The rarity of the new Greubel Forsey Balancier S² is such that you’re far more likely to encounter a Siberian Tiger in the remotest regions of Eastern Russia than you are another Balancier S² wearer in a packed city boardroom. While there are perhaps 500 Siberian tigers left roaming the planet just 88 of the new Balancier S² models will be issued with as few as 16 per year being released over the next four years into the wild.
Refined, streamlined, powerful, (the watch, not the tiger,) the new Greubel Forsey Balancier S² comes sheathed in lightweight sporty Titanium, chosen for its ease of wear and robustness.
The Greubel Forsey Balancier S² isolates the strongest elements of the original Balancier S and accentuates and modernises them. This latest iteration is all about contrast and power. While it shares the same movement as the first Balancier S, the design codes, the finishing and the casing are all new.
Legibility is stronger with an intense black or grey backdrop that transects the balance bridge between 5 and 9 o’clock. The matt hand grained finish allows the indices to appear more prominent.
Despite its distinct haute horology pedigree, the Balancier S² is designed to be a high-end everyday beater, worn as a comfortable, functional watch day after day. The energy poured into the new model is all about simplification and purification. For this reason, for the first time the central double-arched titanium bridge which holds the gear train is open-worked. The titanium bracelet is sleek and refined, perfectly complementing the titanium case.
With a new slightly enlarged 46.5mm dial, the Greubel Forsey Balancier S² features a brushed titanium bezel with polished flanks. The unmissable hour and minute hands appear to hover above the dial in luminescent white, while the optical illusion of the 30 degree inclined Greubel Forsey balance wheel system adds extra fascination to the workings of the dial. It also has a purpose, in that it works to counteract the minute errors caused by the pull of gravity in a stable position.
The 42-jewels movement operates at a frequency of 3Hz (21600vph) and offers up to 72 hours of power reserve when fully hand wound. That’s right, with this watch, you need to get into the habit of good old fashioned daily hand winding.
But at its haute horology heart, the Balancier S², like its forerunner, is a highly capable three hander sports watch.
Perhaps the best thing about the new iteration of the Greubel Forsey Balancier S² is not what has been added but what has been taken away. The words which surrounded the bezel in the original such as “Perfection” “Architecture” and “Savoir-faire” were superfluous and pretentious. If you have to use descriptors along the bezel to make people understand how clever your watch is, you have rather lost the battle. However, the clean and sporty power-reserve indicator has been retained and it does help to balance the overall visual weight.