Greubel Forsey’s 10-Year Plan: Embracing Rarity and Exclusivity
Greubel Forsey has made significant progress towards its 10-year plan, announced by CEO Antonio Calce in early 2021. The independent watch brand, founded by Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, is introducing new models, increasing production strategically, and refocusing distribution on flagship stores. However, as part of these changes, the brand is discontinuing 25 out of the 30 movements it has been making since its inception in 2004. Moving forward, all new movements will be produced for a maximum of five years. According to Mr. Calce, this approach aims to create rarity, exclusivity, and transparency for collectors regarding the production quantities of each timepiece.
The Quest for Rarity and Exclusivity
The brand’s plan involves producing three to 88 pieces of each reference, with an annual production goal of 400 to 500 timepieces. Approximately 30% of these timepieces will be priced above $500,000, while the remaining pieces will fall within the $180,000 to $400,000 range.
Striving for Hand Finishing Excellence
In terms of product development, Greubel Forsey continues to enhance the hand finishing of its timepieces. Despite already dedicating several days to polishing a single component, the brand is committed to further improving its craftsmanship. Recently, the brand introduced three new additions to the Convexe collection, showcasing their attention to detail. Notably, the Balancier Convexe S2 Titanium features the brand’s smallest convex case at 41.5 millimeters. Upcoming releases include the Double Balancier Convexe in carbon, which will mark the brand’s debut of a carbon case.
Jean-Marc Bories, founder of Luxury Consulting North America, praises Greubel Forsey for its exceptional hand finishing, stating, “When it comes to finishing, it is crazy what happens there.”
Innovating with Fundamental Inventions
Greubel Forsey is known for its ambition to contribute significant advancements to watchmaking history. CEO Antonio Calce explains that while founders Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey possess remarkable creativity, their focus has shifted towards managerial roles. The brand continues to develop “fundamental inventions” and plans to launch the Tourbillon Cardan, featuring two suspended tourbillon cages that tilt at separate angles. This unique arrangement enhances the accuracy of timekeeping by counteracting the effects of gravity.
Additionally, Greubel Forsey aims to introduce a convex-case constant force chronograph in the coming year. This innovation ensures better precision by maintaining a constant amplitude despite the energy demands of the chronograph function.
Expanding Operations and Distribution
To support its ongoing development, Greubel Forsey consolidated its operations by integrating CompliTime, a subsidiary that previously produced timepieces for other brands. This strategic move allowed all 140 staff members to focus solely on the main brand. As the company grows, its headquarters will undergo expansion, accommodating up to 220 employees. The planned $23 million enlargement, designed by architect Pierre Studer, is set to commence construction in early 2022 and become operational by 2026.
Furthermore, changes in ownership paved the way for a transformation in sales strategies. Greubel Forsey aims to establish 12 to 15 flagship stores operated by retail partners, replacing the current multibrand stores. This approach will provide a more immersive and elevated experience for customers. The first flagship stores are scheduled to open in Tokyo and Mexico City, with an upcoming store in Menlo Park, California.