Known for its audacious haute horology timepieces, the boutique brand Greubel Forsey was missing two major categories in its catalogue till recently. The first, a chiming watch, was ticked off the list when it unveiled the Grand Sonnerie in 2017, the second was a sports watch. That box has been ticked off today with the unveiling of the GMT Sport, the brand’s first sports watch.
The new watch riffs off the GMT Black edition from SIHH 2015. But while the philosophy of reproducing the earth's rotation in real time and offering an intuitive view of time all over the world still stands, this watch is a completely new beast. The GMT Sport has a totally new case form, perfectly round from above, while revealing the accentuated arched and ovoid shape from other angles. The case has integrated lugs and strap resulting in distinct functional forms that fit any wrist.
At its widest, the titanium case measures 45 mm and has a profile that is 15.7 mm thick. The case has a curved sapphire crystal that follows the curved form of the case (its peak height is 17.90 mm) and is topped by a bezel that dips and arches around the edges of the case. Titanium screws hold the case together and are seen on the caseband along with pushers for the GMT and Earth functions (more on that later) and is fitted with a titanium crown with a rubber grip. Though this is not a screw-down crown, the watch still has a water-resistance of 100 meters, a first for the brand.
Like all Greubel Forsey models, the open-worked dial is a theater of haute horology. And it’s a busy little place full of suspended bridges, semi-apparent wheels and floating dials in three dimensions. This being a sports watch, the focus is on legibility and efficiency. Unlike the regular GMT models that display the hours and minutes on an off-center dial, on the sport model, they are displayed centrally via concentric open worked hands whose curved profile follows the curvature of the case and movement.
Mounted on the suspended arch center bridge with black treated openings, the gear train follows the curve of the bridge, overlooking the globe to drive the hour and minute hands. The lumed triangular tips of the arrow-shaped hands and the markers on the minute-hour-ring ensure good visibility. An auxiliary dial between 10 and 11 o’clock combines the small seconds on a large rotating disc, and the second time zone display with a hand.
The 72-hour chronometric power reserve (ensured by two coaxial barrels in series) is indicated on a sector at 3 o’clock with its openworked hand and highlighted red triangle. Housed underneath the arched bridge, the power reserve differential is subtly engraved with Greubel Forsey’s values. Like all their timepieces, the 435 components of the movement are finished to the highest quality.
Above the power reserve near the 1 o’ clock position sits the brand’s trademark inclined tourbillon that completes a rotation every 24 seconds. The fast spinning tourbillon combined with the inventive cage inclination, significantly improves chronometric performance in a single-tourbillon system, with minimal movement height. The tourbillon cage alone has 88 components but weighs only 0.38 grams – a feat made possible by light alloy pillars and titanium bridges.
The radical GMT mechanism was presented for the first time in 2011, with the GMT Black presented in 2015. In this double-patented mechanism, the second time zone indication on the auxiliary dial between 10 and 11 o’clock is combined with a universal time display to intuitively read the current time anywhere in the world. Add to this the spectacle of a rotating globe – as seen from above the North Pole and rotating around its axis in real time – and you’ve got a uniquely different sports watch. The globe is surrounded by a sapphire crystal ring with 24-hour divisions; where the wearer can read local time for all longitudes, including the day / night indicator (light zone / dark zone).
On the caseback of the GMT Sport, outer and central rings complete the sapphire cities disc to give UTC Universal and Summer Time for 24 cities in major time zones. This disc distinguishes those time zones applying summer time (on a light background) from those that do not (on a dark background). Two pushers are located on the left side of the case; one to select the second time zone and the other for synchronising the local time with the globe.
The watch is paired with a rubber strap (in blue or black) with a titanium buckle and is limited to just 11 pieces. The watch is priced at CHF 480,000 (exclusive of VAT).