Greubel Forsey unveils stunning GMT Earth limited edition in titanium

The high-end Swiss brand has unveiled a completely modern version of its iconic world timer, with physical brightness and visual clarity on the menu.

It’s been ten years since fake Greubel Forsey released its first GMT timepiece, one of the first from the high-end Swiss brand, where the focus is not only on the tourbillon, but the main complication goes beyond the power-reserve indicator device.

In the decade since, the GMT has become one of the company’s most iconic watches, thanks to its spectacular 3D titanium globe and day/night indicator, giving the wearer an intuitive look at the time anywhere in the world at a glance.

In addition, the globe at 7 o’clock is equipped with a second time zone display at 10 o’clock, offset hours and minutes at 1 o’clock, small seconds at 2 o’clock, power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, rapid rotation The 24-second tilting tourbillon is located at 5 o’clock. In addition, the bottom panel displays UTC Universal and Daylight Savings Time for 24 cities in major time zones.

Early GMT is presented in a precious metal casing. Greubel Forsey then launched its first sports watch in 2015 using the original, three-patented GMT format, the GMT Black, with a stealthy black gold dial and a black ADLC titanium case.

Four years later, the brand has combined the GMT concept with titanium for the second time with the GMT Sport watch, featuring a repositioned tourbillon, central hour and minute hands, and an ergonomic grade 5 titanium case. It was followed by the GMT Sport earlier this year with a one-piece titanium bracelet.

Strength, Brightness and Biocompatibility
Today, Greubel Forsey has chosen to take advantage of the properties of titanium – strength, lightness and non-allergic – and apply them again to its GMT. This time, the brand did just that using its GMT Earth as a platform.

First launched in 2018, GMT Earth is Greubel Forsey’s GMT design, the most complete representation of this extraordinary world time globe, showing both the northern and southern hemispheres, by ensuring that it is visible from almost all angles.

First, the sapphire crystal above the dial extends down to the case band, where there is also a curved sapphire porthole. And on the case back, the presence of another spherical sapphire crystal allows one to see the south pole of the titanium sphere, which appears to be suspended in mid-air.

clean and modern
Titanium is used for the globe, movement bridges, case, crown, GMT pusher and deploying clasp, reducing the weight of the entire timepiece to 117 grams. Not bad when you consider this is a 450-component movement housed in a 45.5mm case.

The theme of this titanium GMT Earth is not just physical lightness, but also visual lightness and clarity.

The hand-brushed bridges provide a sober anthracite-coloured backdrop for the gold-plated gears and two-tone display, each with light grey numerals on a black background, or – in the case of the hours, minutes and small seconds – a transparent sapphire ring. The logo is framed by a black sapphire bezel with Greubel Forsey’s basic values ​​in French.

Let’s remember, this is a Greubel Forsey timepiece, so the trim is the best around, and the bridges are hand-chamfered and polished. The surface also features a straight grain, black finish and speckled finish.

All in all, when you add the black, anthracite and light grey colour scheme of the movement, case and dial to the subtle hand-finished options, it helps to calm the hustle, resulting in a very clean and modern GMT. Popular cheap watch

Ulysse Nardin Freak X

Although the Carbonium version of Ulysse Nardin Freak X is not perfect, it feels good on the wrist, mainly because of its light weight, the case diameter of 43 mm (very wear-resistant on the small side of 43 mm) and the relatively slim watch Shell outline. The Carbonium case is only 7.5 mm thick, with a dome-shaped and stepped bezel on the top, and a dome-shaped (also known as “boxed”) sapphire crystal on the top. Yes, this is not a thick watch with an additional stepped bezel and sapphire guide. It is indeed a slim watch, without any troubles caused by bulky design, such as being caught by things or hanging on the edge of the sleeve. In fact, the watch head is very lightweight, which is always a plus in terms of real-world wear resistance. Carbonium® is “a new generation material sourced entirely from the French aerospace industry. Carbonium® is composed of two-thirds of medium modulus carbon fiber and one-third of high-temperature epoxy resin, which brings its structural properties to the obtained parts. And totally unique aesthetics.” The term “completely unique” is a bit far-fetched because it is very similar to other forged carbon fiber boxes, but this is cool because Ulysse Nardin sources Carbonium from Lavoisier Composite , And then recover and “recycle” this carbon from the carbon used in cars. The construction of civil aircraft.

On the downside, Freak X does want to swing on the wrist, even if the belt is fastened correctly-this is not the way you want it, at least not at the beginning. First of all, the inside of the belt is abnormally smooth and easily slips on the skin. The second criticism of the strap is the stubborn hard pad near the lugs, which forces the strap to fit tightly on the wrist, making it less compliant when it conforms to the curvature of the wrist. After receiving the parts, I have to store them and then roll up the straps tightly to improve their flow on the wrist, but even then, the first inch on each side down from the lugs is still too hard Comfortable. It takes a lot of extra effort to bend the padded part into a more conformable shape, and frankly, this shouldn’t be the case on any watch-but it’s still present in most padded straps, not just Freak X on the strap

To be fair, in daily wear, Freak X often proves to be a comfortable watch to wear. Its light weight, once there, the comfortable fit on the wrist often makes me check if the watch is still being worn-this is a characteristic of only truly comfortable watches. A slight adjustment can ensure that Ulysse Nardin Freak X can be worn immediately and comfortably.

The weird side of watchmaking
The UN-230 movement designed and manufactured in-house powers the Ulysse Nardin Freak X watch. This is a self-winding movement with an impressive 72-hour power reserve that matches the operating frequency of 3 Hz. The latter is not something that moves very often, but here is combined with a large balance wheel-and the 4 Hertz is almost entirely combined with a smaller balance wheel with less inertia. Don’t forget the huge pressure of putting the huge minute and hour hands on the movement, you will find the 3 days/3 Hz movement specifications are impressive.

The original freak could not be realized, if it weren’t for Carole Forestier-Kasapi’s idea to make the width of the mainspring as wide as the entire movement at the bottom of the movement. It takes that huge and powerful spring to complete all the heavy lifting required for Freak’s unprecedented structure. Keyless work (the bits and pieces that transmit power from the crown to the mainspring by the crown) cannot be spared in the task of bypassing the huge spring, so the original freak is done by rotating the entire back cover. In contrast, the Ulysse Nardin Freak X we are going to see today has a regular crown at the 3 o’clock position on the dial. Even better, it even has a full-size self-winding rotor. These two components are tangible and visible proof of the technological progress that Ulysse Nardin has made during the 20 years of freak development (and still growing!)-even if this progress seems to set us back, this progress is worth it praise. Because in fact, it makes Freak easier to wear and use daily.

The balance wheel and pallet fork also shimmer in high-tech purple silicon tones. Their geometry and shape achieve extremely tight tolerances, and better yet, they have no lubrication or magnetic related issues. There is no need for lubrication or further fine adjustments (pallet jewelry, etc.) on these parts that are known to be extremely wearable. All in all, if the replica Freak X layout itself is not enough, then Freak X can actually play the most impressive balance wheel component (a considerable part) in its price range.

Its automatic winding mechanism has such a system, for example, “Magic Lever” in Seiko watch or Pellaton in IWC automatic winding. On the bottom cover side of Freak X, these components are right in front of your eyes, because they are very few black plates and silver parts of the bridge. Again, I think this is a bit shameful. The all-black movement looks cool, but I somehow find it hard to appreciate. It’s like a camouflage movement, which runs counter to the see-through case in my mind. Nevertheless, the Magic Lever system with its V-shaped arms and rotating wheels can still be easily seen.

One problem with the UN-230 caliber is that it is loud-I think it is too loud. And it is not a beautiful voice. It is best described as a “dry” mechanical sound, not only produced by Freak X, but also by many other Swiss mechanical luxury watches. The sound is loud enough that when driving a quiet car on the highway, you can clearly distinguish the whistling sound of the automatic winding system when you raise your arm and place it on the door/window. However, on the other hand, people have obtained efficient two-way magic lever windings, and more importantly, people are really used to it. When used out of the box, this sound is distracting, but after about two weeks of wearing it, I really don’t notice it a day. All of these, making it hand-wound, thin and quiet, would be desirable.

Looking at that huge, stomping, open minute hand makes Freak X’s face round very scary, almost great. That’s it and seeing the huge balance wheel swinging the pendulum at the other end, and understanding the high-tech geometry and material science involved in the production, which pushed the whole concept well to the WIS (Fool Watch) paradise territory. The three-dimensional sense of Freak X on the face and its influence on the way of appreciation cannot be overstated.

Whether it is aesthetics or in the history of modern watchmaking, Freak X is its own thing. Back to our opening remarks: Rolex Daytona is not these two things. This is an excellent watch, and the retail price is about $13k, which is also a reliable proposition. In some respects, especially in terms of comfort and quietness out of the box, Daytona is also more refined. But I think “Freak X” belongs to another league in terms of entertainment and durability. Moreover, people do not have to make any sacrifices in terms of long-term actual wearability: once the strap breaks, or you find a better match, it is close enough in terms of comfort and versatility.