Editor’s note: This Hands-on Review of the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport Titanium has been photographed with the assistance of J Farren-Price Sydney. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
What & Why : The 2021’s Greubel Forsey GMT Sport Titanium available in limited numbers of 33-pieces only follows hot on the footsteps of the 2014 Greubel Forsey GMT Platinum, the 2015 Greubel Forsey GMT Black, and the 2019 ‘sports’ version of these GMTs. For a haute horlogerie timepiece, the watch offers a decent 72-hour power reserve and a practical 100m water-resistance.
Where: J Farren-Price Sydney, 80 Castlereagh St, Sydney (02 9231 3299)
Who is it for: If you are looking for a rather rare timepiece, at CHF 520’000 (without taxes) upon release, the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport from Watches and Wonders 2021 is perfect for those with large wrists, larger bank balances, and an impeccably distinct mammoth appetite for exquisite timepieces.
Basic Specs: The Greubel Forsey GMT Sport Titanium features a hand-wound movement with 3 patents (pending). It measures 36.9 x 13.18mm and comprises 435 components — the tourbillon cage has 88 parts and weighs 0.38g — 63 olive-shaped jewels in gold chatons and beats at the low frequency of 3Hz. Two coaxial series-coupled fast-rotating barrels (1 turn in 3.2 hours) are deployed, one of which is equipped with a slipping spring to avoid excess tension. The tourbillon is inclined at a 25° angle and features a 24-seconds rotation. The bridges and the mainplate are again in titanium and feature a frosted and spotted treatment with polished bevelling and countersinks. One also gets to witness a multi-level, openworked and polished suspended-arch bridge with polished bevelling and countersinks.
Greubel Forsey GMT Sport – The Hands-on Experience
The first thing you notice is the size and the lack of the cardinal values of the Maison engraved on the bezel. Big is better they say. In this case, I concur. There is a lot to appreciate on the dial, and it all needs room to show. It’s a larger sports watch no doubt, officially coming in at 45mm in diameter with the bezel (or 42mm sans it). But this diameter doesn’t reflect the true wearing size. The Greubel Forsey GMT Sport Titanium measures a large 58mm lug-to-lug. But given the bracelet has fixed unlinks, the true measurement comes to about 62mm (I say approx. because being a very expensive timepiece, we didn’t dare touch the callipers to the watch body).
The case thickness again is officially 17.8mm with sapphire crystal (and 15.7mm sans), though at its highest point, we measured it to be around 22mm.
Now my wrists measure at 16.25cm. On these puny hairy beauties, I usually am comfortable oscillating between the 36mm to 42mm diameter range, with lug-to-lug no more than 50mm. For reference, the Tudor BB58 sits very nicely on my wrist. It reads 39mm x 47.2mm x 12.5mm. So you can imagine that a watch as large as the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport Titanium would look ridiculous on someone with my slim wrists.
But that’s the thing; the brand defies norms.
For starters, the titanium body meant that the heft wasn’t felt. This was surprisingly welcome. Then the design architecture of the watch, especially their signature style of bezel and sapphire crystal and the right mix of polished and brushed surfaces doesn’t make this watch look absurd on me. The oblong bezel and convex dial architecture go a long way in making this very wearable. This I reckon is one of the key features of the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport Titanium, its ability to suit not just the likes of Dwayne Johnson.
After you have accepted the size, and acknowledged its wearability, you then find yourself immersed in that dial. The dial may be just blue, but it packs a whole mini city in there. The dial displays the central functions of hours and minutes on suspended-arch bridge, small seconds on disc, 72-hours power reserve sector at 3’o clock, 24-seconds tourbillon rotation at 12, rotating titanium globe with universal time at 7.30, a day-and-night indicator, and a 2nd time zone GMT function. Flip the watch, and you will also notice the display of 24 time zones universal and summer time.
Despite being a very busy dial, I appreciate the geometric symmetry, especially the tourbillon movement in comparison with the opposing rotating titanium globe. For those in love with mechanical art that oscillates with a vibrancy of life being ushered into an inanimate object, the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport Titanium is a wonder toy.
Like I said earlier, the play of surface finishes is excellent. I like how the lugs and the case sides feature alternating brushed and polished treatment, and how seamlessly that aspect flows on to the bracelet. Very stylish. Very sporty.
One of the impressive wearing features was the 3-row metal bracelet in titanium with a folding clasp with integrated fine adjustment and engraved Greubel Forsey logo. The clasp has micro-adjustment as well. The bracelet is very similar to the ones F.P. Journe uses, and maybe they have the same manufacturer or supplier, though the brand informs that the bracelet is “entirely developed in-house and designed specifically for this model”. You can see the bracelet photos (and read the detailed hands-on review) from the F.P. Journe Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante here.
Another F.P. Journe connection I could also see is in the use of rubber in the big crown — interchangeable colour-coded rubber capping — something can harks to the use of rubber bumpers on the Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante. What I do like here is the use of blue on the crown that again complements the blue on the dial. Greubel Forsey have done a remarkable job of ensuring that the GMT Sport Titanium features design elements that complement each other. Hand-finishing mixed with thoughtful design.
That’s All Folks!
When I first received the presser for this back in April 2021 and previewed it, I wrote: ‘There are certain watches that make it impossible to review them without actually handling them in person. The press releases may describe them, but to truly understand and appreciate the beauty of these watches, one has to go hands-on. The new Greubel Forsey GMT Sport is one such offering, that I really need to ‘feel’ in person’ .
I stand with that sentiment. The GMT Sport in photos and or even videos can still look less immersive than it really is. There is something very tangible and three-dimensional about it that it really needs to be held in your hands to unleash the true wearing potential.
In that review I also wrote that ‘the first thing you note is the absence of the ‘relief engraved key values’ on the bezel; and sure the timepiece gets a new personality, but call me sentimental, but I kind of liked Greubel Forsey timepieces with that. It was a sort of characteristic feature of these pieces’. As true as that might be, the clean bezel with polished and brushed surface truly adds to the aesthetic and the legibility of the watch as a whole, without which, it might have been a tad too busy.
The Greubel Forsey GMT Sport Titanium is the perfect limited edition watch for the larger than life sporty gentleman. It’s got all the design ethos that make an independent watchmaker great in modern times, plus it adds its own distinct personality and design codes to set the watch apart.
Eccentric. Sporty. Rare. The Greubel Forsey GMT Sport Titanium is a different kind of “unobtanium”.
To find out more about the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport and other GF watches, please head to their website here or visit their authorised retailer J Farren-Price Sydney at 80 Castlereagh St, Sydney (02 9231 3299). All images unless otherwise specified are ©WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt.