Greubel Forsey unveiled the Balancier 3
Almost 20 years were required for Greubel Forsey to embark on this challenge to produce an entirely new, more accessible timepiece with its own unique identity. To achieve this, the Atelier needed to start from scratch. How do you create a timepiece with a comfortable diameter into which the Atelier Manufacture movement can fit? How can you make the piece more affordable when it still has to be 100% hand finished? The Balancier 3 answers all of these questions.
First comes the style. From the outset, the piece is characterised by its three prominent bridges: the first of which houses the barrel, the second for the large balance wheel, and the third, and most striking of all, is attached to the seconds counter and supports the hour and minute hands.
All these bridges feature Greubel Forsey’s signature hand finishes: a curved polished surface, polished bevels and hand-polished screws. Each bridge includes its share of sharp internal angles and a curved profile that make the hand finishes particularly complex—details that will certainly be appreciated by collectors.
This design joins the Convexe collection. The Balancier 3 features the iconic case, even slimmer than before. Its lugs no longer have screws—a first for Greubel Forsey. The Convexe case is profiled on both the back and display sides, making it truly unique in fine watchmaking. Offering total comfort, the piece naturally follows the curvature of the wrist. On the dial side, the double curvature dips towards each end of the strap, creating the highly aesthetic volumes that the movement uses to deploy itself.
Then, there’s the movement. It imbues the timepiece with a dynamic, modern style and offers impeccable chronometry while still becoming Greubel Forsey’s most affordable creation. To achieve this, Greubel Forsey once again called on the considerable expertise of its teams. The idea was to create a simple, streamlined and contemporary design that allows you to admire the finish of each of the movement’s components. With this in mind, the Atelier focuses on the technical nature of its timepieces: from the source energy to the escapement that drives it, the barrels and the large balance wheel. The essence of the mastery of time.
The two series-coupled fast-rotating barrels (one turn in 3.2 hours) clearly visible and decorated with the unique rotating graphics design that is becoming a staple of the Convexe collection. Together, they provide a chronometric power reserve of 3 full days. The timepiece will continue to beat for many more hours but perhaps not with the same precise accuracy that Greubel Forsey specifications. The power reserve is shown on the case back for the first time in the Convexe collection.
On the opposite side, the large balance wheel – “Balancier”, which gives the timepiece its name, can be found between 4 and 6 o’clock. Conveniently integrated into the design, this Greubel Forsey variable-inertia balance is balanced thanks to its 6 gold mean-time screws. It boasts the Atelier’s signature large diameter of 12.6 mm, one of the most majestic in contemporary fine watchmaking. Its oscillations echo the small second display at 8 o’clock with its fixed indicator, where it’s actually the disc underneath, satin-finished by hand, that rotates and marks the passing seconds.
And finally, the finishing. The wide bridge supporting the hour and minute hands is the best illustration of this. With its curved, three-dimensional, openworked design, multiple levels, numerous sharp internal angles, and refined arm connecting with the small seconds, it is a true tour de force. Its extremely complex geometry is a perfect match for its hand finishing. This process is reproduced, both sides on the barrel bridge and the balance wheel bridge, which are exquisitely hand-polished and convex like the case that houses them.