The hand-made Greubel Forsey watch that takes 6,000 hours to complete
Greubel Forsey is no stranger to show-stopping watches, where most companies gleefully boast they've managed to fit a tourbillon into their watch, Greubel Forsey has four such tourbillons fitted. Its latest show-stopper is the Hand Made 1, a watch made almost entirely without machinery which takes 6,000 hours to complete.
Greubel Forsey has not lost sight of the industry's humbling historic beginnings and has decided to make a watch collection by hand in celebration of the craft.
The Hand Made 1 is made 95% by hand, with the only exceptions being the sapphire crystals, the case gaskets, the spring-bars, the jewels, and the mainspring. Despite these few exceptions, the watch still has 272 movement parts and 36 case parts made with just tools and know-how. At just 43.5 mm in diameter and 13.5 mm thick (which is modest for a Greubel Forsey), the construction of the watch requires immense precision.
Greubel Forsey reveals that same questions were asked at every stage: “How can we design this part to be able to make it using traditional tools or machines such a jig borer or lathe? And which shape can we give it so the artisans’ intelligent hands can ensure extraordinary precision and the finest craftsmanship?”
The timepiece sports a central hour and minutes function, along with an offset small seconds and tourbillon. These four functions demand over 800 individual parts to be made. The tourbillon alone takes 35-times longer to make by hand for the brand than by a machine. Similarly, the 500 screws in the watch 'each' require 12 different processes to make, with each screw taking eight hours to complete. That's a combined 4,000 hours just on tiny screws. The wheels in the movement also take 600-times longer to make by hand than by machine and the teeth of the cogs on the escapement wheel each have to be polished by hand 20 times.
The watch comes in a white gold case, hand made of course, and has a partly-skeletonised dial with flame-blued steel hands, the watch is then polished or satin-finished depending on the surface. The watch also replaces the words "Swiss-Made" at the bottom of the dial with "Hand-Made".
The brand assures only two or three of these watches will be made every year, and have not yet named a price.