Greubel Forsey has re-engineered the unusual ovoid case it developed for the 2019 GMT Sport to develop the all-new Balancier S, showcasing a large, high-precision inclined balance wheel and gear train.
Now fit with a new movement, the new, sleeker version of that ovoid case frames a dramatic double suspended arched bridge holding an inclined gear train, all adjacent to the large (12.6mm) inclined balance wheel that gives the watch its name.
The Balancier S’s balance, which parallels the lower dial portion and sits at a 30-degree angle, provides what Greubel Forsey terms an “outstanding solution for limiting timing errors due to the effects of gravity on the regulating organ (balance wheel, spring and escapement) in stable positions.”
Recall that the watchmaker has utilized this escapement angle with great success within numerous tourbillon debuts in recent years, including the Tourbillon 24 Secondes, Quadruple Tourbillon and the Double Tourbillon 30°. For the first time however, we’re seeing the inclined balance alone rather than as a component within a tourbillon cage.
Like last year’s ovoid debut, the Balancier S appears circular from above, but once seen on the wrist betrays its extensive angular and curved attributes, including an oval, arched sapphire crystal, curved hour and minute hands, integrated lugs and strap and a satin-finished bezel engraved with the familiar script outlining Greubel Forsey’s ‘values.’
The new movement in the Balancier S operates with two coaxial barrels mounted in series offering a 72-hour power reserve (shown at 2 o’clock via a skeletonized red-tipped hand). A small seconds hand at 8 o’clock, also placed at a 30-degree angle, underscores the impressive depth Greubel Forsey built into this new caliber.
The watch’s unusual titanium case, sealed for 100 meters of water resistance, is echoed in a beautifully finished titanium mainplate and titanium bridges, which the watchmakers here say “proved much more difficult for manual hand-finishing than steel or even nickel silver.” Likewise, Greubel Forsey’s finishing reaches its usual high standards with extensive frosting, polished bevels and countersinks, circular and straight graining.
This Balancier S continues Greubel and Forsey’s foray into the sporty frontiers of high-end chronometry. Now that many collectors have made peace with the watch’s unusual ovoid case, expect many to look forward to additional sporty high-horology designs from this highly technical team. I already do.
Price: 195,000 Swiss francs. Eighteen pieces will be made.
Specifications: Greubel Forsey Balancier S
Movement: Balancier S manual-wind with 72-hour power reserve, escapement inclined 30 degrees, two coaxial series-coupled fast-rotating barrels, relief-engraved text, circular-grained, black treatment, polished chamfer, titanium and frosted bridges and mainplate, multi-level, suspended-arch bridge, polished with black treatment in relief, polished beveling and countersinks. Movement side: frosted bridges, polished edges and beveling , gold plate with engraved limitation number.
Case: 45mm by 13.75mm titanium with curved synthetic sapphire crystal, three-dimensional, variable geometry-shaped bezel with raised engraved text, profiled lugs, case band with rubber, transparent back with high domed synthetic sapphire crystal, titanium security screws , raised engraving. Crown is titanium and rubber with GF logo, color-coded rubber capping, interchangeable.
Dial: Three-dimensional, variable geometry hour-ring, lacquered hours and minutes indexes, power-reserve indicator, engraved and lacquered, gold small seconds dial, rhodium-colored, polished bevel, curved hour and minute hands in polished steel, small seconds w/red finish.
Strap: Rubber with text in relief , titanium folding clasp, engraved GF logo
Price: 195,000 Swiss francs