Art in its purest form… Although Greubel Forsey also exposes at the SIHH, where they introduced the innovative Grand Sonnerie, they also introduce a new watch during Baselworld 2017. That’s a lot for a small and super high-end company like Greubel Forsey! With their newest creation, the Greubel Forsey Balancier, they elevate the essentials to watchmaking at its purest form and apply insanely stunning finishing. This time no double or quadruple tourbillon, no fancy complications, just the pure expression of a classical movement, decorated in the best possible way you can imagine (literally).
Unlike other creations from the brand, the Greubel Forsey Balancier (balance wheel in French) features no complication – apart from a power reserve indicator. Instead, it focuses on the essentials, reinterpreted using Greubel Forsey’s radical and inventive approach. The results is art in its purest form. As its names suggests, the Balancier celebrates the beating heart of the watch. A large, majestic balance wheel is in full view on the dial side under a superb bridge. The spectacle of its oscillations over the lever and escape wheel is mesmerizing to behold.
This balance was entirely developed and manufactured at the Greubel Forsey Atelier. 12.60mm in diameter, it has 6 gold regulating screws and it’s designed to offer outstanding aerodynamic qualities. It runs at 21’600 vibrations per hour and features a Philips terminal curve and Geneva-style stud. The stop balance allows for precise adjustment.
Although it may seem relatively simple in appearance, the one thing of which we can be certain taking a closer look at on the new ‘Balancier’ is that we are dealing with fanatics at Greubel Forsey whose watchmakers and craftsmen have golden hands. The finishing of the movement is indeed spectacular, crafted to a level that is seldom seen.
The exquisite brilliance of the balance bridge is the fruit of meticulous, expert handwork. The different surfaces (whether rounded or flat), as well as the screws, are polished to obtain a uniform lustre without even the slightest imperfection. Each angle is chamfered to perfection. The recesses are treated the same way.
In the characteristic Greubel Forsey style, the large nickel-silver bridges are frosted and spotted. They are nickel-palladium finished. The way their contour is bevelled is exquisite.
The arrow-shaped hands are meticulously polished and thermally blued. On the gold hour ring framing the movement, the logo is off-set at 2 o’clock by symmetry with the balance wheel. The power reserve indication (72 hours) is shown by a gold applied sector shaped counter while the small seconds is displayed thanks to a gold applied counter ring.
At the back of the watch, the mainplate is engraved with words in bas relief text – this is another Greubel Forsey signature feature and is indeed a nice touch! The chatons holding the two jewels are magnificent.
As is often seen with Greubel-Forsey, the case is asymmetric which provides extra-space to house the large balance. A window is integrated into the case band to allow additional light onto the balance wheel. It is satin finished with a polished bezel and lugs. The case profile and the curves of the lugs are really harmonious.
The Greubel Forsey Balancier is worn on a black, hand-sewn alligator strap, fitted with a white gold pin buckle. It is a limited edition of 33 pieces (for the white gold version), priced at CHF 205,000.
Technical specifications – Greubel Forsey Balancier
- Case: 43.5 mm x 13.94 mm – white gold case – sapphire crystals – lateral window with shaped sapphire crystal – gold security screws – 30m water resistant
- Movement: manual winding – 36.40 mm x 8.35 mm – 72h power reserve – 21,600 vibrations/h – 37 jewels – hours, minutes, small seconds and power reserve indication – stop seconds – 269 parts.
- Strap : hand-sewn alligator leather with pin buckle
- Limited edition of 33 pieces