When a watch collector hears or reads the name Greubel Forsey, he/she knows that any timepiece bearing this name is a handmade horological creation like no other and synonym of the pinnacle of modern watchmaking. With a production of no more than 1,100 watches in the course of their 14-year history, Greubel Forsey just released their latest creation: the Balancier. This exceptional timepiece with a balance wheel measuring 12.6 mm in diameter and available in a limited edition of 33 pieces in 18K white gold, embodies the brand's fundamental principles and epitomizes all the unique qualities of a Greubel Forsey watch in a very understated way.
The Dial & Case
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have been pushing the limits of fine watchmaking for many years now, tackling the challenges of complexity every day. And yet, after the Double Tourbillon 30°, the Quadruple Tourbillon, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes and many other bold complications like the Grande Sonnerie —released a couple of months ago at the SIHH 2017 and which we featured here—, the new Greubel Forsey Balancier was self-evident as the brand was bound to one day create a timepiece of great purity, featuring a unique and original balance wheel. With an 18K white gold case measuring 43.5 mm in diameter and a multi-level construction dial that GF is well known for, the new Balancier brings the balance wheel to the center stage.
The dial which is actually the mainplate for the movement, features a nickel silver, frosted and spotted surface with straight-grained flanks, hour ring in gold, hand matte lapped, engraved and black lacquered hour indexes and minute circle, seconds subdial between 3 and 4 o'clock, power reserve indicator between 9 and 11 o'clock and a fully exposed Greubel Forsey balance wheel system between 7 and 9 o'clock. Additionally, at 2 o'clock the dial features an olive-domed jewel in gold chaton. The blued hands complete the exquisite design of this watch in its very own Greubel Forsey way.
The case features the traditional case construction of all other Greubel Forsey timepieces with three-dimensional variable geometry-shaped lugs, asymmetrical convex sapphire crystal, crown in 18K white gold with engraved and black lacquered GF logo and with a lateral window with curved sapphire crystal that allows for a partial side view of the balance wheel.
Equipped with an in-house manual wound movement composed of 269 parts and 37 jewels, the back of the movement is simply a real treat for the eyes. This time, the movement is fully covered by a flat back polished gold plate with raised engraved text, polished beveling and two apparent gold chatons. The center of the back of the movement features another flat gold central plate this time in 18K rose gold with an engraving of the GF logo along with the individual number for the watch. Without a doubt one of the most elaborate and intricate finishes for a movement. While the text engraving is initially done using a laser engraver, the final finish and smoothing of the text contour and its background is fully done by hand.
This text in French that alludes to the intrinsic attributes and qualities of the horological masterpieces created by Greubel Forsey reads: 'Bienfacture Esthetique', 'Savoir-Faire', 'Exclusivité', 'Technicité', 'Architecture Perfection', 'Garde-Temps', 'Inventeurs Horlogers', 'Exclusivité', 'Harmonie Unique', 'Créativité', 'Univers Original' and 'Architecture Noblesse'.
On the Wrist & Price
On the wrist, the new Greubel Forsey Balancier wears simply perfect and true to its size. We've said it before and we'll say it again, Greubel Forsey timepieces are simply amazing and worth every penny. If you can't understand why this watch is priced so high, head to a Greubel Forsey authorized dealer and see for yourself. The moment you get to check this watch under a loupe, will be the moment you get to understand why they cost as much as they do. When it comes to watches of this caliber it is very simple, you're getting what you're paying for. Furthermore, the exclusivity of owning what only a few hundred watch collectors out there can own, comes with a steep price tag. If you want to play you have to pay.
Sticker Price CHF 205,000 Swiss Francs —approximately $204,500 USD. For more info on Greubel Forsey click here.