Apple Watch comes into the high end watch collector universe

» Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in General | 0 comments

Did the ever expanding recording industry of music destroy concerts and operas?

Did movies end plays?

Did cameras make people throw away art?

Did Batman wear another Y underwear under his costume? Hey..were does guys even wearing underwear?

I don’t know about underwear…except lingerie.

I don’t wear those, but I know a thing or two.

One thing I know, is that when the apple watch or i watch was announced, I had double the questions/interviews come my way.

So much so that I took some hours off to think more about what I am going to do, and say..publicly.



I think these smart watches are good things. They will actually bring 10x more attention to the watch industry, which was already getting 100x more attention since 1998.

People want to have a choice.

It is not about quartz, price or brands…they are ready for an intellectual choice of statement, arguments and relevance.

These smart watches are for everybody. Watch collecting was slightly more than a status thing, a money vs money war. Now, at last, the smart watch brings it away from wallet to brain or personality, or both.

Before any answers, my tongue in cheek prelude was relevant.


Lets talk one dyslexic William Wigans. Who is he?

If you need to ask, you obviously (no insult meant) will not know the difference between levels of excellence versus relevance in most industries, whether electronically virtual or hand made old world. I do not wish to go where Jeremy Clarkson has gone to last week.


first..a tribute to the epicenter of what makes anything good and valuable. Honest, good, excellence in pursuing work, and that it is visible to all and at all levels.

William Wigan

Sculpts the world’s smallest form of art. Willard is an art world sensation with his micro-sculptures, some of which measure smaller than a human blood cell. Many of his creations can

only be calculated by microns.

Born in Birmingham, England in 1957, Willard suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia and was branded a failure at an early age. He IS the world’s most acclaimed microscultor.

William Wigans work

William Wigans work




This “9 camels” and “tango” all fit into the eye of a needle, is his work…and so much more!

Surviving the era of the “Apple Watch”

Requires that we understand that there is room for work that inspires challenge and  more…questions about relevance and cost.

Greubel Forsey and not Patek Philippe or Lange or Richard Mille is required knowledge and reading. It removes status to the extent of literature vs pulp fiction…maybe.

I speak only as a collector of what I personally consider fine work in watchmaking, maybe the last engineering and cultural platforms that can withstand the world of technology and redundancy.

Lets look:




 This watch, in 2004, at a pounding $500,000 (platinum) USD.
Today, even after, especially after i watch…remember that 0.01% of super wealth lies with the world population.
At Greubel Forsey, and I have no ties with them, pricing is kept as honest as possible…you get what you pay for.
Watches in platinum rarely appear again once sold.
Gold ones do…rarely.
Why so costly?
Every Double Tourbillon takes a total of 10 months from start to finish.
In ten years, no less than six significant inventions have sprung from Greubel Forsey’s EWT think tank, three of which (to date) have been celebrated by Invention Pieces (IP). In 2007, IP1 paid homage to the Double Tourbillon 30°; in 2009, IP3 honoured the Tourbillon 24 Secondes; and today IP2 pays tribute to the Quadruple Tourbillon with a completely new architecture in which the focus is on its exclusive mechanism. The two double tourbillons systems are presented head to tail and coupled by a spherical differential. A sub-dial at 5 o’clock conceals triple mainspring barrels and features a red triangle indicating hours and a rotating disk indicates minutes. Small seconds dial at 10 o’clock and 56-hour power reserve indicator at 11 o’clock compete the dial.
A unique edition of 11 pieces in platinum and 11 in red gold.
11 means 11…never 11 and one more by a special artist.
Let me try to walk you thru the watch, and use this to make you see how the Apple Watch is actually so important.
Looking at it in natural light in my office…no photo trickery.
 I bought my very first Greubel Forsey some 2 years back.
Honestly, I had the wrong impression that they overcharged.
Instead, IF one could afford it or more, they are the most value for money item on the planet you can possibly buy that is not food/medical or related to vital sustinence.
A Rolex Explorer will be my other choices…but these are relatively less costly and do not need a long discovery of oneself…another advantage of buying a Greubel Forsey.
I wish to joke that to look after a watch for some grandchild is such a lame joke, he won’t want it…unless it was damned cool. Very few things become cool and desirable among young people who have no wish to own such things.  But I think, that like a very cool guitar, rare and also too expensive to own casually, has its own cool factor. The struggle, if you are like me, to save and save, and save…to own one Greubel Forsey….especially a platinum piece, which is so damned rare, the people who have these do not sell them. Plus, unlike other watches which loose 30 to 50% of their cost when you leave the store new…Greubel Forsey platinums and even certain gold ones, immediately can be flipped, if you are connected enough to find a buyer.
I have noticed that prices on Chrono24, a website, is higher than new ones.
Also, because of having say 80 to 100 each year, means stores can get only 2 or 3 watches to sell a year.
Most platinum Greubels may even be kept by the stores them selves. Or kept for rewarding favoured clients.
I urge all my friends to spend less on other things, and mount a financial expedition of great discipline, to buy and own at least ONE of these great works, in their lifetimes…unless they have already lived full and colourful lives.  I have.  And yet….I could convince my wife, a seasoned accountant and auditor, to let us buy not 1, but 3.
 3 4The movement is a tour de force of brilliant old world math and physics.
But here…I wish to just stay to basics which all can understand, and why this company works with William Wigans to make watches too.
Athis metal insert, is cut and finished, whether you use hands or robots, the exactitude of how it fits, and how part C and hollowed out and blast finished part B and cut and brushed part D can be imagined!!!
Look at the next picture.
The raised margin of G and the perfect cut of E with the 2 holes.
5 6 7 8
 Imagine, just like William Wigans…how difficult it is to create perfect fit and finish, alignment to parts H.
Then look at how they demonstrated skill with fitting a perfect gap and straight cuts to Part J, and to make it worse Part J2 which is 50% smaller.
Partk slots with a round cut part L.
Imagine polishing to the highest quality of black..a skill of immense imagination alone…a round shaft..part K.
Next..look at something as mild, mundane as the LOGO alone…GF…in solid gold, cut, lined, alignment, polish!!!
All just the dial.
Now you know why, they make 80 watches a year.
by 2014, they made 800 to 1000 watches.
By 2024..only 2400 may exist.
This not by market intent, but by the pursuit of excellence.
These watches will live longer even after Apple has gone.
The Invention Piece 1 sold at 1.2 million USD here, and recently went to 2.2 million sgd..note currency.
then: Both Inventions 2 and 3 went into $800,000 sgd and note..these are used secondhand.
Like the grand masters, there are no new Rembrandts. for thought.
— Confidential, sophisticated, Greubel Forsey is one of the most demanding watch brands. Take a tour through an amazing engineering and manufacturing process.
And then more work
A regular movement is assembled, checked, encased and then shipped. Greubel Forsey assembles, checks and then takes the movement apart. Only after the second assembling stage, when every single minute detail of matching, fitting and gearing has been checked, is the watch deemed worthy of an actual “réglage”. Greubel Forsey are adamant about precision. They use the tourbillon because it keeps great time. The brand is so focused on chronometry that it has been entering the International Chronometry Contest for each of its three editions. In 2011, the Double Tourbillon Technique won first place with a score of 915, just 8% shy of absolute perfection. Conception, manufacturing, watchmaking, finishing, design, every aspect of the watch aspires to perfection. Greubel Forsey’s watches are the full package.

The two double tourbillons systems are presented head to tail and coupled by a spherical differential.
The inner Tourbillon is inclined at 30° and rotates once per minute while the outer Tourbillon makes a full rotation every 4 minutes. Thanks to the incline, the rotation of the inner Tourbillon is a true eye-catching.However, one will ask if the “improvement” of this efficicency doesn’t create other troubles which can be easily avoided with a less complicated watch. My owner’s experience, with not one, but TWO…absolute, and I even say that the oils and lubricants are so well contained in the extralarge and hence eye catchingly beautiful to me, rubies, have not creeped in both.
One, the invention Piece 1, possibly the only watch which ever tempted me from any top end Richard Mille, is 7 years old.
Qoute from a reviewer: “the quest for the best accuracy doesn’t lead to an unique solution. Greubel & Forsey chose a complicated path… and we have to thank them for this because the watch as a whole is fascinating.

The two cages have 128 parts and a cumulated weight of 1,17g.
the Tourbillon fills almost the half part of the caliber, the caliber GF02 features one of the most beautiful Tourbillon of the industry.

The gold appliques, the blued-stell hands, the visible screws are flawless.”
Quotes which are from a neutral pov…and I agreed. I ended up buying another 30 degree in 24 months, and also a 24 degree at the same time, both brand new.
My first GF was bought used, but at a premium, which I see as very good and reasonable.

Greubel Forsey carries out fully independent production of fine watches in its workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds. These watches are highly technical, innovative and timeless, and feature a particularly meticulous finish that is one of Greubel Forsey’s defining characteristics.Our markets have changed…and things that are holding values, they have a common strength…they have no better, new models…none. They are only what they are..excellent. Impossible to make a copy.

PS for all things movement: go to the purists…google my name.
Thanks for reading.
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