It’s hardly a coincidence that Greubel Forsey is consistently a favorite brand among individuals with extensive experience handling extremely high-end timepieces. Founded in 2004, Greubel Forsey is a relatively young company when it comes to the greater landscape of luxury watches, yet its creations are universally regarded as being some of the most finely crafted timepieces that are currently available. Greubel Forsey watches combine traditional finishing techniques and mechanical innovations with modern materials and avant-garde designs — and nowhere is this more apparent than the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique 18k White Gold, which is an immaculately constructed timepiece that looks and feels contemporary, while still proudly carrying on the spirit and traditions that define classic high-end mechanical watchmaking.
When Greubel Forsey made its debut appearance back in 2004, the company came out swinging with the original Double Tourbillon 30° as its inaugural model. Over the years, the double tourbillon 30° complication has played a central role within Greubel Forsey’s catalog, becoming one of the brand’s signature mechanical features and winning numerous prestigious industry awards for its unique structure that features a 60-second tourbillon that is inclined at a 30° angle and rotating within an additional four-minute tourbillon cage.
Among the most significant models to feature Greubel Forsey’s signature complication is the Double Tourbillon 30° Technique, which first made an appearance in 2010 with a striking skeletonized aesthetic, and won first prize at the International Chronometry Competition the following year. Watches participating in the competition are judged based on their timekeeping precision, and the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique scored 915 out of a total possible 1,000 points, giving it first place in both the tourbillon category and within the overall competition.
Unapologetically technical in its overall design with exposed gears and the manufacturer’s signature inclined double tourbillon taking center stage at the 6 o’clock location, the premium materials and immaculate finishing present on the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique exude a sense of unmistakable luxury. Crafted from solid 18k white gold, the case of the watch offers plenty of wrist presence and measures 47.5mm in diameter by 16.8mm thick with a pair of sapphire crystals fitted to either side of the case to allow an unobstructed view of the dynamic mechanics of the movement.
Separately attached lugs with a slightly concave profile feature prominent connecting screws and curve downward to help make the watch’s significant case size more manageable on the wrist. Additionally, both the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock sides of the case are adorned with decorative panels that feature Greubel Forsey’ production and finishing philosophy meticulously engraved in French. A signed winding crown located at the 3 o’clock location grants access to the movement, while the large display caseback is attached with six screws and helps provide users with 30 meters of water resistance.
When it comes to the face of the watch, the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique 18k White Gold offers very little in the form of a traditional “dial” — however, that is exactly what you want from a manufacturer that finishes its movements with this level of attention and detail. A clear sapphire outer ring contains hour markers that work in conjunction with a pair of centrally-mounted hands, while a small running seconds indicator appears at the 9 o’clock location and is accented by a bright red triangular hand. A decorated stack of mainspring barrels sits at 11 o’clock on the dial, while the angled double tourbillon resides at 6 o’clock, and a power reserve indicator fitted with another red triangular hand rounds out the dial at the 3 o’clock location. Serving as the backdrop for all of this is the baseplate of the movement, which features a deep black color and gives the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique the appearance that the various structures forming its display are floating inside its case.
Given the highly skeletonized and architectural design of the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique series, the inner workings of the watch are actually the exact same components that you see when you look at it to read the time. At the heart of everything is Greubel Forsey’s manually-wound inclined double tourbillon movement, which is expertly crafted and finished to the highest possible standards. Running at a frequency of 21,600vph (3Hz) and offering users a generous 120-hour power reserve due to its four co-axial mainspring barrels, the movement of the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique is incorporated directly into the display of the watch, creating a visually arresting timepiece that perfectly represent the fusion of art and mechanical engineering.
The core concept behind Greubel Forsey’s unique angled double tourbillon design is that the 30° incline combined with the different rotational speeds of the two tourbillon cages will improve timekeeping by averaging out any positional errors resulting from gravity, with the specific degree of incline selected based on the angle that a watch typically sits while on the human wrist. Sitting on full display though a pair of sapphire crystals, Greubel Forsey’s 30° inclined double tourbillon movement is expertly finished to the very highest levels that exist within this industry, and it features gold chatons, frosted plates, polished screws, and expertly angled bevels on all of its bridges.
Versus the Competition
If you want an ultra-expensive skeletonized watch that is crafted from 18k white gold and fitted with a tourbillon, but would prefer to have something a bit more mainstream and recognizable, then the Richard Mille RM002 Manual Winding Tourbillon makes a fantastic alternative. While it offers a completely different presence on the wrist, the Richard Mille RM002 checks a lot of the same boxes as the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique, and although you only get one tourbillon as opposed to two of them, Richard Mille is arguably the most recognizable brand in the world when it comes to the hyper-technical luxury watch space.
On the other hand, if you like the idea of being able to see the inner workings of your watch but would prefer something a bit more understated and traditional in its overall design, then the A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Up/Down Lumen may be the perfect timepiece for you. While its smoked sapphire dial and large display caseback allow you to get an unobstructed view of its beautifully-finished mechanical movement, the overall aesthetic of the watch and its solid platinum case remains rather traditional, allowing you to have much of the same mechanical intrigue on your wrist without making quite as loud of a statement.
Lastly, if you love the skeletonized appearance of the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique 18k White Gold but are looking for something a bit more affordable than the six-figure sum that is required to obtain one, then the Roger Dubuis Excalibur 42 Skeleton Micro-Rotor Automatic RDDBEX0793 is a highly appealing alternative that can be purchased for a fraction of the price. While you don’t get a tourbillon and will have to be okay with a stainless steel case versus one that is crafted from solid white gold, you still receive an incredibe openworked micro-rotor movement that allows you to observe all of the internal mechanics of the watch.
The Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique 18k White Gold is the perfect watch for the person who wants an uncompromising statement piece that is crafted to the highest possible standards, but who doesn’t necessarily want to wear one of the more mainstream offerings within this space, such as those you are likely to see on the the wrists of professional athletes and celebrities. Although the 18k white gold case offers a more modern and pared-back appearance than something crafted from a warmer shade of gold, the architectural design of the movement sitting on full display allows the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique to be far more visually arresting than many other watches that have significantly more colorful and in-your-face designs.
Greubel Forsey is a brand that is almost exclusively enjoyed by serious enthusiasts and connoisseurs. In addition to the significant financial outlay that is required to obtain one, the manufacturer currently only produces a couple hundred watches each year, making Greubel Forsey timepieces legitimately rare items that you seldom see on people’s wrists. Simply put, the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique 18k White Gold is a timepiece that exists within the absolute highest levels of watchmaking. While it might be accompanied by a six-figure price tag, it delivers a striking design with award-winning timekeeping performance, and it offers some of the best finishing that you will find within the luxury watch industry — from any manufacturer and at any price.