It was back in January of last year at the SIHH that high-end boutique watch brand Greubel Forsey unveiled its experimentation with nanotechnology for a movement that could be a game changer in terms of precision, power, and new complexities in watchmaking. Stephen Forsey, cofounder of the brand, could not disclose too much information about the Nano Movement at that time due to IP issues. However, just in time for SIHH 2018, the brand unveils a concept watch that utilizes the technology: the Nano Foudroyante EWT (experimental watch technology). The foudroyante is a flying-seconds hand sometimes seen in exotic chronographs that jumps in fractional seconds to make a complete revolution in the blink of an eye. Interestingly enough, the new Greubel Forsey Nano Foudroyante EWT is not a chronograph; it just offers a super-speedy foudroyante seconds hand that is visible through a magnifier device on the left side of the case.
Essentially, the concept watch is the culmination of 10 years of research and development to find a movement that would use less energy and space and offer 180 days of power reserve. In fact, in the quest to master the energy issue, Greubel Forsey has developed a concept watch made with LIGA manufacturing technology that reduces the amount of energy used to 1/1,800th of its normal movements. And because the Nano caliber uses such tiny components, the amount of space used is cut by 96 percent compared to a traditional movement.
At first, Greubel Forsey’s Swiss-made concept watch may have some brand lovers scratching their heads. The watch seems strikingly bare, devoid of almost anything except a small hours and minutes subdial at the 12 and a tiny peek at the movement at the 9. However, there is a definite rationale to this design. It showcases how much room is left on the dial and, by extension, inside the movement for additions in future complications—maybe even some we have never even conceived of.