When Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey debuted their first watch—the Double Tourbillon 30°—at Baselworld in 2004, the duo solidified its place as the modern master of tourbillons. The design was like nothing ever created before, with two tourbillon cages resulting in the greatest accuracy and consistency possible. Since then, we have seen Greubel Forsey continue to develop the complication with models like the Quadruple Tourbillon and Tourbillon 24 Seconds. Now, we get the latest in the brand’s legacy of tourbillion watches with what it’s calling its 8th Fundamental Invention: the Tourbillon Cardan.
The all-new Tourbillon Cardan is a swiveling tourbillon with a flying appearance suspended by two arched cardan rings or gimbals. A traditional gimbal was first developed for pocket watches, which inherently have a vertical orientation. Here, the two rings are free to move and their job is to keep the object they contain horizontal. For the Tourbillon Cardan, Greubel Forsey reconsiders and optimizes this approach for the horizontal orientation of a wristwatch with the tilt of the rings oscillating between +30° to -30° in conjunction with the fixed 30° incline of the tourbillon. Altogether, the design offers a better ratio of angular velocity to chronometric performance.
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This model marks Greubel Forsey’s fastest tourbillon to date. While most tourbillons have a revolution of 60 seconds, this one is almost four times faster with a revolution of just 16 seconds. In addition, it incorporates a large balance wheel that has been designed, developed, and made in-house to optimize oscillations.
The swiveling tourbillon sits in the lower left-hand portion of the dial of the Tourbillon Cardan while your standard timekeeper appears in the upper right-hand portion. Together, the interplay of the two round mechanisms creates the subtle shape of a figure eight as a nod to the brand’s 8th Fundamental Invention. To accommodate the complex functionality of the Tourbillon Cardan, it’s housed in a hefty 45.5mm case with a domed sapphire crystal, giving the watch a sizable height of 18.15mm. However, Greubel Forsey keeps the construction lightweight by using titanium. The model is complete with a vegan leather strap featuring a complementary titanium folding clasp.
The new watch is available today for $532,000. The brand will produce just 11 pieces each year for the next five years.
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