade of the watch, lead the eye to the equilibrium haggle (dark cleaned) balance connect, whose edges and corners that are completely executed. Inside the development parts, the perlage is by hand; the situation of every single circle is careful. Completing at this level is over the top, and the inquiry becomes when to stop; when do you realize that are at the ideal? Furthermore, finding that ideal is the thing that the completing office at Greubel Forsey show improvement over any other person right now.

Progression of completing on the “wolf’s teeth” ratchet wheels at Greubel Forsey’s manufactory in La-Chaux-de-Fonds.

What I genuinely love pretty much all Greubel Forsey watches is the meticulousness, which for the Signature 1 is each piece fair and square of each other Greubel Forsey watch. The hands on this watch have been done in a similar design as Greubel Forsey’s different watches; the counter communities and cleaned tips are done to similar norm as the most deliberately completed development components. The completion on the “wolf’s teeth” on the wrench wheel are similarly exact. 

The crown wheel, ratchet wheel, and fountainhead barrel of the Signature 1.

Details, for example, the plan of the extension for the equilibrium wheel (which is suggestive of the equilibrium connect from Invention Piece 1) show the accuracy and expertise in the finisher’s craft, in the precision of the squared cornered closures, and the ideal level mirror finish for the complete length of the bridge.

The winding and going trains of the Signature 1.

With a case width of 41.3mm and a stature of 11.3mm, the watch is additionally a first for Greubel Forsey in quite a while of size. I need to admit that, as somebody who inclines toward vintage style and measured watches, this change from the standard Greubel Forsey measurements is a welcome one. Being more fitted to the size of a normal wrist, additionally has preferences in that the Signature 1 fits flawlessly beneath the shirt sleeve; it’s a watch that is more wearable for the regular use as a rule. Actually, the Signature 1 offers something new too. While tourbillons have certain chronometric points of interest, they are additionally a more complicated, and along these lines more wasteful, method of directing the mechanics of the watch. In spite of the fact that Greubel Forsey have likely gone farther than any other individual in understanding the chronometry/proficiency compromise, the basic uncomplicated development for the Signature 1 will likewise get different advantages terms of less upkeep, and less mileage on moving surfaces.

The Signature 1 is Greubel Forsey’s most wearable watch yet.

The development is non-standard regarding plan and development. The three-layered advance component to the front extensions is something of a deception, as the plates are not developed one on the other; rather, the modules are between connected to make that impression. In contrast to a portion of different free thinkers, who get the fundamental plan and format of a development from an earlier time – vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre and Peseux 260 developments come to mind – the Signature 1 development has been planned from scratch. 

The dial side of a similar development component.

Some of the top notch sticker price addresses the expense of improvement and testing for the new development, the new equilibrium wheel, and the format. This isn’t taking a development off the rack and fitting it to something different; or a development plan from an earlier time. This is beginning with a clear piece of paper. Valid, the mechanics of the time-just watch are notable. In any case, I have additionally realized Greubel Forsey to change a component in a watch during prototyping for stylish reasons, and there is no distinction here. There are models of the Signature 1, some still in presence, some destroyed, that have various setups.

The Greubel Forsey Signature 1 in rose gold.

Back at SIHH 2016 Ben Clymer’s quick response to the watch – that it could very well be a definitive time-just watch – was correct, I think . While others have compared the Signature 1 to other time just watches offered by free movers, different audits have not thought about how the Greubel Forsey watch may vary in plan and development. There is no impersonation at Greubel Forsey: plans are restrictive, and styled and completed in their own specific manner. The Signature 1 may be a straightforward time-just watch yet it has a far more prominent level of complexity about it, in both development subtleties and finish, that places it in a class a lot of separated from other time-just watches.

The Greubel Forsey Signature 1: in steel, $170,000; in red or white gold, $185,000. For a glance at the more complicated side of watchmaking at Greubel Forsey, look at what it resembles to do A Week On The Wrist with the Greubel Forsey GMT. Visit Greubel Forsey on the web, here.

Dr. Andrew Hildreth has composed for an assortment of distributions on watches, including Watch Journal, QP, The Hour, Caliber, and others, notwithstanding having been an arbitrator at He is a Liveryman at the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and a Freeman of the City of London, which grants him the lovely cool title of “Resident and Clockmaker of London.” When not expounding on watches, he has a normal everyday employment as a financial specialist. Look at his glance at Patek ref. 2526 veneer dials, here.