Greubel Forsey says goodbye to the world's most expensive GMT watch
After 10 years, the Swiss watch brand will discontinue its always stunning GMT Earth timepiece with a limited-edition Final Edition.
Greubel Forsey released the first edition of the GMT watch 10 years ago in 2011. Over the past decade, it's grown into the company's signature timepiece -- after all, when you put an entire 3D globe on a watch, how could it not? On Geneva Watch Days this morning, the watchmaker La Chaux-de-Fonds announced the launch of its most mundane watch, the GMT Earth Final Edition.
The GMT Earth Final Edition is a limited edition and improves upon the design of the original watch – previously crafted in white and platinum – with a new titanium construction for the case and movement bridges. In order to better complement the smooth, light nature of the metal, Greubel Forsey chose to blacken the dial and movement, including the baseplate and frosted bridges.
GMT Earth Final Edition inherits the five main properties that have defined the model over the past 10 years. The hours and minutes are displayed off-centre, and the small seconds subdial on a sapphire disc is hidden on the side of the main display. On the left are the main GMT functions; here, there is a 12-hour hand-engraved black-gold disc filled with bright red hands. The power-reserve display is located on the other side of the main chronograph display, above the company's 24-second tourbillon, which is inclined at a 25-degree angle.
If that's not enough for you, the star of the show is set on the dial between the traditional 7 and 9 o'clock positions - a full 3D model of the Earth that completes its rotation every 24 hours. A 24-hour display engraved on the sapphire ring around the equator acts as a day/night indicator, allowing you to instantly tell which hemisphere is receiving sunlight. The positioning of the Earth on the watch requires an asymmetrical case profile that laterally protrudes from the side of the watch, paired with a sapphire crystal case that accentuates the perspective of the world from the side. On the case back, Greubel Forsey completes its travel time indication with a rotating disc containing the UTC codes of the world's 24 major time zones,
I remember interviewing brand founder Stephen Forss for the first time a few years ago about the evolution of Greubel Forsey GMT. He told me that when he first started the company with Robert Greubel in 2004, they were refuted the idea that mechanical watchmaking had invented everything of value.
Clearly, the pair of watchmakers saw it as a challenge, and after pioneering many different innovations in tourbillon watchmaking, they set their sights on the GMT complication.
That's exactly what the original Greubel Forsey GMT watch has done—traditional watchmakers have iterated on the overall design language of travel time watches over the past 70 years or so. 3D globes on earth provide real-time location of daylight and night time around the world, display information clearly and accurately, and visualize the natural rotation of the earth.