Greubel Forsey’s most wearable watch: the Balancier Contemporain is now in red gold

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The Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain was released in 2019 in a white gold case. It was the first by the maison to have a case diameter less than 40mm. Now, a new 5N red gold case is added to the collection, with a rich, multi-level contrasting dial.

Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain – now in red gold

Press Release information with Commentary


We covered the Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain release in our Live from SIHH 2019. The release was a rather monotone white gold case with a silver/white dial with hints of gold and black printed markers. Here is our detailed hands-on review. The release model was a limited edition of 33 pieces, and we understand that all has been spoken for.

Balancier Contemporain in red gold

This new release is announced in a red gold case, and offers a much better contrast to the watch, making the dial pop with its differentially finished surfaces. The base of the dial is the back of the movement, and is finished in a textured, rhodium coloured frosting. The rhodium colour seems darker than the more silver hue in the white gold launch edition.

The 2019 launch edition of the Balancier Contemporain in white gold is the most wearable in the Greubel Forsey lineup at 39.6mm diameter.

The contrast between the textured, rhodium coloured frosted base with the polished hour minute dial. bolted on hour/minute dial which is a disc with an open center. to the black minute circle making a visual opening for the balance wheel. The minute circle on the hour-minute sub-dial is now in black, also offering a more contrasty aesthetic.

The watch remains the most petite in the Greubel Forsey lineup, and also have the distinction as the entry level model, retailing at a relatively (to Greubel Forsey) modest CHF 195,000.

Press Release information

Composed of 255 parts, all created and hand finished in the Greubel Forsey spirit of fine craftsmanship, the Balancier Contemporain represents a true architectural accomplishment. The movement has been created especially to fit the specified dimensions, the challenge being not only to house the large balance wheel within a small space, but also more importantly to achieve a harmonious creation with optimal proportions, crafted with precise attention to detail. The 5N red gold version of the Balancier Contemporain plays on the differences in levels, materials, volumes and finishes, while perfectly illustrating the world of Greubel Forsey.

Balancier Contemporain

A Greubel Forsey balance wheel for enhanced stability and performance.

At 6 o’clock, the large balance wheel – developed and built entirely within the Greubel Forsey Atelier – catches the eye.

Balancier Contemporain

Its impressive 12.6mm diameter gives it optimal performance. It is reflected against the backdrop of a black-polished gold plate, reinforcing the sense of depth to the movement. The regulating organ is equipped with a balance wheel stop function that can be activated by pulling the crown. The six gold adjustable screws have been placed inside the felloe to allow for a very precise adjustment, thereby limiting air friction and any resulting disturbance, ultimately providing improved results, better chronometric performance and easier adjustment.

The entire world of Greubel Forsey in 39.6mm

With a diameter of only 39.6mm and a height of 12.21mm, the proportions of the Balancier Contemporain make it particularly unique, especially as Greubel Forsey timepieces usually have a larger diameter. The red gold case is enhanced by three-dimensional variable geometry-shaped lugs that create subtle and elegant curves. These unique proportions are accentuated by contrasting finishes: a fully polished bezel and lugs, with a satin-brushed caseband and caseback. Above the bezel, the high-domed sapphire crystal adds further depth to the movement.

An architectural voyage

The Balancier Contemporain takes us on an architectural voyage several stories high. The journey begins with a black polished gold plate where the balance wheel takes pride of place at 6 o’clock. Higher up, a frosted and bevelled bridge reveals the barrel drum with Greubel Forsey engraving. At 8:30, the small seconds hand moves on a slightly higher level. Higher up still, a delicate hand-frosted bridge displays the 72-hour power reserve, which is brought to life by a slender blued steel hand.

Balancier Contemporain

Further east, at 2 o’clock, the contrasting colours accentuate the temporal indications, and the off-centre position of the hour/minute dial is accentuated by the anthracite finish of the minute circle. Positioned on a raised tripod bridge, the hours and minutes are displayed by two blued steel hands with a hand-polished flat surface and countersinks. The voyage ends with an opening in the dial that allows a glimpse of the large balance wheel, with its bevelled and black-polished bridge.

A work of art hidden from view

The caseback of this timepiece reveals a true work of art created with all the mastery of traditional artisanal hand finishing of Greubel Forsey timepieces. A circular engraved red gold disc is displayed in the centre, surrounded by a white gold bridge, which features the Atelier’s key values written in engraved and black-polished letters, along with the characteristic olive-domed jewels set in gold chatons.

Balancier Contemporain

The Balancier Contemporain in 5N red gold takes us on a fascinating architectural journey, where three-dimensionality is explored on every level. The unique architecture is showcased through the greatest attention to detail and expert hand finishing. With its unique proportions, the Balancier Contemporain is a culmination of expertise encapsulating the whole Greubel Forsey universe.

Greugel Forsey Balancier Contemporain Specifications

In 5N red gold
Hand-wound movement
Timepiece with four hands • hours and minutes • small seconds •
power-reserve • GREUBEL FORSEY balance wheel system • stop balance
Movement dimensions
• Diameter: 32.40mm • Thickness: 9.20mm
Number of parts
• Movement: 255 parts
Number of jewels
• 33 • Olived-domed jewels in gold chatons
Chronometric power reserve
• 72 hours
• Two series-coupled fast rotating barrels (1 turn in 3.2 hours), one of which is equipped with a slipping spring to avoid excess tension • Barrel with relief engraving “Greubel Forsey”
Balance wheel
• In-house variable-inertia with 6 gold mean-time screws (12.60mm diameter) • Stop balance activated by crown
• 21’600 vibrations/hour
Balance spring
• Phillips terminal curve • Geneva-style stud
Main plates
• Titanium, frosted and spotted, straight-grained flanks
• Nickel silver, frosted and spotted with polished bevelling and countersinks, straight-grained flanks, nickel-palladium treatment • Power-reserve bridge with galvanic growth • Flat black polished steel balance wheel bridge, hand-polished bevelling and countersinks, straight-grained flanks • Flat black polished gold plate under the balance wheel, polished bevelling and countersinks, straight-grained flanks • Flat black polished gold plate on the movement side with relief engraved text, polished bevelling and countersinks, straight-grained flanks with apparent gold chatons • Central gold plate, “GF” engraved with the individual number
• Involute circle profile
• Hours and minutes • Small seconds • 72-hours power reserve on a sector
• In 18k 5N red gold with high domed synthetic sapphire crystal • Transparent back with high domed synthetic sapphire crystal • Three-dimensional, variable geometry-shaped lugs • Raised polished engraving “Balancier” and “Greubel Forsey” on a hand-punched background • Gold security screws • Hand-polished bezel, caseband with hand-finished straight graining • Hand-engraved individual number
Case dimensions
• Diameter: 39.60mm • Height: 12.21mm
Water resistance of the case
• Water-resistant 3atm – 30m – 100ft (standard NIHS 92-20/SN ISO 22810:2010)
• In 18k 5N red gold with engraved and black lacquered GF logo
• Multi-level in gold, rhodium-coloured, black minute-circle, with a visual opening for the balance wheel, polished bevel • Small seconds in gold, rhodium-coloured, polished bevel • Power-reserve in gold, engraved and
black lacquered, hand matt lapped
• Hours and minutes, small seconds and power-reserve in polished blued steel, hand-polished countersinks
Strap and clasp
• Hand-sewn alligator • In 18k 5N red gold pin buckle, hand-engraved with
the GF logo


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