The cliché: Sometimes you have to break some rules to achieve the goals you want. Greubel Forsey Double Balancierà Différentiel Constant does exactly this, because it sacrifices some basic principles, such as legibility between 4 and 10, in order to emphasize some incredible complexity And a coveted mechanical feat. This is the method and reason.
Founded in 2004, Greubel Forsey became famous by creating some of the most complex tourbillon watches ever in the horology world-think about the Quadruple Tourbillon (hands-on here), or the $2 million Art Piece 1 watch (hands-on). The 12-year-long collaboration between Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey (and is still increasing) has proven long enough for some non-tourbillon products Enter the ranks of brands, thereby driving down prices. To a more affordable level. Although this still means that we are going deep into the six-figure field, it actually positions GF to a certain extent, enabling them to realistically compete with the high-complexity works of major brands such as Jaeger-LeCoultre and Audemars Piguet. other.
In the typical Greubel Forsey style, this does not mean that traditional complications such as perpetual calendars (although they do one of them, and are very incredible), chronographs or The Minute Repeater instead uses a twisted, enhanced and complicated timing mechanism. As the name suggests, Greubel Forsey Double Balancierà Différentiel Constant has a profound meaning and sounds very loud. It not only uses two balance wheels to attack, but also couples through a spherical constant force differential.
First, let us look at the two mysteries that madly moved the balance wheel. As they say, “If one is good, then two are better”, but this is clearly only the tip of the technical iceberg. The two balance wheels are arranged on two independent escapement platforms, each of which consists of 71 parts. These platforms have been tilted and installed at an angle of 30° to the plane of the moving board.
The reason is as follows: The performance (speed and amplitude) of the balance wheel and hairspring is strongly influenced by their location. When the watchmaker adjusts the movement, he/she will have to find the correct balance between the balance wheel and the hairspring. The performance of the movement in different positions varies greatly. When the watch is placed flat on the table (so the wheels and springs are also horizontal), its speed will be very different from when the crown is placed down in an almost vertical position.
By installing the balance wheel and its platform at an angle to the main board and each other, each balance wheel will spend a very limited amount of time in the horizontal and vertical positions (even if the watch is placed on the table or placed vertically in the table) ), the biggest difference and error. The 30° angle of inclination acts as a constant average coefficient, and because the angle settings of the two balance wheels are different, at least one of them will always perform better.
The question now is how to convert the speed difference between the two balance wheels into a mechanical timing function? How to make two timing mechanisms drive only one set of hands? The answer is a differential, which is very similar to the system you find in a car. Frankly speaking, since my understanding of this mechanism is obviously not as deep as that of its creator, please do like me, but please try to give you a general idea of how it works and why. But first, please watch this sweet and old video, which explains very well how the differential works-it took 5 minutes specifically and was surprised.
If you look at the close-up photo above, you will find that the differential is essentially composed of three wheels stacked on top of each other. The top and bottom escapements are respectively connected to the two escapements, while the middle escapement is connected to the passing train, or basically to the rest of the movement. Now, since the balance wheel is beating at its own speed-ideally it vibrates 3 Hz or 21,600 times per hour, due to the deviation caused by the position error, both balance wheels are not operating accurately at this frequency-the differential, as explained in the video The principle of the above is to average the two. online copy watches
So, as an example, if one escapement runs at -2 seconds per day and the other runs at +2, then the average value transmitted by the differential to the hands is actually 0 – or perfect timing. So what does the 0-1-2-3 sub-dial have to do with all this? That is a four-minute counter, which is connected to the other part of the differential…
You will find that it seems that all the dizzying engineering is not enough. Greubel Forsey adds a constant force mechanism to the differential. Through the small holes provided on the back cover of the movement, the wheels and springs on the underside of the differential can be found. This spring, to the untrained eye, it seems a bit like a hairspring. It is responsible for releasing its energy into the differential, all the way to the double escapement. This is done to offset the reduction in torque transmitted by the movement’s two series barrels when their 72-hour power reserve is about to run out. The four-minute counter we mentioned above is connected to the bottom gear of the constant force mechanism because it takes four full minutes to fully rotate.
Greubel Forsey Signature 1 watch hands-on
Simple, approachable steel structure. Before this year’s Geneva SIHH Watch Fair, I would not easily use these words to describe Greubel Forsey’s watches. With the release of their latest work, Greubel Forsey Signature 1, they have packed their love of animation and top decorations into a wearable ultra-high-end limited time watch.
This limited edition watch was made in collaboration with one of GF’s outstanding watchmakers, and as the first watch in its new Signature series, it is co-signed on the dial and movement. Although Signature 1 may be the simplest watch to date, it marks Greubel Forsey’s development as one of the best watch manufacturers in the world.
So let’s start with “simple”. Although Signature 1 is simple because it is a traditional chronograph that displays hours, minutes and small seconds, its development, manufacturing and finishing reflect our great attention to detail and multi-stage production. Greubel Forsey. When making watches without a tourbillon, Grebuel Forsey needed a traditional balance wheel system. They searched for three years to find suitable suppliers before choosing to create their own balance internally.
The result is their own design and can be easily seen (hanging) thanks to the open view of the balance wheel installed in the beautiful black polished bridge. This movement is called GFS1 and runs at a speed of 18,000 vph, and thanks to its wide 12.6 mm balance wheel, you can still enjoy a lot of animation effects when you look at the dial and its three-dimensional asymmetric layout.
The execution process, especially the completion method of Signature 1, is very amazing, it represents the best completion process I have encountered on the watch. Just like the award-winning 24 Seconds Vision, the main time and seconds dial (for the 18k gold version) is silver gold with diamond bevels, enamel markings and hand-made blue steel spear hands. Below the dial, we found a stage of hybrid bridging. The top layer of nickel-silver has broad flaunting Geneva stripes, while the lower layer has a matte black PVD treatment.
No matter where you look, you will see the well-polished counter sink, the perfect bevel and the mirror-like polish on the inclined facet. When editing photos, I was moved by strange marks on the polished side contours of the bridge. When zoomed in, I realized that the profiles were polished so well that they only reflected images of other screw heads nearby.
Signature 1 was signed on the front and back of Didier Cretin, one of Greubel Forsey’s excellent watchmakers, and is essentially a Greubel Forsey copy watch Cooperation, but the perspective is slightly different. The manual winding GFS1 movement consists of approximately 190 parts (for reference, the Double Tourbillon 30º has approximately 326 parts), has 21 jewels and a 54-hour power reserve. The sapphire glass case back provides a broad view of the movement, and the slightly smaller structure does not miss the core competitiveness of GF.
Signature 1 exhibits recognizable matte and speckled finishes, straight-grained sides, polished bevels and inclined contours. No matter from which point of view, Signature 1 is an absolute enjoyment, and under the magnification of a camera or a magnifying glass, its details are impressive for watches of any price. From the perspective of traditional complexity, Signature 1 may be simple, but “time only” and “manual tightening” are the end. Look at the photos.
Continuing to talk about “close”, I mean, Greubel Forsey Signature 1 is the simplest watch they have ever produced. Although I can admire their wild GMT and incredibly complex Quantième Perpétuel, these watches are very large and definitely not as many daily wears as I imagined (although I am happy to learn other ways).
When Greubel Forsey switched to a smaller 24 Seconds Vision wearable platform, the Signature 1 was worn similarly to a regular watch. The width of the case is 41.4 mm (almost the same as my Omega Seamaster) and the thickness is only 11.7 mm (no doubt, thanks to the 7.4 mm thick GFS1 movement).
The Signature 1 has short lugs and a soft alligator strap, which is easy to wear and looks radiant on the wrist. It fits my cuffs and uses a dome-shaped crystal and a non-flashy straight-grained case. It is surprisingly subtle to wear due to its eye-catching design.
In the end, like Greubel Forsey’s first steel watch, “steel”. Signature 1s is equipped with red gold, white gold and platinum, and will use a stunning blue chronograph dial.
Signature 1 is not what we expect to get from Greubel Forsey. It not only challenges the established concept of the brand itself and the current market for high-end time-limited replica men watches, but also opens the door for future collaboration within the Signature series.