On 19-20 September 2017, the Vienna’s legendary watch boutique Hübner brought Stephen Forsey to town to meet the Viennese connoisseurs in the ambience of their store. Few weeks away from the GPHG award, Greubel Forsey presented the two competing timepieces to the audience.
Attention to details and creative avant-garde spirit are qualities people in Vienna hold in high regard. The city has been a determinative cultural centre of the world, where the general mood is shaped by a progressive mix of conservatism, good taste, curiosity and virtuoso realising capacities. The needs of the Habsburg court and the people nurtured craftsmen, who produced remarkable musical instruments like the pianos of Bösendorfer, home wares such as the Augarten porcelain or clothing like Sheer shoes or Knitze men’s fashion. And although traditions are highly regarded, Vienna keeps these very clean from dust – just look at the fantastic contemporary collections of the almost 300 year-old Augarten Porcelain Manufactory!
For all these reasons, the artistic engineering of Greubel Forsey has a very competent and at the same time picky audience in Vienna. On 19-20 September, the city’s legendary watch boutique Hübner brought Stephen Forsey to town to meet the Viennese connoisseurs in the ambience of their store.
To amaze them, Mr. Forsey brought also the models Greubel Forsey nominated at the annual watch competition, the Grand Prix D’horlogerie De Genève, this year. Both were pre-selected by the jury and battle in their own class for the final prize: Signature 1 in the Men’s category and the QP à Équation in the Calendar category. The golden hands will be awarded on 8th November during a grandiose evening in the Théâtre du Léman, in Geneve.
The Signature 1 is an extraordinary model from various perspectives. First, it adheres to Greubel Forsey’s subtle but relentless design and quality codes completely, however it is kept complication-free. Second, it was the first GF model to be issued in steel. Third, it was co-created with Didier J.G. Cretin, a great watchmaker from the Greubel Forsey manufacture.
Greubel Forsey packaged all the essentials of fine-watchmaking in this piece. The beautiful large golden balance wheel running under a long black polished bridge and the gear train are in the spotlight. Their dominance is underlined by the matte nickel silver frosted, spotted, grained and Côtes de Genève surfaces. The watch is just beautiful. It comforts the eye and with its 41.4 mm diameter and 11.7 mm thickness the wrist, too.
Quantième Perpétuel à Équation
QP à Équation is a more characteristic GF timepiece, which combines a perpetual calendar, one of the most complicated functions with elegant simplicity. The display of the calendar occupies one quarter of the dial and is emphasised by its nickel-silver rounded border as well as its elevated height. It consists of three apertures aligned next to each other horizontally, allowing an immediate and natural reading of the date: day of the week, date and month and a small leap year indicator at 6 o’clock. Setting the date is also made simple as you can easily modify the date forward or backward by turning the crown clockwise or anticlockwise.
On the case-back you can find the Equation of Time indication, connected to the perpetual calendar.
Since the orbit of the Earth is an ellipse, which is not centred on the Sun, and its speed also varies on this journey, the fictitious “mean” time we measure differs from the solar time which tracks the exact motion of the Sun. Sometimes the Sun, and therefore the solar time is ahead, and sometimes it’s behind the mean time – the difference can be as much as 16 minutes and 33 seconds. Equation of time describes the discrepancy between these times.
Greubel Forsey installed two superimposed synthetic sapphire disks on the back of the piece. The one driven by the date wheel has the scale of the time discrepancy, the second making one revolution a year holds a curve with four sectors. When the red sectors intersect the scale, the solar time is ahead to the mean time by the value shown on the scale. When the blue intersect, it is running behind.
The relentless drive for quality is mixed with a restless experimenting mind at the Greubel Forsey workshop, which elevates these pieces to an exclusive league. The creator’s love for his creation can be traced in all the details. Details, which left the local connoisseurs speechless. Although Mr. Forsey has left the city, these marvels can be seen at the Hübner boutique am Graben. And in November, #MayTheBestWin at the GPHG gala in Geneva. Good luck!
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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