Greubel Forsey Introduces the Ultimate Travel-Time Tourbillon

The GMT Quadruple Tourbillon in titanium.

An independent watchmaker exemplified by chronometric complications and movement decoration, Greubel Forsey has created its own distinctive style that mixes classical finishing and ideas with contemporary design, giving it a unique position in the landscape.

The brand is best known for its elaborate tourbillons, but it also offers practical, everyday complications, albeit combined with tourbillons. Now, for the 10th anniversary of its first GMT model, Greubel Forsey has unleashed the GMT Quadruple Tourbillon in titanium.

Likely the most complex GMT watch on the market, it’s regulated by twin double-axis tourbillons, while conveniently telling the time in two time zones and also around the world with a rotating globe. Originally launched in white gold, it’s now in titanium, match with a restrained blue-and-grey palette.

Initial thoughts

Greubel Forsey’s GMT complication can be found in a surprisingly broad range of watches, from old-school complications with traditional aesthetics to a modern sports watch, but it is always paired with a tourbillon.

A second time zone function is elementary next to a tourbillon, but by combining the two, Greubel Forsey raises the bar for a dual-time watch – in both technical accomplishment and price. The GMT Quadruple Tourbillon is perhaps the most technically impressive and meticulously finished travel-time watch – and the new titanium-and-blue version looks magnificent.

In fact, I am convinced that the latest version of the GMT is the brand’s finest yet. It’s been streamlined and sharpened, giving it a subtle, contemporary feel that’s enhanced by the cool colours. And because of the tweaks to the palette and layout, the dial becomes less crowded and more readable.

But like most of the brand’s watches, the GMT is extra large, measuring 46.5 mm wide and a bit under 18 mm high, which is slightly impractical for a true travel watch, though it’s now made more wearable in titanium. The watch is accompanied by a price tag of CHF 760,000, an astronomical sum justified by its impeccable finish, mechanical ingenuity, and the fact that no one else makes a travel watch quite like this.

Time zones and tourbillons

The GMT does not simply tell the time in two locations. The small sub-dial at four o’clock does indicate a second time zone, but the watch does a bit more.

First with a massive blue sphere that rotates once a day, and also with the cities disc on the back. The sphere and cities disc function as a world time display that shows the time in all 24 time zones, along with whether they are in darkness or day.

Similarly, the movement does not simply average out positional errors with a tourbillon, or even two – it is a Quadruple Tourbillon. But what do four tourbillon regulators do better?

To start with, though only two tourbillon bridges are visible, the movement does have four tourbillons, strictly speaking. That’s because instead of using four separate tourbillons, the movement relies two pairs of nested cages – each cage rotating on its own axes – so each pair is comprised of two tourbillons.

The “quad” set up reduces positional errors in several stages (we explored why the position of a watch influences timekeeping here). The first is similar to the role of a conventional tourbillon, rotating once a minute to average out errors but inclined at 30 degree angle in order to do so in positions other than the vertical. The second relies on an outer cage that revolves at a different rate – four rotations per minute to be precise – to further average out positional errors.

But that’s not all: the final stage is the doubling the twin-axis tourbillon – resulting in four of them – and connecting them with a spherical differential, an intermediary that averages the rate difference between the two, which would have been significantly reduced by this point.

Key facts and price

Greubel Forsey GMT Quadruple Tourbillon

Diameter: 46.5 mm
Height: 17.45 mm
Material: Titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: GMT Quadruple Tourbillon
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, world time, day and night indicator, and quadruple tourbillons
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Hand wind
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Rubber

Limited edition: 11 pieces
Availability: Now at Greubel Forsey online shop and authorised retailers
CHF760,000 (excluding tax)

For more, visit


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Grand Seiko Introduces the Masterpiece Spring Drive 8 Day Jewelry Watch

Anniversary glitter.

Having first unveiled one set with diamonds and blue sapphires last year – that no doubt sold out briskly – Grand Seiko has just announced the Masterpiece Collection Spring Drive 8 Day Jewelry Watch 140th Anniversary (ref. SBGD207).

This is similar to last year’s model – a Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8 Day with the dial, flange, and crown set with diamonds and garnets – combining the refined, artisanal movement finishing of the Micro Artist Studio with lavish gem-setting.

Initial thoughts

Last year’s sapphire-set 8 Day watch was impressive and truly special, being the first highly-jewelled, mechanical men’s watch from Seiko (or Grand Seiko) in two or three decades. The new SBGD207 in green is equally impressive, though it does reduce the unique nature of the original.

Being a variant of the Spring Drive 8 Day, the SBGD207 will wear much like the standard model, which is extremely hefty and large for a Grand Seiko, and slightly top heavy on the wrist. The mass of the watch probably works better with the lavish gemstone setting, making the sparkle as over the top as the size. And because the SBGD207 has a green mother of pearl dial, it probably has more flash than last year’s model that had a grained, silvery dial finish.

And the movement will be equally refined, having all the hand-finished intricacy of the 9R01 in the standard model. Though finely decorated, the movement lacks visual detail, because almost all of it is hidden under a single, massive barrel bridge with an upper shape shaped like the outline of Mount Fuji.

The SBGD207 costs US$185,000, exactly the same as last year’s model. That’s about four times the standard version of the 8 Day, but the premium is similar to that for gem-set men’s watches from comparable brands.

Green with envy

Like much of Grand Seiko’s other offerings, the SBGD207 is inspired by the nature around the brand’s factories. Its green colours drawn on the landscape around Mishaka Pond, a small water body located in a natural park near Shiojiri, the town that’s home to the Micro Artist Studio.

The centre of the dial is green-lacquered mother of pearl that’s surrounded by white gold chapter ring set with tapered, baguette-cut diamonds with green garnets for the hour markers. The outer flange of the dial is similarly set with diamonds and green garnets, except brilliant cut. All the gemstones are set at the Shinshu Watch Studio, another workshop within the Shiojiri facility.

The case is platinum, and measures 43 mm by 13.5 mm, making it one of the biggest watches Grand Seiko makes, and surely the heaviest. It’s finished with a flat-polishing technique known as Zaratsu, and has a single, brilliant-cut diamond set into the crown.

Key facts

Grand Seiko Masterpiece Spring Drive 8 Day Jewelry Watch 140th Anniversary
Ref. SBGD207

Diameter: 43 mm
Height: 13.5 mm
Material: Platinum, set with 97 diamonds (2.23 carat) and 24 green garnets (0.63 carat)
Dial: Green mother of pearl
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: 9R01
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator; and independently-adjustable hour hand
Winding: Hand-wound Spring Drive
Power reserve: 8 days (192 hours)

Strap: Crocodile with folding clasp

Limited edition: 15 pieces
From May 2021 at Grand Seiko boutiques
Price: US$185,000; or ¥20 million (prices exclude tax)

For more, visit


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IWC Revives the Fliegerchronograph Ceramic 3705

The Tribute to 3705 in Ceratanium.

Perhaps the most widely leaked recent launch, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” is a remake of the uncommon, ceramic-case Fliegerchronograph of 1994. Available only online via IWC’s web store, the Tribute to 3705 reproduces the look of the original, but in a larger case made of Ceratanium, essentially a titanium-ceramic composite. And the movement is the in-house cal. 69380.

Initial thoughts

Possessing the clear, functional style of IWC’s first-generation pilot’s watches, the original 3705 was a good looking watch. Being a pretty faithful remake, the Tribute to 3705 is almost as attractive. A little of the original’s proportions have been lost – the hour hand on the remake looks a bit short – but the Tribute to 3705 is appealing.

And it’s also an upgrade with the new case material as well as the in-house movement, which enhances the appeal. It is, however, expensive at US$11,900. That’s 20% more pricey than the Top Gun “SFTI” chronograph, which has a ceramic case and the same movement.

No doubt conceived to capitalise on desirability of the original 3705 – an example once owned by former IWC chief executive Gunter Blumlein sold for a little under US$54,000 in 2018 – the Tribute to 3705 will be sold exclusively online via That makes the project feel a little opportunistic, since it means IWC will retain almost all of the margin on the watch, instead of having to split it with a third-party retailer or even a landlord. That diminishes the appeal a little.

The Fliegerchronograph Keramik 3705 of 1994


Larger than the 39 mm original, the Tribute to 3705 case is 41 mm in diameter, and a thick 15.3 mm high. It’s made of Ceratanium, as are the chronograph pushers and buckle. Ceratanium is actually a composite of titanium and ceramic. It’s produced via powder metallurgy, which can be summarised as mixing powdered forms of titanium and ceramic and then sintering the mix in a special oven at high temperature and pressure.

Though different from ceramic, Ceratanium is similar visually. That similarity continues on the dial, which sticks to the broad strokes of the original, but with different proportions given the larger case and new movement.

Compared to the original, the Tribute to 3705 has larger registers and a slightly different marker at 12 o’clock. And while the hands retain the shape of the original, the hour hand is disproportionately shorter.

Inside the cal. 69380, a movement IWC developed to replace the Valjoux 7750. Though both have a similar chronograph layout, they are clearly different: the 7750 has its constant seconds at nine, while the cal. 69380 has the seconds at six.

The cal. 69380 is superior to the 7750 in features, including relying on a column wheel instead of a cam to control the chronograph. It also has a pawl-based automatic winding system similar to IWC’s signature Pellaton winding mechanism.

Key Facts and Price

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705”
Ref. IW387905

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 15.3 mm
Material: Ceratanium, including pushers
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 60 m

Movement: Cal. 69380
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day, date, and chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 46 hours

Strap: Leather with Ceratanium pin buckle

Limited edition: 1,000 pieces
 Only at IWC online stores on, WeChat, Mr Porter, and Tmall
Price: US$11,900; or €12,700

For more, visit

Correction February 25, 2021: Ceratanium is a titanium-ceramic composite, and not ceramic-coated titanium as stated in an earlier version of the article.

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