Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain: An essence in a compact form


It doesn’t happen everyday that Greubel Forsey the maker of exquisite and super tech-y watches with over-the-top finishings and sizes produce something  under 40m in diameter. Well, the latest SIHH was marked with exactly such a piece, and its technical prowess, second to none polishing and beveling, and, of course, the six-figure pricing are on the usual level.    

Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain, a white gold 33-piece limited edition, features an entirely new movement within the compact 39.6 mm-diameter, 12.21 mm-high case. The manual-winding calibre comprises 255 components. It is endowed with a 72-hour power reserve via two series-coupled fast-rotating barrels, the trademark balance wheel, distinguished by its large 12.6 mm diameter.

The entirely reimagined dial side plays with split levels as well as various materials and finishes. The offset hours/minutes register appears at 2 o’clock with its blued steel hands featuring hand-polished countersinks and flat-polished centers, along with its apertures revealing the balance wheel, gear train and three-dimensional tripod bridge. At 10 o’clock, on a slightly lower level, a finely hand-frosted bridge houses the power-reserve display with a blued steel hand. Just below it, there’s a small second between 8 and 9 o’clock, supported by a frosted and bevelled bridge providing a glimpse of the gilded barrel with Greubel Forsey engraving. Showcased at 6 o’clock the balance wheel is set against the background of a mirror polished bridge. The composition is framed by a slim white gold bezel and a high-domed sapphire crystal.

The centre of the caseback is occupied by an engraved circular red gold plate bearing the GF logo and the individual limited-edition number. It is surrounded by a white gold bridge, relief-engraved with the key Greubel Forsey values and black polished. This credo is further enhanced by characteristic olive-domed jewels in gold chatons, with finely polished countersinks reflecting the deep red hue of the stones. The timepiece is fitted with a hand-sewn leather or alligator strap, secured by a white gold pin buckle hand-engraved with the Greubel Forsey logo.