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Chronometrie - Greubel Forsey Victorious
WORLDTEMPUS - 24 October 2011
The tourbillon has once again reined supreme in the new International Timing Competition (Concours International de Chronometrie), which was held for the second time by the Museum of Horology in Le Locle, Switzerland. The first in more than 40 years was held two years ago. Greubel Forsey's Double Tourbillon 30¡ã Technique, which is outfitted with a 60-second tourbillon cage inclined at 30 degrees rotating inside a second four-minute tourbillon cage, took both first place in the "Tourbillon" category with 915 of a possible 1,000 points as well as first place overall. Second place with 855 points went to the Chopard L.U.C. Tourbillon Twist All Black, and 791 points was enough to ensure third place for Technotime's tourbillon.
In the "Classic" category (standard escapement), Tissot's Le Locle model won with 764 points followed by F.P. Journe's Chronometre Souveraine with 488 points. None of the four entries of the new "School Watch" category qualified for a place as they did not meet C.O.S.C. chronometer requirements for the duration of the competition. That isn't as bad as it might sound as there were many watches in the other two categories that also fell short of C.O.S.C. specifications - an indication of the difficulty in simply surviving the arduous competition, let alone being placed. The fully encased timepieces are first subjected to fifteen days of timing tests at the observatory in Besan?on, France, then a fifteen-day C.O.S.C. test at the C.O.S.C. laboratory in Biel followed by exposure to a magnetic field and repeated shock before undergoing yet another fifteen-day C.O.S.C test. Each entered watch began with 1,000 points and lost one point for each second off a perfect rate.
The domination of the tourbillons in the two competitions to date - Greuble Forsey's Double Tourbillon 30¡ã Technique this year and Jaeger-LeCoutre's Master Tourbillon in 2009 - indicates that when well designed, well constructed and well regulated - none of which is an easy task - then the tourbillon escapement appears to offer real practical advantages to improved precision in the wristwatch. That was the premise Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey set out to prove when they began development of their Double Tourbillon 30¡ã more than ten years ago, and Thursday night's results were a well deserved vindication of their approach. This award completes a very well earned hat trick of major prizes for Greubel Forsey in recent years: the Ga?a Prize for Entrepreneurship in 2009; the Aiguille d'Or at the 2010 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve; and now first place in the Concours International de Chronometrie 2011. Not bad at all for a small brand founded in 2004.