Engineering Eye Candy: The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture
Gruebel Forsey’s innovative latest case composition
Written by Emily BuNN
July 21, 2022
Gruebel Forsey’s latest watch release takes an interesting styling cue, one from architectural design. In fact, Forsey describes the new timepiece as “a city on the wrist.” While the watchmaker is known for their uniquely shaped cases – take other recent releases like the GMT Sport or the Balancier S, for example – this new contribution sets an unprecedented standard for casework competency.
Though the Maison has been implementing lateral sapphire crystal apertures into their creations since 2007, this is the very first time their movement allows for 360-degree visibility into the watch’s innerworkings. Combining both technical expertise and aesthetic artistry, Gruebel Forsey’s Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture showcases an impressive interplay of internal construction like never before seen.
Forsey describes the watch’s shape as a “convex conical frustrum.” For those not well-versed in architectural geometry, this means that the watch case is structured in a cone shape. The caseband diameter measures 47.05mm whereas the bezel measures in at a slightly smaller 45.50mm. While the watch appears round from the top, in reality, the timepiece is arranged in an innovative, convex shape.
For watch wearers looking for a better fit, literally, Gruebel Forsey’s novel case design lends to both comfort and captivation. Both the lateral synthetic sapphire crystal ring that surrounds the caseband and the caseback both offer a transparent window into the movement’s 354 individual parts. With the watch’s movement visible from above, below and the side – from virtually every angle around the case band – the watchmaker is restructuring chronograph composition.
Constructed from titanium and synthetic sapphire crystal, the three-dimensional case is built to last. Above the mainplane, the watch’s escapement floats, appearing to levitate in space. Forsey elucidates upon this design in their press release, “The polished titanium bridges immediately stand out from the frosted finish of the mainplate, and spectacularly so: Emerging seemingly out of nowhere… At 6 o’clock, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes is moored from a large spherical and openworked bridge, whose base remains hidden by design. In its form, the inclined escapement defies gravity, while in its function, it compensates for it.”
The watchmaker continues weighing in on the shape’s aesthetic purpose, explaining that, “This new case construction enables an exhaus¬tive look at even the smallest detail of the move¬ment, but also allows light to penetrate almost unhindered.” Surrounding this harmonious composition is the caseback’s engraving, which states the watchmaker’s values of “Architecture, Harmonie, Innovation, Technique, Bienfacture, Passion, Science, Exclusivité, Créativité.” Wearers can show off the eye-catching design on a rubber strap with a titanium folding clasp. Clearly, this captivating creation aptly represents Greubel Forsey’s Art of Invention mantra.
Forsey’s 24 Secondes Architecture is a limited-edition release, with the cleverly crafted chronograph being produced in just 11 examples. The exemplar wristwatch will cost collectors a pretty penny, at $500,000. Another 18 examples will be released each year the coming three years, elevating the production run to 65 pieces in total.