Back To Basics: Greubel Forsey Signature 1
Greubel Forsey reiterates the beauty of independent watchmaking with its new Signature 1.
Independent watchmaking is, for some, the pinnacle of traditional haute horlogerie, and in many cases, this is true. A pioneer of this style of watchmaking, Greubel Forsey has long since established its unique horological philosophy, which is typified by such astounding modern complications as multi-axis tourbillons, tourbillons with inclined balances linked by differentials, and even miniature mechanical computers. The firm may be not a hundred per cent independent today but the spirit of independent watchmaking continues to burn strong. Just not too long ago, together with the legendary independent watchmaker Philippe Dufour, it debuted a new project aimed at perpetuating traditional watchmaking know-how, and with the Signature 1, Greubel Forsey showed that it is also practicing this belief in-house.
A completely new collection, the Signature series is where Greubel Forsey handpicks one talented watchmaker in its employ to realise a watch of his or her dreams. The company spent six years setting the groundwork for this project and the first watchmaker to present his very own timepiece is Didier JG Cretin, a long-time member at Greubel Forsey. Cretin’s masterpiece is a manually wound three-hand watch that is regulated by an exclusive Greubel Forsey balance wheel and features a gold dial. It also comes with hands that had been manually finished and countersunk.
Those familiar with Greubel Forsey’s watches would immediately notice parities between the Signature 1 and classic Greubel Forsey creations like the Invention Piece 1. They would not be wrong, for Cretin, as well as the other watchmakers after him, would draw solely upon the resources of the manufacture to produce the timepiece. As such, we could expect characteristic finishings found in all Greubel Forsey watches and the distinctive three-dimensional dial architecture, which is really the front of the movement. This would be the only condition set by Greubel Forsey; everything else is practically carte blanche. For this reason, the final result will be co-signed by the watchmaker, in this case Cretin, as well as the directors of the firm, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey.
Another common aspect it shares with other Greubel Forsey watches is its rarity, for the inaugural Signature 1 is limited to only 33 pieces in steel and a further 11 each in white gold, red gold, and platinum.
- Dimensions: 41.4mm
- Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
- Power Reserve: 54 hours
- Movement Manual-winding Calibre GFS1
- Case: Steel, white gold, red gold, or platinum
- Water Resistance: 30 meters
- Strap: Alligator leather with ardillon buckle in steel, white gold, red gold, or platinum
Text by Jamie Tan
This story first appeared in WOW Magazine.