A new red gold case for the Balancier Contemporain

Text: Press
Photo: Greubel Forsey

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 39.6mm. Following the initial white gold version, it is now offered in a new 5N red gold case with a rich, multi-level contrasting dial

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. 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 4146 Original
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. 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.

Balancier Contemporain 4145 Original
Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain

The entire world of Greubel Forsey in 39.6mm

With a diameter of only 39.6mm 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. 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.

Balancier Contemporain 4147 Original
Balancier Contemporain

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.

GREUBEL FORSEY Balancier Contemporain In 5N red gold Hand-wound movement

Movement: diameter 32.40 mm – thickness: 9.20mm – movement: 255 parts – number of jewels 33 – olived-domed jewels in gold chatons – chronometric power reserve 72 hours – Barrels 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 (12.60 mm diameter) – stop balance activated by crown – frequency  21’600 vibrations/hour – balance spring Phillips terminal curve – Geneva-style stud – Main plates Titanium, frosted and spotted, straight-grained flanks – Bridges – 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

Gearing – Involute circle profile

Displays: Hours and minutes – Small seconds – 72-hours power reserve on a sector

Case: 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 39.60 mm – Height: 12.21 mm

Water-resistant: 30 m (standard NIHS 92-20/SN ISO 22810:2010)

Crown: In 18k 5N red gold with engraved and black lacquered GF logo

Dial: 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 – Hands – 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