What Makes This A $500,000 Watch?

Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture

by Michael Satterfield - 07/05/2022

Unless you are a hardcore watch aficionado it is likely that you have never heard of Swiss Watchmaker Greubel Forsey, in the legacy of Swiss watches, the company is still in its infancy having only been founded in 2004. But while the brand might not have a history stretching back to the 16th century, they are setting the standard for precision timekeeping and artistry. 

This new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture is non-traditional, with components seemingly suspended in space, showcasing the incredible craftsmanship the movement is ringed with text highlighting the company's values: Architecture, Harmonie, Innovation, Technique, Bienfacture, Passion, Science, Exclusivité, Créativité. 

Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture

This new case construction offers a look at even the smallest detail of the movement and allows light to penetrate almost unhindered. The design is enhanced by the light that passes through the case, casting shadows and highlighting unique features of this stunning movement. The case is a technical achievement in modern manufacturing itself, but the movement is what makes Tourbillon 24 Secondes truly special.  

The polished titanium bridges immediately stand out from the frosted finish of the mainplate, at 6 o'clock, a large spherical and openworked bridge with a hidden base seems to defy gravity. The barrel bridge at 10 o'clock also appears suspended in space. The caliber's energy source provides 90 hours chronometric power reserve, which is indicated by a moving red triangle over a conical disk at 3 o’clock. It too is held in place by another large polished titanium bridge. In the center, we find two large curved hands, indicating the hours and minutes, mounted on a signature Greubel Forsey tripod bridge. 

This highly complex handmade watch  will be limited to only 11 pieces in 2022, then to 18 pieces a
the year between 2023 and 2025 for a total of 65 exclusive timepieces overall with a retail price of $500,000 USD. 

Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture

What makes the Tourbillon 24 Secondes worth half a million dollars? Exclusivity and craftsmanship, while the company might only be 18 years old Greubel Forsey has won countless awards from the top horological competitions in the world and its founders have resumes from some of the top watchmakers in the world. Plus each Greubel Forsey is limited production so owners are buying into an exclusive club, which many in the high-end watch community find value in. Plus many collectors see luxury timepieces as investments or places to park capital as a hedge against inflation.

Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture

  • Overall diameter: 38.70mm
  • Thickness: 12.35mm
  • Movement: 354 parts
  • Tourbillon cage: 86 parts
  • Weight of the cage: 0.38g
  • Number of jewels: 42
  • Olived-domed jewels in gold chatons
  • Chronometric power reserve: 90 hours
  • Three coaxial series-coupled fast-rotating barrels (1 turn in 3.2 hours), one of which is equipped with a slipping spring to avoid excess tension
  • Engraved pattern with Greubel Forsey, lacquered, circular-grained
Balance Wheel
  • Variable-inertia with gold mean-time screws (10mm diameter)
  • Frequency 21’600 vibrations/hour
  • Balance springs: Phillips terminal curve
  • Geneva-style stud
Bridges and Main Plate
  • Titanium Frosted, polished bevelling and countersinks
  • Polished spherical bridges, polished bevelling and countersinks
  • Three-dimensional center bridge, frosted, polished bevelling, and countersinks
Movement side
  • Three-dimensional power-reserve bridge, frosted, polished bevelling, and countersinks
  • Tourbillon bridge, polished bevelling, and countersinks, circular-grained
  • Engraved pattern with individual number, circular-grained, straight-grained flanks 
  • Inclined at a 25° angle, 24-seconds rotation
  • Light alloy cage pillars
  • Titanium cage bridges
  • Gold counterweight
  • Involute circle profile
  • Tangential inclined gear on fixed wheel and profiled teeth on escape wheel pinion
  • Hours and minutes
  • Small seconds
  • Power reserve on a sector
  • Tourbillon rotation
  • Titanium and synthetic sapphire crystal
  • Three-dimensional, variable geometry bezel with raised engraved text
  • Synthetic sapphire crystal over the entire periphery of the caseband
  • Three-dimensional, variable geometry lugs, hand-polished with hand-finished straight graining
  • Transparent back with synthetic sapphire crystal
  • Titanium security screws
  • Raised engraving “Architecture 1” and “Greubel Forsey”
Case Dimensions
  • Caseband diameter: 47.05mm
  • Bezel diameter: 45.50mm
  • Height: 16.80mm
  • Water-resistant 5atm - 50m - 164ft (standard NIHS 92-20/SN ISO 22810:2010)
  • Titanium, polished and frosted, with GF logo
Dial Side
  • Three-dimensional, variable geometry hour-ring, indexes with Super-LumiNova
  • Power-reserve indicator, circular-grained, engraved, and lacquered
  • Gold small second indicator, circular-grained, polished flank
  • 24-second tourbillon rotation indicator
  • Hours and minutes, curved profile, polished steel with Super-Luminova
  • Small seconds, red triangle
  • Power-reserve rack, circular-grained, polished bevelling, straight-grained flanks
  • 24-second double-tipped, black anodized aluminum
Strap and Clasp
  • Non-animal material, rubber with text in relief, titanium folding clasp engraved GF logo