You may be familiar with the old Christmas diddy “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.” Let me sing you the final verse of this song, including what my true love gave to me on the twelfth and final day, in horological terms…
In this age of digital information, watch companies try to get ahead of the competition by releasing news on their new timepieces ahead of the big watch fairs. This year is no different, and in honor of the upcoming 25th edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), we present you with an overview of some of the new models that have already been revealed.
Many of you are likely to have come across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, watch enthusiasts. Like many people, my starting point for serious watches was with a well-priced brand long known for its expertise in developing movements, justly viewed as offering good value for money – but not necessarily for the refinement of its movement finishing, at least on its less expensive pieces. What have I learned since then?
Now we get to the real nitty-gritty at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.: the Aiguille d’Or. There are no ifs, and or buts any more, just a decision on which of the 72 pre-selected watches is the best overall timepiece of the year. It is the most prestigious of the awards given.
Which could be our panel’s favorite to win? The Margot by Christophe Claret? Urwerk EMC? Perhaps the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon? Or will it be something else entirely?
Contendors in the Artistic Crafts category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève are: Chanel’s Coromandel Twin Volute Enchantée, Precious Watch Attrape-Moi… Si Tu M’aimes by Chaumet, Greubel Forsey’s Art Piece 1, Arceau Millefiori by Hermès, Jaquet Droz’s Petite Heure Minute Relief Saisons and Hisui by Kari Voutilainen. Which of these exceptional works of art would you choose in this category if you were on the jury?
On this sunny day in the La Chaux-de-Fonds factory, which is half charming eighteenth-century farmhouse and half state-of-the-art technical facility, I was entirely surprised by having learned something new about one of Greubel Forsey’s production elements: screws. The subject came up in passing at lunch, sparking great passion in Forsey despite what might seem to be a miniscule topic to the uninitiated.
In the “Objects of Desire” series, I’ll be looking at pieces that fall into the latter two categories – a mix of unobtanium and timenotrightium, as my Quill & Pad colleague Joshua Munchow might say. And, where better to start on the topic of desire than with the watches of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey?
In ten years, Greubel Forsey has presented the Double Tourbillon 30°, the Opus 6 for Harry Winston, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes, Invention Piece 1 (another of my all-time favorite watches), the Quadruple Tourbillon, the GMT, the Double Balancier and lastly the Quantième Perpétuel à Équation du Temps.
This is the last in our three-part series on tourbillons from Baselworld 2014. It includes fantastic timepieces from Blancpain, Greubel Forsey, Girard-Perregaux, Hautlence and Vianney Halter I have stretched the criteria a little here: while I saw the Greubel Forsey and Vianney Halter watches during Baselworld, neither of them was actually exhibiting at the fair.
Today I don’t want to talk about one specific watch (though the Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon gets special attention). Instead I want to discuss a whole class of mechanisms that made me cross the line from watch fan to so-called “watch idiot savant” (affectionately abbreviated as WIS): the multi-axis tourbillon.