Greubel Forsey adds the new Balancier S2, to their lineup, featuring a more contemporary aesthetic with a new case, new finishing but with the same caliber.
Press release information with commentary in italics.
The S2 is the next phase of Greubel Forsey’s remake of their identity. This was an exercise which started when Antonio Calce joined the board and as CEO. Watches which are currently being rolled out under his watch has taken on a fresh new look, despite Antonio’s credentials as an industry veteran.
The Balancier lineup began with the Greubel Forsey Balancier, released in 2017. This was their second watch which was a “simple” three hand watch with power reserve gauge, the first being the Signature 1. The Balancier carried a non-inclined, non-tourbillon balance. A total of 33 pieces were made, and now sold out. It was followed by the Balancier Contemporain in 2019, which featured a smaller case size of 39.6mm, the smallest made by the Maison. The movement is modified by rotating it in the case and the balance given a new bridge, but it retained the non-inclined, non-tourbillon balance. It was the most approachable watch in the Greubel Forsey catalog at that time, not only for its petite sizing, but also for the more modest retail price for CHF 195,000. A total of 33 pieces of the Balancier Contemporain were made, inclusive of gemset models, and are also sold out. A new model, the Balancier S, released in 2020 tops the range in a more sporty case which also saw the inclined balance being implemented. The Greubel Forsay signature tourbillon also did not make its appearance in the Balancier S.
As the name suggests, the S2 is a development of the S. Both watches share the same movement. And the basic case shape first seen in the GMT Sport. The S had a case which is 43mm, measured at the bezel, while with the S2 this is enlarged to 46.5mm. This case dimension may seem rather huge, but in reality, the watches wear smaller as the bezel is an elongated oval shape, and the dimension taken at the long diameter. This is a complex case shape, with strong curves in all directions, accentuating the organic nature of the design. And the thicker case enabled the appearance of the inclined balance. The S had a very busy bezel with micro-engraved texts, while the S2 simplifies this with a clean, smooth, polished bezel. This progression takes a leaf from the GMT Sport models, which premiered the complex case shape, going from launch model with text on the bezel to a smooth one. Also taken from the GMT Sport second generation model, is the offer for a metal bracelet in titanium. The other changes from S to S2 take the form of different finishing applied and the skeletonization of the gear train bridge, and the use of open worked hands. Finnasage remains the exceptional levels we have to come to expect from Greubel Forsey.
The retail price remains at about the CHF 200k mark, which we think is a very fair ransom for this watch, as it is the same price as the 2020 launch edition of the Balancier S. It also in the same ballpark as the 2017 launch model of the Balancier. We do note the new S2 (and S) carries an more complicated inclined balance than the original, but in a titanium case instead of gold. The option to fit the beautifully crafted titanium bracelet comes at a rather big premium of CHF 45k on the new S2.
Greubel Forsey Balancier S2
Retail price for the Balancier S2 is set at CHF 205’000.- (on rubber strap) and CHF 245’000.- (on titanium bracelet) before taxes.
With the GMT Sport and the original Balancier S, Greubel Forsey revealed a new facet of its identity. This highly contemporary and exciting approach to fine watchmaking has just been raised to the power of 2, amplifying the very essence of Greubel Forsey.
The Balancier S2 isolates the most powerful elements of the original Balancier S and accentuates and modernises them. Instead of soft curves and a discreet overall aesthetic, the Balancier S2 is all about contrast and power. It shares the movement of its predecessor but introduces a new case, new finishing and new design codes.
Greubel Forsey chose to accentuate the contrast – and therefore the legibility – of its dial, with an intense black or grey backdrop that cuts through the balance bridge between 5 and 9 o’clock. The edges are sharp and the matt-effect handgrained finish allows the bridge and indices to stand out much more clearly. The latter have been reduced to their simplest expression, with 12 towering indices for 12 hours.
For the first time, the central double-arched titanium bridge which holds the gear train is openworked: once again, we can see the desire to lighten, purify and return to the essential. The new titanium bracelet reinforces this dynamic. It offers perfect continuity with the titanium case, exuding a robust and contemporary appeal. The Balancier S2 affirms its place in the Haute Horlogerie of today and tomorrow as a timepiece that sacrifices nothing to the excellence of high-end watchmaking. Yet it’s a timepiece designed for everyday use, not one to simply be stored away in a safe.
The Balancier S2 also features a slightly larger diameter that helps assert its new personality. Increased to 46.5mm, it is now topped by a striking brushed titanium bezel with polished flanks, instead of the key Greubel Forsey values. Similarly, the barrel cover no longer features the large “Greubel Forsey” signature, but instead a very modern circular pattern designed exclusively for this model. The Greubel Forsey signature appears under the internal bezel between 12 and 2 o’clock. Suspended high above, the hour and minute hands appear in luminescent white.
Only 88 pieces of this new Balancier S2 will be made for the version with a charcoal grey backdrop, for a total of 22 pieces per year from 2022 to 2025. For the version with a light grey background, 16 pieces per year will be released over 4 years, totalling 64 pieces. Both versions will come in a titanium case.
Greubel Forsey Balancier S2 Specifications
Hand-wound movement • Patents pending Hours and minutes • small seconds • power-reserve • 30° inclined Greubel Forsey balance wheel system
NUMBER OF PARTS
• Movement: 307
NUMBER OF JEWELS
• Olived-domed jewels in gold chatons
CHRONOMETRIC POWER RESERVE
• 72 hours
• 21’600 vibrations/hour
• Hours and minutes
• Small seconds
• 30° inclined Greubel Forsey
balance wheel system
• Titanium with curved synthetic sapphire crystal
• Three-dimensional, variable geometry-shaped bezel, hand-polished with hand-finished straight graining
• Raised engraving “Balancier Incliné” and “Greubel Forsey”
• Diameter: 43,50mm (caseband) and 46,50mm (bezel)
• Height: 13,75mm (case) et 15,70mm (synthetic sapphire crystals)
WATER RESISTANCE OF THE CASE
• Water-resistant 10atm – 100m – 328ft
• Three-dimensional, variable geometry minute-circle, polished, with engraved and lacquered minutes indexes
• Power-reserve indicator, engraved and lacquered
STRAP AND CLASP
• Non-animal material, rubber with texture in relief, titanium folding clasp, engraved GF logo
• On demand:
3-row metal bracelet in titanium, folding clasp with integrated fine adjustment, engraved GF logo