Greubel Forsey Introduces the Balancier S2

A pared-back take on the time-only sports watch.

Greubel Forsey’s house style is perhaps best described as contemporary, complicated, and often oversized, which meant some of its watches have a sporty vibe, even if they are not sports watches. The brand only unveiled its first true sports watch – with a 100 m water-resistance rating – two years ago and it was a world time plus tourbillon.

The Swiss watchmaker quickly followed up with the Balancier S, a sports watch sans complications. And that has evolved into the Balancier S2, perhaps the brand’s ultimate time-only sports watch. It’s been further streamlined and pared back – and finally gets a matching bracelet in titanium for the integrated-bracelet look that’s now de rigueur for high-end sports watches.

Initial thoughts

I have always found Greubel Forsey’s watches appealing, despite the astronomical prices (which are justified, to a degree, by the quality), simply because they are original, modern, and extremely well made. But some looked more sporty than they actually were, so all the better that the brand now offers a bona fide sports watch, so that the functionality matches the aesthetic.

By that measure the Balancier S2 ticks many boxes. It is functionally simple so the watch is (relatively) thin, and it’s made more wearable with a lightweight titanium case that has a curved back, and the equally lightweight bracelet.

One feature that sets the Balancier S2 apart from the original Balancier S is the cleaner look, which works better with it being a sports watch.

While the original model featured the brand’s signature micro-engraving on the bezel, the S2 opts for more minimalist look, giving it a more refined feel. And the colours have been dialled back, with most of the red accents on the dial removed.

The unadorned but sharply finished bezel that’s heavily curved, here with the light grey dial

High-end sport

With its clean, strong lines and exposed mechanics, the Balancier S2 is a convincing sports watch, though probably for more genteel sports where a US$200,000 watch is appropriate.

But unlike its fellow luxury-sports watches in the same or lower price brackets, the Balancier S2 is traditional in its construction and finishing.

The version in charcoal grey

The movement decoration is meticulous. Every visible part, including the base plate, is finished with traditional techniques, giving the watch a tangible feel of quality that is reassuring.

At the same time, the layout of the movement brings to mind 19th century pocket watches, despite being entirely modern in style. It has an exposed balance wheel and escapement on the dial, just like the Breguet Tradition, which was inspired by the Souscription pocket watches of Abraham-Louis Breguet.

Also exposed on the front are the keyless works that sit underneath the extra-large bridge that also holds the hands. Notably, the two arms of the bridges are now open-worked for a modern, mechanical look, although the openings are not bevelled.

Even the free-sprung balance is proprietary, with recesses for the adjustable masses

Key facts and price

Greubel Forsey Balancier S2

Diameter: 46.5 mm
Height: 15.7 mm
Material: Titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Balancier S2
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and power reserve indicator
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Hand-wind
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Titanium bracelet or rubber strap with titanium folding buckle

Limited edition: 88 pieces with a charcoal grey dial and 64 pieces in light grey, with production over four years starting 2022
Availability: Starting 2022 at Greubel Forsey’s online shop and authorised retailers
Rubber strap – CHF205,000
Titanium bracelet – CHF245,000

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