Sincere Fine Watches, Greubel Forsey and Christies’ showcase the first timepiece created under Le Garde Temps – Naissance D’une Montre Project
Greubel Forsey, Philippe Dufour, Sincere Fine Watches & Christie’s partnered up to launch the first timepiece produced under the “Le Garde Temps – Naissance d’une Montre” project. Singapore was one of four countries selected for this exclusive preview; the others being Hong Kong, Dubai and Geneva.
Held at Flutes, located at the National Museum of Singapore, there was a media luncheon followed by a VIP dinner with both Mr. Stephen Forsey (Co-founder of Greubel Forsey) and Mr. Philippe Dufour. Both watchmakers were keen to share their passion for the craft and the impetus that led to the project to preserve the art of traditional watchmaking.
The motivation for Le Garde Temps - Naissance d’une Montre (translated to The Timekeeper – Creating a Timepiece) project began in 2007, when Robert Greubel, Stephen Forsey and Philippe Dufour discovered that the world of watchmaking was becoming so reliant on technology that the heritage of ancestral procedures and techniques were slowly disappearing. In 2009, to safeguard and transmit handmade expertise to future generations, they set in motion the project, Le Garde Temps – Naissance d’une Montre, with French watchmaking teacher, Michel Boulanger, and have not looked back since. Eight years on, under the mentorship of these three celebrated watchmakers, Michel Boulanger created the first timepiece, hand using only traditional tools such as the uprighting tool, the hand-mandrel lathe and the topping tool.
With its high ceilings and elegant timber framed windows, Flutes was transformed into the heart of the project, bringing to life the pure, classic design of the timepiece created. Wooden panels around the restaurant explained the story behind the project and at the center; the timepiece was prominently displayed in an open showcase.
The intimate dinner began with both Sincere Fine Watches and Christie’s VIPs gathered around the open showcase to appreciate the timepiece. Harpist, Jana Ang Fries’ ethereal music floated through as guests sipped champagne and engaged in conversation with both watchmakers. When guests sat down to dinner, Mr. Ong Ban, the CEO of Sincere Fine Watches gave his welcome speech, and spoke of the significant partnership between Greubel Forsey and Sincere Fine Watches saying ‘As the exclusive retailer of Gruebel Forsey in Singapore, the brand is a benchmark for the development of Haute Horlogerie. We are very proud to be a part of this project, and support their pursuit to preserve the craft of watchmaking”. He also highlighted the importance of Le Garde du Temps – Naissance d’une Montre project and introduced Ms. Pansy Ku, Client Development Director of Christie’s. Ms. Ku spoke of Christie’s partnership in the project and shared that the first timepiece created would be put up for auction in the spring of 2016. Finally, Stephen Forsey and Philippe Dufour took centre stage and provided a brief synopsis of their own personal experiences through the project and emphasised the importance of preserving, perpetuating and sharing the heritage and knowledge of traditional watchmaking expertise for future generations.
After five indulgent courses, the timepiece was taken off the showcase and presented around for guests to truly admire the craftsmanship and effort that went into its creation. There was lively discussion amongst watch appreciators on the need to preserve traditional watchmaking skills, even in today’s technologically advanced era. The evening ended with Stephen Forsey and Philippe Dufour personally signing a lithograph with sketches from the project for each guest.
Greubel Forsey has once again proved that the ‘art’ of watchmaking goes beyond merely the completion of a timepiece. Instead, it is the commitment towards the journey and respect for its heritage that makes each mechanical creation a work of art. With With Le Garde Temps – Naissance d’une Montre and the first timepiece created under this project, they have achieved the tremendous task of bridging the past to the future of fine watchmaking.
**The Le Garde Temps – Naissance d’une Montre timepiece is made in a limited series of 11 pieces will be available exclusively at Sincere Fine Watches from late 2016.