As we speak, I’m going hands-on with the most recent model of a brand new technology of ultra-high-end sports activities watches from Swiss Greubel Forsey. That is the titanium-cased Balancier S2 (debuted on aBlogtowatch right here), and I’ve been capable of put on it each on the strap and the neat matching titanium bracelet. The aim of this watch is, in a way, a solution to a query: What’s the model that may tackle Richard Mille? That has been a well-liked matter of debate amongst some members of the luxurious timepiece business. You see, Richard Mille has by no means been the one million-dollar watch recreation on the town, however it’s a uncommon story of a super-high-end model that has been capable of constantly promote extra watches than it produces. Everybody desires a bit of that Richard Mille demand, and firms like Greubel Forsey suppose they will supply one thing actually engaging to shoppers — even whether it is as an alternative choice to Richard Mille (for now).
I sat with still-new Greubel Forsey CEO Mr. Antonio Calce in Dubai, who defined the brand new model technique. Greubel Forsey, already a grasp of what it does, plans to extend manufacturing (we’re solely speaking about just a few extra hundred watches a 12 months) but additionally increase advertising and marketing waves, on condition that the model’s fame has been strong however discreet till now. Till not too long ago, the Greubel Forsey I knew by no means had a CEO, other than its founders Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey. The appointment of Mr. Calce is an enormous step for the corporate that has been, for probably the most half, unbiased, other than a small share owned by Richemont, as I perceive it.
Greubel Forsey makes very well-constructed, sturdy watches which might be additionally extremely well-finished. In my expertise, they’re most likely the best-finished watches from any firm that serially produces timepieces. That degree of ending comes with plenty of prices, and that signifies that an entry-level priced Greubel Forsey watch prices over $200,000. The model’s famed tourbillon watches value over $500,000, and it’s recognized for producing various watches costing over $1,000,000 every. The Balancier S2 (truly it’s the “Balancier S2” — however I don’t suppose most individuals know the best way to kind a ‘squared’ 2 superscript image) is nearer to entry-level worth for the model, and Mr. Calce has made it clear that, shifting ahead, Greubel Forsey would closely deal with the $200,000 – $300,000 watch worth phase. Merchandise just like the Balancier S2 are a touch of the place they intend to go.
This specific curved case fashion was debuted by Greubel Forsey on aBlogtoWatch right here in 2019 with the GMT Sport whereas at Dubai Watch Week. It was thus good that two years later at Dubai Watch Week 2021 Greubel Forsey determined to observe up with the brand new Balancier S2. The watch case is titanium and possibly the perfect a part of all the package deal. It measures in at 46.5mm-wide, however don’t let the dimensions deceive you — it wears actually comfortably. The case and bezel have an fascinating curvature, which is echoed within the form of the sapphire crystal. This fascinating mixing of shapes provides the watch extraordinarily conservative proportions from some angles and really avant-garde ones from different angles. A really small variety of watch case designs I’ve encountered are ready to do that effectively.
Though the Balancier is arguably the best motion produced by Greubel Forsey, it’s certainly not boring. Fairly the alternative, truly, because the attraction is in how the varied motion parts are rendered and formed. All the level of the Balancier watch motion is to have an angled place for the steadiness wheel akin to the 24 or so diploma tilt of most of the model’s tourbillons. I imagine the concept is that they discover this tilt to be a super place in a wristwatch for averaging out the positions it’s in (as gravity impacts efficiency in slight methods) whereas worn naturally on a wrist from day after day. The best way a diagonally tilted steadiness wheel is rendered on the dial and within the motion is a part of the enjoyable, and the dial has the look of being bent down, therefore the visible shade distinction of this decrease slice of the watch dial.
The manually wound motion itself operates at 3Hz with about 72 hours of energy reserve. It has a power-reserve indicator adjoining to the uncovered mainspring barrel. Close to the dramatic steadiness wheel meeting is a small however extremely efficient subsidiary seconds dial. The general design is what Greubel Forsey most likely considers to be futuristic. It isn’t precisely going to land them in a design museum, however the general look is satisfying and a welcome view to anybody who has been a Greubel Forsey fan for some time.
Will it impress newbies to the Greubel Forsey model? That’s a superb query and, in all chance, to achieve the place the model desires to be, it might want to mix a method of product design with glorious and intelligent cultural penetration by efficient advertising and marketing campaigns, very very like what Richard Mille began doing at the very least a decade in the past now. For what it’s value, I believe the top-end sports activities watch market is massive sufficient for there to be multiple model that stands out within the higher echelon. There may be most likely room on the planet for a number of million-dollar sports activities watch manufacturers.
The matching titanium bracelet is an efficient addition to this new Sport case form. The bracelet does put on a bit like Richard Mille bracelets and could be very fastidiously polished, as you would possibly count on from a Greubel Forsey. The deployant clasp is satisfying and has a micro-adjust system. That mentioned, the mechanics are acquainted, and sooner or later, I’d wish to see extra unique mechanics in a Greubel Forsey-branded bracelet since I believe they will engineer some wild stuff. (That, or they will go rent Roland Iten to assist.) As a restricted version, Greubel Forsey will solely produce a complete of 152 of the Balancier S2. When you didn’t discover, they really are available in two totally different grey dial colours, a lighter and darker grey shade. One model is restricted to 88 items, whereas the opposite is restricted to 64 items. Value is 205,000 Swiss Francs. Study extra on the Greubel Forsey web site right here.