In 2019, Greubel Forsey opened a new chapter in its history by presenting the particularly compact Balancier Contemporain, the first Greubel Forsey timepiece with a diameter of 39.6 mm. Embodying all the codes of Greubel Forsey, exploring all three dimensions in detail without ever compromising on chronometric performance, the Balancier Contemporain is a real tour de force. Following the initial white gold version, it is now offered in a new 5N red gold case with a rich, multi-level contrasting dial.
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.
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. Its impressive 12.6 mm 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 39.6 mm and a height of 12.21 mm, 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. 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.
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.