In a world that ceaselessly seeks novelty, Greubel Forsey, the high-end independent Swiss watch brand, has reaffirmed its commitment to craftsmanship and innovation. The La Chaux-de-Fonds-based maison has raised the bar by unveiling its first timepieces featuring carbon fiber cases—introducing the Double Balancier Convexe and Balancier Convexe S² to an eager horological audience.
Since Antonio Calce became the CEO nearly three years ago, Greubel Forsey has undergone a transformative journey from being a revered institution for its tourbillon mechanics and superior hand-finishing techniques to the epitome of contemporary sportswatch styling. Titanium had been their alloy of choice, providing a sleek curvature to the watches’ Convexe case—a design ethos that lends itself beautifully to openwork dials. But now, the house takes a decisive, modern step, embracing the tech-savvy allure of carbon fiber.
Known for never settling for mediocrity, Greubel Forsey has opted for a compression-molding process that applies 16 tons of pressure—eight times the industry standard. The resultant carbon fiber is astonishingly dense, yet astoundingly light, giving it an edge not only in aesthetics but in material science as well.
The Double Balancier Convexe Carbon is nothing short of an artistic masterpiece. The concept, initially unveiled in 2007, entailed two fixed oscillators inclined at a 30° angle, coupled by a spherical differential. The latest iteration, shrouded in its new carbon case, showcases a blackened or petrol-green titanium center plate, setting off the intricacies of its movements. From its balances to its four-minute spherical differential indicator, the watch promises a visual journey into the micro-mechanics of timekeeping.
Not to be overshadowed, the Balancier Convexe S² Carbon makes its mark with a carbon fiber dial plate. This subtle touch not only visually ties the piece together but also amplifies the natural beauty of its veined case. The layered complexity of the dial, which showcases a 72-hour power reserve indicator and 30°-inclined balance wheel, speaks to the artisanal prowess that Greubel Forsey consistently delivers.
Both watches are more compact, thanks to the carbon fiber, which has also allowed for a reduction in case size. The visual depth added by the variety of finishes—satin, matte, and grained—contrasts brilliantly with the dark tone of the carbon, making each piece a captivating work of art. And despite their smaller profiles, these watches are 10% lighter than their titanium predecessors, enhancing their wearability without compromising their mechanical complexity.
Each timepiece comes accompanied by Greubel Forsey’s signature hand-decoration. The meticulous attention to hand-frosting, straight-graining, and black-polished steel parts speaks to a high level of craftsmanship that has become synonymous with the brand. The watches are capped off with a sporty, textured black rubber strap, fitted with a folding clasp made of titanium and carbon.
The Double Balancier Convexe Carbon will be limited to 22 pieces for each dial variation, retailing at CHF 345,000 (excluding taxes), while the Balancier Convexe S² Carbon will also see a 22-piece limited run for each of its blue- and black-treated small seconds, listing for CHF 255,000 (excluding taxes).