Tourbillon complication is one of the most celebrated, if not the most cherished complication in the world of horology, and timekeepers with this feature are always very sought after and expensive. What should we then say about the watch that sports no less than four asynchronous tourbillons that work independently in order to enhance accuracy as it is the case with Greubel Forsey Invention Piece 2? With such complex mechanism, it comes as no surprise that this watch was crowned as the best watch of the year in the Complication category at the recently organized GPHG 2012 awards.
Invention Pieces – Showing off the Innovations
In less than a decade of its existence, Greubel Forsey launched several impressive horological innovations based on its proprietary development methodology named Experimental Watch Technology (EWT) which includes the complete creation and testing of new solutions in the brand’s laboratory. The brand has a special collection named Invention Piece (IP) that is focused on presenting its breakthroughs. So far, there have been three watches in this series and each one of them was a tribute to a different innovation. The latest one of them is actually with the serial number 2 (IP 1 came out in 2007 and IP 3 two years later), which can be a bit confusing, just like the fact that the best complicated watch of the year 2012, IP 2, was actually first presented at the start of the last year, at SIHH 2011.
Invention Piece 2 – A Tribute to Quadruple Tourbillon
As it has been said, Invention Pieces are devised as tributes to Greubel Forsey’s major novelties. One of those breakthroughs was Quadruple Tourbillon piece first presented in 2008 which featured two double tourbillons and a spherical differential. Invention Piece 2 utilizes this technology, but presents it in an entirely new and improved package with two double tourbillons standing on the opposite sides. Each of twin double tourbillons 30° (by the way, double tourbillon 30° is the innovation celebrated in Invention Piece 1) is comprised from an outer one that makes a full revolution every four minutes, and an inner one which is inclined at the angle of 30 degrees and rotates once per minute. The importance of having four tourbillons in the same mechanism is quite clear because it provides exceptional accuracy by using four independent asynchronous tourbillons to average out and minimizing the negative effects of the gravity. Two double tourbillon systems are joined with a spherical differential that distributes torque and allows tourbillons to rotate at different speeds.
A Peak from the Side
The entire Calibre GF03n movement of this exceptional timekeeper is comprised of 594 components, and each of double tourbillon systems consists of 129 parts. As it is expected, the most of the three-dimensional skeletonized face of the watch is dedicated to the display of the watch’s technical excellence, with double tourbillon systems dominating the view. Another trait that is instantly notable is the presence of three protuberances on the case which are interesting visually, but more importantly, they allow that this highly intricate timepiece has the diameter of just 43.5mm. The neat detail is also a sapphire window placed on the case at the eight o’clock position that provides additional insight into the functioning of a double tourbillon system.
A Power Reserve of 56 Hours
The current time is displayed a bit differently on this Greubel Forsey timekeeper, with the use of an off-centered sub dial. A fixed outer hour disk has a conjoined red arrow that shows the hour, while the minutes are indicated with the use of an inner rotating disk. On the other hand, seconds can be seen at the ten o’clock position, on a small seconds counter that utilizes the information from four tourbillons that are recovered by the spherical differential. Beneath the hour and minute disks, there are three concealed main-spring barrels that provide a power reserve which lasts for 56 hours, as it is indicated on the display set at the eleven o’clock place. The caliber is hand wound and features the frequency of 21,600 vph. Naturally, the movement likewise features exceptional finishes that are expected in this kind of a product.
Eleven in Red Gold and Eleven more in Platinum
The previously mentioned 43.5mm wide case is 16.3mm thick, whereas the supported water resistance measures to 30 meters. The watch is available in two different materials for the housing: 5N red gold and platinum. Both of the versions are restricted to just 11 pieces (22 Invention Pieces 2 in total) and if you want the pleasure of owning the most impressive timekeeper of the year in the complication category, you will have to pay no less than 730,000 Swiss francs which is about $780,000.
Secretive Personal Message
Another interesting trait that goes hand in hand with the price and enhances the exclusivity of the timekeeper can be seen on the back of the case. There is a personal message from the brand’s founders, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey. However, what it says is a secret and it will be seen only by the owners of the watch. So if you are intrigued, you will just have to pay a bit less than eight hundred dollars for such information.
Recently, the manufacturer of the most complex timepiece of 2012, Greubel Forsey, also announced the cooperation with renowned micro-sculptor Willard Wigan, with whom they are making Art Piece 1.