Every once in a while, a timepiece will be created that astounds watch collectors. The Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture by Greubel Forsey is such timepiece. With one glance at the surface, you will notice that the components are suspended in space to reveal the shapes and movement.
The movement is a fantastic sight to behold as we peer into the polished titanium bridges that stand in contrast to the frosted finish of the mainplate as it emerges from nowhere. The mainplate winds through the movement to finally position itself flush with the sapphire crystal.
The Tourbillon 24 Secondes is located at 6 o’clock and can be viewed through a large spherical and open-worked bridge, whose base remains hidden. In its form, the inclined escapement defies gravity, while in its function, it compensates for it. To solve the problem of critical positions of the oscillator in relation to gravity, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes uses a fast rotation speed in addition to a 25° inclination. These two elements combined contribute to excellent chronometric performance, especially in stable positions.
At the 10 o’clock position lies the barrel bridge with an engraved barrel cover along with lacquered and circular-grained designs. The caliber’s energy source provides 90 hours of chronometric power reserve, indicated by a moving red triangle over a conical disk at 3 o’clock. It too is held in place by a beautifully polished titanium bridge.
In the centre are two large curved, open-worked and polished steel hands, indicating the hours and minutes, mounted on a signature Greubel Forsey tripod bridge. The time indication is completed at 8 o’clock by a small second on a cylinder with polished flanks — mirroring and echoing every other component in its vicinity.
The beautiful case features a large synthetic sapphire crystal ring that envelopes the entire periphery of the caseband that can be viewed from above, below and from every angle around the caseband.
In addition to its role in showcasing the movement, the case offers a unique experience on the wrist. Its convex shape profile ensures optimal ergonomics and wrist comfort. Pushing the envelope further still, Greubel Forsey has now conceived a case that is not only convex but also resembles a conical frustrum in its geometry.
In the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture, the diameter around the caseback (47.05mm) is wider than it is around the bezel (45mm), thus combining the best of two worlds: It contains enough volume to fully showcase the movement architecture within, while at the same time giving the impression of being significantly smaller than it actually is.
Finally, the 50m water-resistant titanium case features three-dimensional, variable geometry lugs, hand-polished with hand-finished straight graining, flowing seamlessly into a rubber strap with embossed text and finished with a titanium folding clasp.
IWC Schaffhausen takes sustainability to a whole new level with MiraTexTM straps, which have been developed in close collaboration with Natural Fiber Welding (NFW), a bio-engineering and material innovation company from Peoria, Illinois in the US. IWC’s MiraTexTM straps are made with MIRUM®: A bio-based, low-carbon, completely plastic-free and recyclable material.
MIRUM® is made entirely with plants and minerals and does not contain any petrochemicals or plastic. The main ingredients of the material are Forest Stewardship Council-certified natural rubber, fillers such as cork powder, and different mineral colourants. The raw materials are dry-mixed, pressed and mechanically shaped into MIRUM® sheets. These sheets form the foundation for IWC’s MiraTexTM straps that are not only very durable but also highly sustainable as it is made from natural materials instead of petroleum and requires no tanning.
One of the many challenges faced when developing IWC’s MiraTexTM straps was selecting the right raw materials to achieve maximum durability and longevity. The process conditions needed to be fine-tuned and the surface texture and graining of the material adapted to ensure the straps have precisely the thickness and feel that customers expect. Moreover, different combinations of natural fillers had to be explored and optimised to ensure that MIRUM® could be split to the same thickness as leather.
IWC understands that luxury consumers increasingly expect brands to show their commitment to sustainability and expect products to be made responsibly and with minimal environmental impact. For this reason, many watch lovers are searching for alternatives to leather straps without compromising quality, durability or wearing comfort