Hands-On with the Greubel Forsey GMT Black
December 15, 2014
In 2011, Greubel Forsey introduced the GMT, a timepiece that goes well beyond a conventional second time zone watch by incorporating a terrestrial globe completing each anti-clockwise rotation in 24h – the same direction in which our planet spins. Today, in advance of its official SIHH 2015 debut, we bring you an exclusive hands-on look at the latest version: the GMT Black.
The GMT Black comes in the same asymmetrical-shaped case as the original (43.5 mm by 16.14 mm), but now in ultra-light titanium with a vacuum deposited black ADLC coating. And while Greubel Forsey did not have the exact weight available, in my hand, the gold version feels approximately twice as heavy as the titanium.
The amorphous diamond-like carbon (ADLC) coating is much harder than natural titanium and is highly resistant to scratches. The top of the case and lugs have a shiny black surface, whereas the case sides and back are satin brushed, providing a subtle contrast.
The GMT Black, like the original, is powered by the manually wound caliber GF5. It features two barrels in series providing a 72-hour power reserve with a frequency of 3Hz. The movement comprises 443 total components. It features a patented 24-second tourbillon with 25° inclination, comprising 87 components for a total weight of 0.36 g.
While the movement is technically the same, the main plate and bridges, fittingly, have a new black finish. Moreover, the color palette of the dial and components is more restrained, which helps to bring out the contrast between the different textures and surface finishes of each component’s decoration.
Speaking about decoration, one of the specialities of Greubel Forsey, the hand finishes include frosting, hand-bevelling, hand-polishing, lapping, and straight graining with flat black polished finishes.
Functionally, everything is the same: the main time is displayed on the large dial at the top, with a small seconds dial at 3 o’clock. The power reserve indication is adjacent to the seconds display. The time is controlled via the crown, as is the globe with 24-hour time.
At 9’clock is the 2nd time zone (12-hour) which is controlled by the pusher on the left side of the caseband. The pusher is also used when reading the 24-hour wordtime that is shown around the perimeter of the globe. The caseback displays a world time disc, which coordinates directly with the globe.
Instead of a traditional leather strap, Stephen Forsey explained, that a custom synthetic strap was fabricated to match the sporty nature of the timepiece while giving a feel similar to leather. This unique edition will be composed of just 22 timepieces worldwide. The retail price of the GMT Black is $565,000.