Two of the greatest chefs in the last two decades, Frédy Girardet and Joël Robuchon, consider Kitcho in Kyoto to be the best restaurant in the world. I share that view. The reason for such an accolade is that the number of diners is very limited, the menu is chosen by the restaurant according to the seasonality of the ingredients and the client accepts that this is the only way in which perfection in the kitchen can be achieved. You also have to arrive at a time to suit the restaurant in order that everything can run to military precision. Clearly it also has to be a great labour of love and a fusion of enormous talent and inventive culinary genius.
Greubel Forsey is, to the watch business, what Kitcho is to food. The collection is very limited, based on one theme, and Greubel only produce around 100 pieces in a year as it is impossible to make more at that quality of production. The watches talk to me in a way that no other brand can match. It is a little like buying a great diamond: if you see 10 diamonds side by side, the difference in colour between a VVS stone and a Type 2A becomes clear. It is precisely the same with watches.
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have worked together for over 10 years. Robert is Swiss and speaks no English; Stephen did his apprenticeship at Asprey and moved to Switzerland over 20 years ago. In the beginning they specialised in giving advice to leading watch factories who called on them for help as a last resort when they could not solve a technical problem. It was a logical progression for them to decide to create their own brand. Their new factory is a tribute to their skill in creating an environment of tradition based on 21st-century production technology. You feel the past, but you see the future.
The set that we have produced for this catalogue is unique. It consists of all the pieces they have made since their inception, created in platinum cases – the noblest of the metals – and finished in black, which gives a totally unique and striking appearance. To me, it is the ultimate.