Greubel Forsey's 8th Fundamental Invention: The Tourbillon Cardan

By gregory lausch


Welcome to The Second Hand Club, your exclusive gateway to the world of horology, where timepieces transcend mere accessories and become works of art. In this edition, we invite you to embark on a journey into the captivating realm of Greubel Forsey and their latest masterpiece, the Tourbillon Cardan. It's not just a watch; it's a testament to innovation, craftsmanship, and the relentless pursuit of horological excellence.

In the world of haute horlogerie, Greubel Forsey needs no introduction. Their timepieces are revered not just for their functionality but for their sheer artistry. With every creation, Greubel Forsey raises the bar, setting new standards for precision, aesthetics, and innovation. As we dive into the intricacies of the Tourbillon Cardan, we'll uncover the groundbreaking technology that sets it apart from the rest and explore the meticulous craftsmanship that brings it to life.

Beyond the sumptuous aesthetics and the prestigious name, the Tourbillon Cardan tells a story of relentless innovation. It represents Greubel Forsey's 8th Fundamental Invention, a remarkable milestone in the brand's illustrious history. This isn't just another watch; it's a marvel of engineering, a testament to the brand's unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the world of horology.

A close look at the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon Cardan.

A Revolution in Tourbillon Technology

In the world of horology, innovation is the lifeblood that fuels progress and sets apart exceptional timepieces. Greubel Forsey's Tourbillon Cardan emerges as a groundbreaking force in the evolution of tourbillon technology. The heart of this horological marvel beats with a high-speed tourbillon, a mesmerizing spectacle that challenges conventional wisdom. Unlike its slower counterparts, the tourbillon inside the Tourbillon Cardan completes a full rotation in a mere 16 seconds. This rapid movement isn't just for show; it serves a profound purpose.

By defying convention and speeding up the tourbillon's rotation, Greubel Forsey's engineers have unleashed its full potential. The blazingly fast tourbillon ensures that positional variations are meticulously averaged out, resulting in unparalleled accuracy. With each swift rotation, it conquers the challenges posed by gravity, providing a level of precision that was once considered unattainable in the world of mechanical watches. It's a testament to Greubel Forsey's commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is achievable, making the Tourbillon Cardan not just a timekeeper but a precision instrument.

Beyond its speed, the Tourbillon Cardan introduces another groundbreaking feature: a 30-degree incline. While traditional tourbillons remain parallel to the dial, this daring inclination optimizes the tourbillon's performance in real-world conditions. Wristwatches encounter different positions throughout the day, and Greubel Forsey's innovation ensures that the Tourbillon Cardan excels in all of them. This seemingly subtle adjustment represents a monumental leap in watchmaking, elevating the tourbillon from a mere complication to a true symbol of horological excellence.

To further enhance chronometric precision, the Tourbillon Cardan incorporates two mobile mounting rings, a testament to Greubel Forsey's unwavering pursuit of perfection. These rings, connected by 90-degree axes, gracefully tilt backward and forwards every 48 seconds. This intricate dance, carefully choreographed, complements the fixed 30-degree incline of the tourbillon. Together, they create a harmonious ballet that maximizes angular velocity and, consequently, chronometric performance. It's a symphony of engineering ingenuity, a marriage of precision and elegance that sets the Tourbillon Cardan apart as a true masterpiece of horology.

The Greubel Forsey Tourbillon Cardan on the wrist.

A Closer Look at the Timepiece

The Greubel Forsey Tourbillon Cardan isn't merely a feat of engineering; it's a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship that demands your attention. Its outer casing is a work of art in itself, meticulously crafted from hand-finished titanium. This choice of material isn't just about aesthetics; it's a testament to Greubel Forsey's commitment to combining form and function seamlessly. Titanium offers durability while remaining remarkably lightweight, making it the ideal canvas for the watchmaker's artistry.

Measuring 45.5mm in diameter, the Tourbillon Cardan commands a presence on the wrist that is both bold and refined. Its slightly wider 46mm bezel creates an elegant frame for the timepiece, accentuating its proportions. At 13.81mm thick, the case exudes a sense of solidity and purpose, but it's the heavily domed sapphire crystal that truly sets this watch apart. It serves as a window into the intricate mechanical ballet taking place within the dial, and its curvature adds a touch of vintage charm to the overall design.

The transparent caseback further enriches the experience, offering an unhindered view of the inner workings of the Tourbillon Cardan. Every gear, every spring, every bridge is a testament to the skill and dedication of Greubel Forsey's artisans. With a water resistance rating of up to 30 meters, this timepiece isn't just a display of luxury; it's a watch that can accompany you on your daily adventures, elevating every moment with its elegance.

To complement the watch's sustainability ethos, it comes with a black hand-sewn strap and a signed titanium folding clasp made from a "non-animal material." This choice aligns with Greubel Forsey's commitment to ethical and ecological considerations. It's a subtle but significant detail that showcases the brand's dedication to not just craftsmanship but also conscientiousness in a world that increasingly values sustainability and responsible sourcing.

A different angle on the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon Cardan.

A Symphony of Craftsmanship

The Greubel Forsey Tourbillon Cardan is a testament to the artistry that elevates watchmaking from a technical pursuit to a form of high culture. With every component meticulously crafted by skilled hands, this timepiece is a symphony of craftsmanship that plays to the tune of precision and beauty.

The journey begins with a titanium mainplate, forming the foundation upon which this horological masterpiece is built. This material, known for its lightweight yet robust characteristics, is hand-finished to perfection. The result is not just a watch case but a canvas upon which the watchmaker's artistry can shine.

The bridges, crafted from frosted nickel silver, are more than functional elements; they are works of art in their own right. The frosted finish adds a touch of texture that catches the light in mesmerizing ways. Each bridge represents hours of painstaking work, a labor of love that testifies to Greubel Forsey's commitment to excellence.

Close look on the Tourbillon cage from the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon Cardan.

The tourbillon cage, a central element of this timepiece, is a masterpiece of micro-engineering. With polished bevels, straight-grained flanks, and a barrel-polished arch, it stands as a testament to the watchmaker's dedication to perfection. More than 30 hours of work go into just the finishing of this single component, showcasing the meticulous attention to detail that defines the Tourbillon Cardan.

The multi-level dial, crafted from gold, adds another layer of opulence to this horological marvel. Its open-worked pillars create an architectural aesthetic, a visual delight that draws you into the heart of the watch. The registers for the running seconds display and power reserve indicator, also made from gold, undergo an intricate process of engraving and lacquering, adding to their opulent appearance. Every surface of the Tourbillon Cardan is a canvas for artistic expression, showcasing a multitude of textures and finishing techniques that come together to create a watch that is not just a timekeeping instrument but a work of art.

A Limited and Exclusive Offering

The Greubel Forsey Tourbillon Cardan is more than just a watch; it's a collector's dream, an embodiment of exclusivity that transcends the boundaries of conventional timepieces. Greubel Forsey has made a deliberate choice to limit the production of this masterpiece to a mere 55 pieces over five years, with an annual target of just eleven watches. This decision amplifies the Tourbillon Cardan's allure, making it one of the most exclusive timepieces in the world of haute horlogerie.

With a price tag of $532,000 USD, the Tourbillon Cardan undoubtedly takes its place in the upper echelons of luxury watches. Yet, at this rarified level, value goes beyond monetary considerations. What you're acquiring is not just a watch but a piece of horological history, a testament to human ingenuity and craftsmanship. It's a watch that stands as a symbol of excellence, meticulously crafted to perfection.

Owning a Tourbillon Cardan is akin to acquiring a rare piece of art. It's not merely a timekeeping device; it's a statement of discernment, a demonstration of your appreciation for the finest things in life. In a world where mass production often prevails, the Tourbillon Cardan is a beacon of exclusivity, a reflection of a commitment to quality that knows no compromise.

As you become a custodian of one of these 55 limited pieces, you're not just joining an elite club of collectors; you're securing a piece of horological history. It's an investment not just in a watch but in a legacy, a legacy of innovation, craftsmanship, and the enduring allure of haute horlogerie. The Tourbillon Cardan is more than a timepiece; it's a testament to the art of watchmaking, a masterpiece that will be cherished and revered for generations to come.

Another look on the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon Cardan on the wrist.

Our Thoughts

In the captivating world of horology, where timepieces become art, the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon Cardan undoubtedly commands our attention. It's not just a watch; it's a mesmerizing blend of innovation, craftsmanship, and artistic expression that resonates profoundly with discerning collectors.

At its core, the Tourbillon Cardan symbolizes a relentless pursuit of precision. Greubel Forsey's audacious approach to tourbillon technology challenges traditional norms. The high-speed tourbillon, rotating every 16 seconds, redefines accuracy, showcasing the brand's unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of mechanical watchmaking.

The 30-degree incline of the tourbillon acknowledges the real-world conditions that wristwatches face, optimizing performance for everyday wear. Greubel Forsey's dedication to enhancing chronometric precision is evident, making the Tourbillon Cardan not just a watch but a testament to functional artistry.

The tilting mounting rings, choreographing their dance every 48 seconds, add complexity and elegance to this masterpiece. Their intricate interplay with the inclined tourbillon reflects the brand's relentless pursuit of perfection. The result is a harmonious symphony of mechanical artistry, where every component plays its part in the pursuit of horological excellence.

Externally, the hand-finished titanium case, the frosted nickel silver bridges, and the meticulously crafted gold dial are testaments to artisanal craftsmanship. Each component tells a story of dedication, of artisans spending countless hours to perfect their craft. It's this commitment to detail that sets the Tourbillon Cardan apart as a true masterpiece.

But beyond its technical marvel and exquisite aesthetics, the Tourbillon Cardan carries a deeper significance. It's a symbol of exclusivity, a piece of horological history available to only a fortunate few. Its limited production and conscientious use of sustainable materials reflect a unique identity. The Tourbillon Cardan is an experience, a reminder of the enduring allure of finely crafted, limited-edition creations.

In a world of disposable goods, the Tourbillon Cardan stands as a testament to the enduring art of horology. It's more than a watch; it's an heirloom piece, a living testament to the timeless appeal of collecting timepieces as both a passion and an art form. Greubel Forsey has not only created a watch but also a masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of horological excellence and the art of timekeeping.