Insider: Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire. An 11-Piece Limited Edition that is Out of this World.

In 2009, after extensive research on multiple regulators at Greubel Forsey’s EWT Laboratory—Experimental Watch Technology—, the inclined Double Balancier was introduced as a prototype at Baselworld. The two inclined regulating organs —then positioned on top of each other— now occupy distinct and separate three-dimensional spaces. Released for the first time at the SIHH 2016 in white gold, then in rose gold at the SIHH 2018, now comes this amazing Greubel Forsey Double Balancier in the most complex case material possible.

Available in a limited edition of only 11 pieces in sapphire crystal, the Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire is the first Double Balancier à Différentiel Constant in the world and the only one cased in sapphire. This new mechanism redefines the limits of timekeeping with two inclined balance wheels in a stable position, while a constant spherical differential provides a more steady amplitude.


Things to Know About the Watch

Unlike its predecessors, the Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire doesn’t leave anything to the imagination with its fully transparent case construction. Its sapphire crystal case measuring 43 mm in diameter and 13.38 mm in thickness, allows for visibility of the horological feat guarded inside. The multi-layer construction of its movement and dial, makes the inner workings appear like a miniature city constructed between the balances inclined with capricious intent. The movement architecture has taken into consideration every single element to create a symphony of visual ecstasy.

With more than two thirds of the dial open to the heart of its movement, the look of the Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire is simply out of this world. Its design, allows for one to contemplate its movement endlessly. The sapphire case and winding crown also in sapphire accentuate the flawlessly polished blue dial with white markers.

The multi-level blue dial features a 72-hour power reserve indicator between 1 and 3 o'clock and the traditional skeletonized hands typically used by Greubel Forsey with luminescent material on their tips. An elegant minute track and 'oven fired' enameled indexes —émail grand feu champlevé— complete the classic yet avant-garde look of the new Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire. For those that like to keep track of the seconds, a running seconds indicator has been delicately placed at 4 o'clock on this exceptional timepiece.

Lastly, between 6 and 7 o'clock, one can appreciate the 4-minute constant differential rotation indicator with its blued hand and markings 0, 1, 2, 3.

The double balance wheels inclined at an angle of 30 degrees, are just mesmerizing and hypnotizing. The balance wheels oscillate rhythmically —each in different direction—, as if they were dancing to an horological symphony with no finale.

The bridges on the balance wheels are perfectly black polished to the point where at the right angle all light is absorbed and nothing is reflected.


The Movement

Turning the watch around reveals the nickel silver grey PVD main plate guarding the patented manual wound in-house calibre GF04 that powers the Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire. When compared to its predecessors, the base plate of the movement has been skeletonized to allow for full view of the back of the balance wheels and the differential.

The movement composed of 285 parts is fitted with 50 jewels in olive-domed gold chatons and with 30 parts for its constant differential. The movement provides a power reserve of 72 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph. All bridges are nickel silver spotted with straight-grained flanks and with grey PVD treatment.


The Strap

Rounding out the relatively sporty look —thanks to its sapphire case— of this masterpiece of horology, the Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire is fitted with a blue rubber strap with the traditional deployant double-folding clasp used by Greubel Forsey. The rubber strap is quite supple but firm at the same time and the clasp is mirror polished throughout.


On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the watch wears slightly bigger than its actual size and more like a 45 mm timepiece due to its thick case profile. As far as looks and wrist presence, the Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire is simply out of this world and the only watch that can trump any other sapphire cased watch, regardless of what brand we’re talking about. An incredible feat of horology that even though its horological complications exude classicism, the overall appearance of the watch is very sporty and contemporary because of its sapphire crystal case paired with a blue rubber strap. This watch is available in a highly exclusive limited edition of 11 pieces only.

Now, as far as the price, keep in mind that this watch is almost double the price of the 18K white gold or rose gold versions previously released. Regardless, we think that this particular Sapphire piece is absolutely well worth it.

Sticker Price $695,000 USD. For more info on Greubel Forsey click here.