Black December 1st Greubel Forsey’s Golden Lining

» Posted by on Dec 5, 2015 in General | 1 comment

Sure, it’s been said, “every story has a beginning”.

This is not the Biblical Genesis of Greubel Forsey.

But rather, my story of how I got to be convinced, strengthened, and blessed.

It’s also about how I, and many, find redemption.

For the Greubel Forsey movement no8 and serial no 8, the story begins in 2011, when Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey decided to manufacture a limited 3 pieces of platinum versions of their 3 renown, holy grail watches. They made only 1 of each, and sold them for approximately US$2 million.

A lot of money….they had kept the Number 8 specially for the most important, most simple in presentation, most robust of their inventions…the single inclined 25 degree (often misnamed as 24 incline) tourbillon.

A lot of money, when you can recall that the most recent award, and they have won every relevant award, went to this same single incline, in a “affordable” white gold, smaller, version this 2015….at US$300,000 minimum …more commonly at US$450,000 for those who cannot wait and can afford it.

In 2004, Complitime a black site, super secret department of technology that solves mechanical machinery powered by only spring inertia…ie watches, created Greubel Forsey to address the bridge of perpetual machines, with a cost no object philosophy. Ten years later…2014, less than 760 have been built and sold.

Any number less than 4,500 watches made per year is already in the realm of super cars, like Porsche.

Here, this is 80 or less per year…entry ticket was once $800,000 in USD.

Here is where the dynamics of economy begin to act in precise movements….EVERYBODY who can afford a Greubel Forsey may have bought one, maybe even more….by a decade. 10 years.

Those, like me, who could not afford the 800,000 USD ticket wait for some to appear used or secondhand.

To my dismay, this was COSTLY. I had to sell off 5 of my historically relevant watches to acquire my first Greubel Forsey…the now legendary no 00/11 Invention 1 in solid 253 grammes of platinum!

It cost DOUBLE what the first owner paid…

After a year, of handling the watch which will one day be in the Louvre …I bought NEW, after the painful lesson…the most simple of what they made, but in platinum…I was in luck…the number 8 of this was in HKK and NOT yet sold…obviously $800,000 watches are not sold on a daily routine.

Another year passes and I bought yet another platinum, this time…the also legendary Double Tourbillon, platinum, mother of pearl, Vision…less than 36 made (I am not sure, but this figure would be close), Greubel Forsey, unlike Patek or Rolex are totally open about numbers and books.

Jump to December 2015, just a few days back…I tasted my own medicine…”never go into an auction selling for profit”, sell to liquidate so as to pay for something else which will appreciate over time, or to buy a bargain, either of which will make up for loss during auctions.

Auctions are for BUYERS.

As a tool to remain in budget, auctions are used by experienced sellers to get cash to buy even bigger and better stuff.

BUT…I miscalculated the sheer crazy number of rarities that appeared on 30th Nov and 1st Dec , in tandem, both in HKK.

My estimated sell of $800,000 USD did not even materialise !
Many rare Pateks suffered similar fates, and are now sitting in boxes, on collectors’ shelves. Some of them are being used brother channels to be sold, as I had committed to buy upwards.

Occasionally – actually, rarely – one of ANY PLATINUM Greubel Forsey is put up for sale. Use the web to discover why platinum is so precious…unlike gold.

Comparable pieces? There’s the rub: there are none.

Which was the reason I was over confident…but the buyers were dealers of Rolex and Pateks, easy to move, and a huge market…it’s business.

But when it comes to Greubel Forsey, we are not talking about the much lower and less rare world of watch collecting, but of museum and tertiary institutional works to be studied for the excellence of man’s noble, largely hidden side.
The Single incline comes only in asymmetrical form in original uncompromised architecture,  is the only watch ever made with a (rather unconventional) tourbillon speed, ultra fast AND even tilted at 24 degrees. Add to that a theoretical minimum gain/loss curve, proven in reality by the double 30 (compare this to the Atomic Clocks and Omega’s Marinechronometer in quartz), and this invention truly earns its status as a niche object, capable of achieving the proverbial bridge between art and engineering.

Yes..the cars and planes and cameras have built these bridges before, and as proven in history…often sold at 0.2 or worse 0.0001 of their post computer age auction prices!!!!

But…this is the FIRST man made machine which has the ability to last….FOREVER. Immortal and numbered 8.
Furthermore, the Greubel Forsey single incline is the ONLY platinum ever made with a white dial, exotic (which I will arbitrarily define as 18 or less made or will ever be made) wristwatch in the normal serviceable range.

For your interest, I’ve shown below how it stacks up against all the pieces, with the exception of the Antiqua 00/00p, a thesis watch, probably priceless.

What it takes to get 3 Greubel Forseys in platinum

What it takes to get 3 Greubel Forseys in platinum


1 Comment

  1. Bernard,

    I think that some time (ie most of the time) at the auction when a piece is hammered most of the time is over priced only because there’s two or more people fight for it……and at the end the result is something really incredible ! Like the last patek for only watch…it was hammered for 7.3 milion CHF….incredible !

    Now coming to your case, let’s call it the case No 8…..probably most of the buyers ( and I would like to remember that NOT ALL THE buyers are Collector ) that attend the HKK auction on 1st December didn’t see in the No. 8 so many potential to re sell it after ! Mainly because they don’t think like us….that this would eventually be a museum piece….but rather how quick they can re-sell it and how much they can gain ! Unfortunately this the bad side of an auction…be aside among all the people that take part an auction probably only 20/30 % of them are real collectors….and this end up on what we have seen on your No. 8.
    You know what…?? Keep it…in 10 to 20 years probably he will triplicate eventually quadruplicate its value ! And as it will last forever….your nephew will thank you forever !
    By the way I really love that pic…its mind blowing….even though now missing two incredible pieces……



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