Even though it’s been our home for millions of years, Earth remains somewhat of an enigma: at a cosmic scale, it is tiny, but man is yet to conquer so much of it, chasing a seemingly endless horizon.
But Greubel Forsey has somehow managed so “synthesize” our entire planet in this horological work of art: the Greubel Forsey GMT Earth – FINAL EDITION.
First introduced by the independent watchmaker back in 2011, a decade later we have this third and final version – hence the name.
For this final version, the main motto at Greubel Forsey really must have been “pull no punches“, because this black-coated 45mm titanium case contains plenty of unprecedented and exclusive features.
As we just mentioned, the Swiss watchmaker decided to use titanium for this final version of the GMT Earth. This is a huge technical advancement with respect to the previous two series (made from gold and platinum) in that titanium is just as strong as steel, but it weighs half as much. Also, titanium is incredibly scratch resistant, making this a watch whose aesthetics will truly last. So the evolution from gold and platinum in the first two series, comes to a conclusion with titanium – a rather fitting ending.
Aside from being the main case material, titanium is also employed for components such as the bridges, the GMT regulatory pusher, the crown, and strap buckle. It would make sense to use a material as scratch resistant as titanium, as these exposed external features are the most “scratch-prone” parts of the watch.
Not only that, but by choosing titanium, the brand has massively flexed its savoir-faire, in that this material requires highly specific and technical instruments – as well as excellent craftsmanship – to be able to work with.
The lighter tones of the naturally opaque titanium are then enhanced by black coatings and special surface finishes, in order to give the main deck a sandblasted look, whilst the bridges are given a classic haute-horology “perlage” finish.
One notable feature lies on the bezel: if you look closely, you can see that the brand’s core values are printed onto it. This is something that we definitely haven’t seen before!
This textured text motif is also visible on the the natural rubber strap: all black with a Greubel Forsey signature on the upper surface, and its core values below.
By further observing the GMT Earth Final Edition, we can identify four main pieces of information.
The first is the hour, minute and seconds. These are represented in an off-centred location: a trademark of Greubel Forsey’s dial layout.
Making up the small-ish hours and minutes subdial is a synthetic sapphire disc upon which the hour markers are applied with a galvanic font, and the minute markers are engraved and lacquered.
The skeletonised hour and minute hands, made from polished steel, are given large arrow heads which are filled with Super Luminova.
Instead, the seconds are displayed on an even smaller subdial sapphire “disc” which intersects the perimeter of the former at the 3 o’clock position
On the left hand side of the watch, we can find the second piece of information: thanks to the GMT indicator, we can read off the time in our desired secondary time-zone. This is executed by a popping crimson red triangular central hand which points to the relevant numeral on the black gold (yes, black gold) hand engraved and lacquered disc.
Shifting our attention to the opposite position, at 4 o’clock, we can see the timepiece’s impressive 72 hour power reserve indicator.
This power reserve indicator follows the same design and construction process as the previously mentioned GMT ring: made from black gold, hand engraved and lacquered, as well as being adorned with a highly polished steel hand.
The fourth and final piece of information that we can read off of this watch’s dial sits between the 7 and 9 o’clock positions. Within this space, we find a 24-hour ring which encircles a reproduction of the Planet Earth on a globe (visible on both sides of the watch), which rotates as time goes on.
This 24 hour ring around the Equator is made from hand engraved sapphire, and serves as a day/night indicator for the Earth’s two hemispheres. As we mentioned before, this globe is visible from all angles: Greubel Forsey managed to find a system by which it seems to float, just as it does in space. This “full visibilty” is a feature which wasn’t present on the first edition of the GMT Earth as you could not see the South Pole.
On the caseback, you can find 24 different cities, each representing their time zone, printed on a white base, peculiarly radially-arranged tabs, almost as if they follow the swaying rotational motion of the globe.
The Greubel Forsey GMT Earch Final Edition is powered by a manually wound, 453 component mechanical movement, beating at a rate of 21,600 alternations per hour, with a power reserve of, as previously stated, 72 hours.
This timepiece also makes use of the watchmaker’s third fundamental invention: the 24-second tourbillon.
The cage containing the revolutionary accuracy-improving component rotates at a super high velocity at a 25° angle of inclination in order to provide symmetrical balance spring expansion and contraction at critical points due to gravity.
These two qualities are able to significantly improve the chronometric accuracy performance of the single-tourbillon timepiece.
Ending on where we started, the use of innovative lightweight materials allow the GMT Earth Final Edition to weigh just 117 grams all in all: the new strap is three times lighter, and the case shed just over a third of its original weight!
Only 11 exemplars of this hyper limited Greubel Forsey masterpiece will be manufactured: three times less than the number of first editions that were made.
The price of each one? Well, that’s upon request.
For more information, head on over to the official Greubel Forsey website
Yet again, Greubel Forsey has proven itself to be one of the most avant-garde brands out there, able to challenge the limits of horology whilst also maintaining its unmistakable signature style.
In short, despite the main colour being black, the presence of a tourbillon, the starkly contrasting red GMT hand, and the golden hue of the main visible working components totally sets this timepiece apart from the increasingly monotonous “matte-black” trend that we are seeing nowadays.
Author: Lorenzo Manenti
Translated by: Patrick R.