Greubel Forsey is a boutique Swiss brand known for their haute horology timepieces. In keeping with the times, the brand unveiled its first sports watch last year with the GMT Sport. Today it presents the Balancier S, a new timepiece that bring a more leisurely vibe to the brand’s haute horology signature.
It is water-resistant to 100 metres is fitted with an integrated rubber strap – two details that you wouldn’t associate with Greubel Forsey five years ago, whose timepieces have always eschewed a more serious tone.
The Balancier S is no shrinking violet - the case, at its widest, measures 45 mm and (with the curved sapphire crystal) is 15.60 mm thick. Made of lightweight titanium, the case is similar to the one used on the GMT Sport – it has an arched ovoid shape and the satin-finished bezel, engraved with Greubel Forsey’s key values, dips and arches around the edges of the case. The rubber inserts on the crown and caseband assure excellent grip, but they can also be changed easily to match the colour of the rubber strap. When viewed from above, the case may appear circular, but it is distinctly an ovoid from other angles.
The multiplane dial is dominated by a suspended arch central bridge just like on the GMT Sport model. This arched structure holds the curved gear train, and curved hour and minutes hands, over the surface of the dial. The surfaces themselves have a frosted finish and the escapement platform (which holds the large 12.6-mm balance wheel, hairspring and escapement) is set at a 30-degree angle from the horizontal plane of the movement. This inclined construction offsets the effects of gravity on the accurate running of the movement.
Greubel Forsey timepieces are renowned for their immaculate finishing techniques, all executed by hand. Consider the multi-level titanium balance wheel bridge for example - it is black-polished at the top but the surface is circular grained as it slopes downward and the base is again black-polished. The interplay of brushed and polished surfaces play off the light well on the dial. The arched center bridge has black-polished edges and a blackened centre, the open-worked hands also have a black-polished finish and red lacquered tips that really pop on the dial. A power reserve indicator is placed near the 1 o’ clock position while a rhodium-plated gold small seconds dial sits snugly next to the large balance wheel. This movement has a power reserve of 72 hours when fully wound thanks to the presence of two mainspring barrels.
The exhibition caseback again showcases the atelier’s impressive finishing skills. The titanium bridges have a frosted finish and raised black-polished border. Expect to see polished bevels and countersinks, circular and straight graining highlight even the smallest surfaces. It’s not easy finishing titanium surfaces by hand, it takes about two months for a craftsman to work through one of these movements.
The watch is paired with a rubber strap fasted by a titanium folding clasp. Limited to just 18 pieces, this exclusive timepiece is priced at 195,000 Swiss Francs (that’s close to AED800,000).