A Closer Look at the Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain

The Greubel Forsey watchmakers have built a solid reputation for brilliant finishing and expert engineering in their compromise-free designs. They have a fondness for tourbillons and excel in complication when it comes to their brand identity as fine watchmakers. In what may be one of their most brilliant achievements to date, Greubel Forsey has recently announced the release of their smallest wrist watch which is both simple yet extreme. The Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain is their latest creation and it joins the lineup of high quality models already existing within the brand. This example is worthy of a closer look and thorough examination to satisfy your curiosity about what they’ve been up to lately.

The case

The case of the Balancier Contemporain is crafted of fine white gold material. The shape is round and the diameter measures 39.6 mm with a thickness of 12.21 mm. This makes it the smallest wrist watch that has been produced by the brand as of this time. The sides of the case feature a unique placement of inset white gemstones giving it an encrusted aesthetic. Interestingly, the pattern continues around the side of the watch case and continues up throughout the lugs in a continuous design without breaks. It gives the watch a certain flow that is easy for the eyes to follow. The case back is solid and made of white gold with specifics of the watch engraved on the edges and a pattern of ornate concentric circles and accents on the interior.

The dial

The dial features a multi-level gold design with the application of black lacquer for the hour and minute rings along with rhodium plating. The indexes are Arabic numerals within the inset sub dial on the face of the watch dial which is made up of a collection of concentric circles and shows in part, the inner mechanical workings of the movement. A smaller sub dial at the 9 o clock position relays the seconds.

The movement

The movement is a manually wound style that measures 32.4 mm in diameter with a thickness of 9.2 mm. It beats at a frequency of 3 Hz at 21,600 vph with 33 jewels and a power reserve of 72 hours. The functions of the movement are hours, minutes, seconds and the power reserve indicator. There are a total of 255 components within this watch and it is water resistant up to 30 meters. The movement is powered by two series coupled barrels which are fast rotating and they’re fitted with a variable inertia balance which is a Gruebel Forsey in-house component. This comes to a stop when the crown is pulled out.

The strap

The Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain fastens to the wrist with a genuine Alligator strap that closes with a white gold pin style buckle.

Availability and pricing

The Balancier Contemporain is available through the manufacturer in a strictly limited edition. It is offered in your choice of a white gold case only for the cost of $197,000. Only 33 examples of this limited production run will be offered for sale. A special edition of the watch featuring baguette cut diamonds is available with pricing given only upon request. Just 33 of the diamond version will be offered. It’s worth noting that the latter variation is made with a slightly larger case that measures 41.6 mm in diameter to accommodate the baguette cut diamond stones.

Final thoughts

The Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain is an exquisite luxury watch with a novel yet sophisticated aesthetic that exudes elegance yet offers an interesting peek into the mechanical genius that powers the timepiece. It’s an innovation and marks the development of a new line, albeit in an extremely limited quality. The limitation of the production numbers ensure that this watch is destined to become a rare watch upon its very release. This quality will only be enhanced with the passage of time and it is destined to become a true collector’s item. The brand has achieved the goals of creating a moderately sized watch in perfect proportions and a three dimensional quality. The example exhibits the in-house balance wheel which is an engineering feat in itself and it maintains a unique finishing style that creates an interesting personality.


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