Greubel Forsey: Ahead of time

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Greubel Forsey is the latest feather in the Swiss industry’s cap, thanks to its invention of watches with two and four tourbillon mechanisms in the same watch case. In October, it also won the first prize at the International Chronometry Competition held at Museum of Horology in Le Locle (Switzerland) with Double Tourbillon 30° Technique. Arabian Watches & Jewellery Magazine speaks to Greubel Forsey Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Vuille to discuss participation in the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) and also the launch of ‘star’ novelties at the exhibition. Vuille reveals that there is a return to classic, to a more discrete, refined and authentic watch-making over the past couple of years. “We are confident that 2012 also can be in line with the past year, even if the economic situation is not completely positive worldwide,” says Vuille. Below are the excerpts from the interview:


What kind of impact will SIHH have on a premium brand such as yours in the Middle East?

The SIHH is one of the most important exhibitions for high-end watches that include prestigious brands and we are glad to be part of it. It’s a very well-organized exhibition which allows us to work in a pleasant environment being in contact with selective distributors and retailers in the world, as well as press, including of course the major representatives of Middle East. Participation is a good opportunity to promote and increase our creations and brand awareness in your country and worldwide.


What are your expectations at SIHH 2012?

2011 was a good year for Greubel Forsey. We are confident that 2012 also can be in line with the past year, even if the economic situation is not completely positive worldwide. We are prudently optimistic as our product is directed to a niche of high-end market where clients are more resilient to the actual economic crisis.


What are the foreseen trends and directions with watches in 2012? Any particular trends that your brand will showcase?

In the last 2-3 years, there was a return to classic, to a more discrete, refined and authentic watch-making.  All these values are in the DNA of Greubel Forsey. In all our creations, there is a great attention to the reliability of our movements, to the refined and original aesthetics, to the excellence in finishing, to the quest for perfection.

About reliability, we are proud of the first prize won at the International Chronometry Competition held at Museum of Horology in Le Locle (Switzerland) with our Double Tourbillon 30° Technique last October. This watch scored 915 points from a possible 1,000 and took the first place both in the tourbillon category and the overall competition. This prize is an independent validation of our inventions.


What are your ‘star’ novelties for the SIHH?

One of our novelties is the GMT, which we started unveiling in November. It’s the first timepiece by Greubel Forsey with a new complication: the GMT function, featuring a 24 second tourbillon, one of our identifying codes. It is distinguished by an eye-catching rotating globe offering an intuitive view of the time all over the world. It displays also winter and summer time in 24 cities on a disc and provides 72 hours power reserve. We have also other interesting novelties but you will discover them at the opening of the SIHH.


When would we expect the SIHH novelties to be available at boutiques and POS in the Middle East?

We need a long time to produce components in house; to decorate the smallest pieces inside and outside of the watch; and to assemble the movements to test and validate them before delivering the pieces. So our novelties could be delivered to the points of sale between May and August with the exception of the GMT which will be at disposal between January and February.


Which of your watch models are the most popular in the Middle East? And Why?

We are specialized in complicated timepieces with innovative tourbillons, especially developed for wristwatches with the aim to improve the timekeeping precision. From the Double Tourbillon 30°, to the Tourbillon 24 Seconds, to the Double Tourbillon 30° Technique, to the Invention Pieces  limited collections till the Quadruple, we have always found passionate collectors in your country who appreciate the exclusivity and the quality,  the reliability and the excellent finishing of our watches.


What challenges are you facing as a watchmaker under the current economic circumstances?

Greubel Forsey, as a watch manufacture, has the privilege to be driven by Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, the two very talented watch makers. The deeper knowledge they have of the tradition of the art of watch making is an important source of inspiration to push further and to innovate both in the mechanics and in the aesthetics. They will continue to work in order to develop new innovative calibres as well as to offer us a more contemporary way of displaying the time, where art and functionality come together perfectly.


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