Greubel Forsey Hand Made 1

If you know me, you know that one of my all-time dream watches would be a Greubel Forsey to be more precise the GMT. Last year I had the opportunity to talk with Stephen one of the 2 founders. For a long time, we talked about watchmaking and innovations which were so refreshing. The craftsmanship which is put in those watches in impeccable, for me every Greubel Forsey tries to push the boundaries of watchmaking. Take, for example, the Quadruple GMT which houses 4 tourbillons to be “more precise”. But it shows the craftsmanship and again pushing the boundaries.

As of today, they presented a new watch that isn’t made how often done, except if your name is Vianney Halter. The Greubel Forsey Hand Made 1, a watch that suited its name with 95% of this timepiece including the hairspring) made using only hand-operated tools. Every single watch that takes over an astonishing 6,000 hours of work. With the Hand Made 1, Greubel Forsey wants to go back to the unprecedented traditional watchmaking. Before the Industrial Revolution and mass production, watch components had to be made one by one requiring very specific skills, tools and completely hand-operated machines. Today, with industrialisation, excellence in hand craftsmanship has virtually disappeared and these skills are not even taught in schools.

As said Greubel Forsey is well known for pushing back boundaries in its research and in their creations to accomplish what had never even been thought of before. The Hand Made 1 is not an exception; it features an hour, minutes and the second marker and a tourbillon. The calibre is one we already know from them but took some determination to replicate the calibre by hand. The Hand Made 1 has been entirely created from scratch. The movement construction, traditional machining, and hand-finishing specialists reflected at length on each of the 272 movement components and 36 case parts.

o create 308 components of the Hand Made 1 respecting Greubel Forsey criteria, over 800 individual parts had to be made. It took almost 35 times longer to make the complete tourbillon cage than for a standard tourbillon. When just a dozen operations on an automatic lathe effortlessly yield some 500 screws, a single screw, as small as it may be, requires up to 12 individual operations taking up to 8 hours to make just one. Finally, to handmake one wheel of the Hand Made 1 takes 600 times longer than that of a high-end industrial wheel.

Finally, an entirely handmade timepiece, from the movement to the case, to the leather strap, and the dial and hands is made. The only exceptions being the sapphire crystals, the case gaskets, the springbars, the jewels, and the mainspring. The Handmade 1 will be made as just two or three timepieces per year.

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