Greubel Forsey Balancier Convexe S² Carbon

Geneva Watch Days: Greubel Forsey Unveils Its First Carbon Fiber Watches, Plus Smaller Cases!

The haute horlogerie brand has chosen its Double Balancier Convexe and Balancier Convexe S² to introduce high-tech carbon to its collection while simultaneously giving them smaller, more wearable cases.

By Steven Rogers

While some watchmakers have used this week’s Geneva Watch Days to unveil brand-new movements, fresh dial executions, or exciting collaborations, Greubel Forsey has taken advantage of the decentralized fair to unveil its first timepieces to feature a carbon fiber case.

Specifically, the high-end independent brand has chosen its Double Balancier Convexe and Balancier Convexe S² to debut this high-tech case material, which catches the eye with its horizontal veining and bold presence on the wrist.

What’s more, switching to carbon fiber has allowed the La Chaux de Fonds-based outfit to make a slightly smaller sized case – 42.5mm instead of 43.5mm for the Double Balancier Convexe, and 41.5mm rather than 43.5mm for the Balancier Convexe S².

Contemporary Styling

Since Antonio Calce became CEO nearly three years ago, Greubel Forsey – known for its tourbillon innovation, chronometric credits, and superlative hand-finishing – has ushered in a contemporary sports watch styling across its collection centered around the contoured Convexe case and more openwork dials showcasing the brand’s architectural in-house movements.

So far, titanium has been the brand’s go-to material to make these curved, wrist-hugging cases, but now the watchmaker has raised its level of sportiness a notch or two by introducing carbon fiber to the fold.

And while Greubel Forsey has made one-off pieces with carbon bezels for its retailers in the recent past – notably the Balancier S – the new Double Balancier Convexe Carbon and Balancier Convexe S² Carbon are the first serially produced carbon pieces in its collection to feature a full carbon fiber case, bezel, and crown.

Not Your Usual Carbon

Since Greubel Forsey was founded by complications specialists Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey 19 years ago, the company has been regarded by many to be the gold standard in haute horlogerie.

In keeping with its quest for horological perfection, Greubel Forsey hasn’t settled for just any carbon fiber for its new case; it has selected a carbon fiber made using a compression-molding process involving pressure levels that are eight times higher than the industry standard – 16 tons of pressure, compared to the usual two tons.

According to the brand, this makes it possible to multiply layers of the carbon fibers – with each layer being between one and five microns thick – to obtain a much denser carbon for a virtually identical weight.

Speaking of weight, the new carbon cases weigh 10% lighter than their titanium counterparts. So, once you combine that with their already curved profile, the new Double Balancier Convexe Carbon and Balancier Convexe S² Carbon become eminently wearable.

And they look great, too! Especially when you see the mixture of satin, matte, and grained finishes deployed on the carbon to emphasize the cases’ alluring lines.

Double Balancier Convexe Carbon

First unveiled in 2007, the Double Balancier concept entails two fixed oscillators – now inclined at a 30° angle – linked by a spherical differential that averages rating differences to optimize chronometric performance.

The Double Balancier Convexe Carbon’s multi-level, titanium center plate – which comes either blackened or treated with a petrol green tone – sets off the two balances, four-minute spherical differential indicator, and small seconds, as well as the gilded hour-minute gears. Equally on show is the top of the two co-axial fast‐rotating mainspring barrels – also treated black or green – which offer a 72-hour power reserve.

Only 22 pieces of each dial variation will be produced overall, each retailing for CHF 345,000 (excluding taxes).

Balancier Convexe S² Carbon

Originally released in 2021, the Balancier Convexe S² was, essentially, an update of Greubel Forsey’s high-end, time-only sports watch, the Balancier S, launched a year earlier. A fresh choice of dial tones, a new titanium case and bezel, and a new bracelet option distinguished the Balancier Convexe S².

The Balancier Convexe S² Carbon retains its predecessor’s multi-layered dial displaying central hours and minutes, a 72-hour power reserve indicator, and small seconds. Also remaining visible on the dial is the top of the two co-axial mainspring barrels, geartrain and bridge for the hour-minute hands, and 30°-inclined balance wheel.

However, for its latest S² iteration, Greubel Forsey has, in a subtle but clever move, covered the dial plate with a thin layer of carbon fiber to carry the visual effect of the veined case over to the dial.

The Balancier Convexe S² Carbon will be produced in two 22-piece limited editions – with either blue- or black-treated small seconds – listing for CHF 255,000 (excluding taxes).

Top-Notch Hand-Decoration

Naturally, a common denominator of the Double Balancier Convexe Carbon and Balancier Convexe S² Carbon is Greubel Forsey’s top-notch hand-decoration, with both models featuring hand-frosting on the bridges, hand-polished beveling and jewel countersinks, straight-graining, and black-polished steel parts, among other fine hand-finishing techniques.

Finally, both are delivered on a sporty black textured rubber strap featuring a titanium and carbon folding clasp. For more information, please visit the Greubel Forsey website.

(Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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