Interesting news from Greubel Forsey. They have shrunk their Balancier Convexe S2 and Double Balancier Convexe with slimmer cases. The former is now 41.5mm and the latter 42.5mm, and will be time limited between 2023 and 2026.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: smaller versions of the Greubel Forsey Balancier Convexe S2 and Double Balancier Convexe
The retail prices of the new size Greubel Forsey are as follows:
- Balancier Convexe S2 41,5 mm : CHF 212’000.-
- Double Balancier Convexe S2 42,5 mm: CHF 305’000.-
We have been big fans of the Greubel Forsey Convexe series ever since the model was introduced. And even before they call the family Convexe when in 2019, they introduced the GMT Sport. And in 2021, with the S2 as the next phase of Greubel Forsey’s idendity remake when Antonio Calce joined as CEO. The first to be released was the Balancier Convexe S2, a reference based on the Balancier, but dressed in the new S2 case work. And the Balancier Convexe S2 with a bracelet followed in 2022. The Balancier is a model with a bit of a long history in Greubel Forsey, being introduced in 2017. The case for the Balancier S2 and the Balancier Convexe S2 was 43.5mm and the current novelty, this is now a much smaller, and more wrist friendly 41.5mm.
Greubel Forsey was not specific in what was done, but to achieve this slimming exercise, the movement was refined to squeeze into the smaller space, and the case slimmed accordingly. Pricing have increased somewhat – up CHF 7k for the Balancier Convexe S2 and CHF 10k for the Double Balancier Convexe S2.
Greubel Forsey Balancier Convexe S2
Presenting the Balancier Convexe S2 in a diameter of 41.5 mm. Available in grey or blue, the watch is a veritable urban landscape, highly architectural and with ultra-fine contrasting lines, showcased within an unprecedented size where technology and aesthetics rival in boldness.
2021: an unexpected creation crosses the skies over Dubai, where it is unveiled. Its name: Balancier Convexe S2. Greubel Forsey is building a collection with strong, modern, innovative and architectural identities. The Balancier Convexe S2 is the first manifestation of this.
The timepiece maintains continuity with its heritage and stands out through more refined and innovative perspectives. This exquisite calibre is now available in two editions, each in a brand new 41.5 mm case.
An iconic profile
The Balancier Convexe S2 showcases its famous Convexe profile. Since its introduction in 2019, this case profile has won over collectors for its comfort and cutting-edge ergonomics. The entire case is double-curved, both front and back. On the back, it offers total comfort, hugging the curve of the wrist. On the front, the convex profile of the bezel plunges along the vertical axis of the timepiece, at both 12 and 6 o’clock. This dynamic form delivers the promise of infinite creative possibilities.
Along the 12 and 6 o’clock axis, the hour-ring drops away beneath the sapphire crystal revealing an unprecedented open space below the glass. Greubel Forsey has made full use of it: the lower quarter of the timepiece prominently features the collection’s signature large balance wheel. Taking full advantage of the space available, it is inclined at 30°, as if suspended from the straight-grained, openworked bridge with its hand-polished bevelling.
Time at your fingertips
In the apex, by contrast, the hour-ring is at its highest possible to the sapphire crystal. Enhanced in luminescent white, the hour and minute hands have never appeared so high. They almost seem to make contact with the glass, giving the illusion of being able to touch the time. Here again, we find the double openworked “arch bridge” with suspended wheels, whose architecture reveals the movement’s patented mechanics. Bridges, elevations, levels, contrasts, relief, vanishing lines: the piece is clearly inspired by a city, one of those contemporary metropolis explored by Greubel Forsey collectors, between skyline and waterfront.
Skyline and waterfront
Both could be the inspiration for the two versions of the timepiece. In the first, multiple shades of grey recall urban architecture. Greubel Forsey deploys a wide range of finishes to magnify the slightest chromatic variation, from frosted plates to straight-grained and mirror-polished surfaces. An isolated coloured zone stands out for the power reserve, with an arrow pointing towards the 72 hours chronometric precision.
In the blue version, Greubel Forsey plays with direct contrast. With a light-coloured mainplate, a midnight-blue hour-ring and elevated luminescent hour-markers standing out, the large balance and small seconds at 8 o’clock revealed on the inclined surface, the composition is as soft as it is contrasting.
Pure Greubel Forsey
For the first time, this urban landscape is housed in a smaller, slimmer case. Thanks to its honed proportions, the case is just 41.5 mm in diameter. A smaller, and therefore lighter timepiece, cut for everyday use from a block of titanium to wear either on a textile-style textured rubber strap or a full titanium bracelet. However, a simple homothety of the original construction to bring it to 41.5 mm wouldn’t have worked. Greubel Forsey, therefore, completely reworked this Balancier Convexe S2 while preserving all the codes.
First: to ensure that the new diameter of the case did not pronounce the curves, the profile had to be perfected on both the dial side (to adapt to the new calibre) and the caseback side (to preserve the curvature that matches the shape of the wrist).
Secondly, the movement has been considerably refined. Here, on the technical side, the architecture has been rethought to maximise the reduced space. The aim was to maintain coherent proportions between the movement and the volume imposed by the new 41.5 mm case. The aesthetics and finishing have also been adapted to ensure that they continue to stand out in this new environment.
The texts and unique design of the barrel cover blend seamlessly into the redesigned case. This creates an exclusive dynamic that evokes its rotation, ensuring a 72-hour chronometric power reserve, and a display which is also perfectly integrated and contributes to the overall harmony inspired by this original 41.5 mm timepiece.
The new 41.5 mm Balancier Convexe S2 in titanium will be produced as only 88 pieces of each version from 2023.
Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Convexe
Greubel Forsey unveils its Double Balancier Convexe in a new diameter of just 42.5 mm. This new creation, in titanium, will be made as a limited edition of only 88 pieces and offers an unprecedentedly modern and architectural perspective of its Double Balancier movement and constant spherical differential.
The popular belief is that a watchmaking company produces its movements, then its cases, for which it defines the diameter that it feels best meets its customers’ expectations. Nothing could be further from the truth at Greubel Forsey. At the Atelier Manufacture, each timepiece is designed exclusively following the principle of unique creative process, “one calibre – one case”. They are inseparable. They are created for each other, from the first sketch to the final assembly.
This is particularly true of the Convexe collection. Its fundamental identity is based on the distinctive architecture of its double-curved case, which hugs the wrist perfectly. Its design evokes the construction of the movement that unfolds in three dimensions and emphasises its profile.
A very limited inaugural series
The guiding idea behind this new diameter is, once again, to push back the limits, even those already set by Greubel Forsey: how to create a more compact timepiece while preserving the harmony of its proportions and the architectural requirements of the movement.
To meet this challenge, Greubel Forsey had to rethink the construction of the movement and enhance its finish – only possible thanks to the high level of expertise at the Greubel Forsey workshops, where each timepiece is entirely assembled and finished by hand. This allows the Atelier’s artisans to adapt their art, piece by piece, according to the specifics of each collection. The 42.5 mm Double Balancier Convexe edition will comprise only 88 timepieces, available between 2023 and 2026.
The inaugural Double Balancier Convexe was presented in 2022 and was not then designed for a diameter of 42.5 mm. Underlining the disruptive nature of this creation, this reduction in diameter is particularly significant, taking note that the tolerances of a Greubel Forsey timepiece are adjusted to the micron. Averted collectors will fully appreciate this fact.
The smaller volume of the new 42.5 mm-diameter case houses the Double Balancier, the sixth Fundamental Invention from Greubel Forsey. Its prototype, patented in 2007, has continued to evolve ever since. It was first offered as an EWT (Experimental Watch Technology) prototype, in which the two regulating organs were superimposed and inclined at 20°. A second evolution of six pieces followed close behind, with the two regulating organs positioned on three-dimensional and inclined planes, this time at 35°. In 2016, Greubel Forsey presented the Double Balancier movement in its current form: the two balance wheels, both inclined at 30°, optimise performance, especially in stabilised positions, while the Constant Spherical Differential generates greater amplitude stability.
Preserving lines and comfort
Its new 42.5 mm diameter makes it possible to approach the Convexe case with a new configuration. Mathematically, with a smaller diameter, its curves should have been steeper. But the Greubel Forsey teams have reworked the convex profile, which is unique in the world, adapting its precise angles and proportions, rather than simple homothety. The new case has been completely redesigned to provide optimum comfort on the wrist and maintaining Greubel Forsey’s own expectations for ergonomics and excellence.
The result is an extremely comfortable timepiece with a more discreet silhouette that is resolutely harmonious. It’s an original design, eagerly awaited by collectors, and one that the Atelier took enormous care to refine to its renowned level of perfection.
New profile, new finishes
This new Double Balancier Convexe slips more easily under a fitted sleeve or can be worn casually on a bare wrist. Depending on their preference, collectors can hide or reveal the mechanics of the movement, without appearing ostentatious.
The finishing of this timepiece has been designed with this in mind. The case is made of natural titanium in a silky, luminous grey. The polished bezel features subtle satin finishes, contrasting shine and elegance through the plays of light so characteristic of the Convexe line. The lettering on the barrel cover blends seamlessly into the redesigned case while its new design creates an exclusive dynamic that evokes it rotating and simultaneously delivering 72 hours of chronometric power reserve.
The mainplate, also in titanium, is frosted – again, discerning collectors will note the ambition of this finish, titanium being a tenacious natural material and therefore by definition the most difficult on which to apply frosting. The same high standards apply to the bridge of each balance wheel, whose bevelling is also polished by hand – a particularly meticulous exercise requiring exceptional expertise, especially when the bridge in question is openworked and flat black-polished.
The inclined balance wheels are linked by the Constant Spherical Differential, visible between 6 and 7 o’clock. In 4-minute sequences, it delivers the best running average to meet the performance, precision, and reliability requirements that Greubel Forsey imposes on all its timepieces.
Available from June 2023, the 42.5 mm Double Balancier Convexe will be offered with a grey rubber strap or an integrated Greubel Forsey titanium bracelet.