Greubel Forsey continues to establish its new and assertive identity and unveils a new creation: the Double Balancier Convexe. This timepiece represents a highly technical and contemporary approach to Fine Watchmaking, showcasing the 6th Fundamental Invention by Greubel Forsey.
The foundations are laid and development continues. After unveiling its Balancier Convexe S² (please see our coverage in January 2022 issue www.issuu.com/moralmoda/docs/royalvol3) with this new invention, Greubel Forsey adds a significant milestone to the history of watchmaking. The Double Balancier, patented in 2007, is one of them. It was first demonstrated in an EWT (Experimental Watch Technology) prototype, with two superimposed regulating organs inclined at 20°.
A second iteration followed soon after, this time in a six piece unique edition with the two regulating organs positioned in different three-dimensional planes and inclined at 35°. Finally, in 2016, Greubel Forsey presented the invention in its current, double-patented form: the two balance wheels are dissociated, inclined at 30° and separated by a constant spherical differential which calculates their average timing rate.
The three regulating organs (two balance wheels, one differential) occupy more than half of the dial and provide unprecedented depth. The timepiece is contrasting, highly technical and more contemporary than ever.
AN ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL
The timepiece gets its name from the convex profile of its 43.5mm titanium case. It’s plunging lines that hug the curve of the wrist raised significant technical challenges, requiring the sapphire crystal and above all the movement to adopt to this unique shape. This new composition showcases its movement spectacularly.
The gear train emerges from below the surface of the seemingly semicircular black-treated titanium bridge and extends into the hour and minute hands which tower above it. The semicircle itself is rendered asymmetrical by an opening for the barrel cover, central hours and minutes indication, and by an opening which provides space for the small seconds indication below it. The engraved and lacquered minute indexes are nested within the three-dimensional chapter ring, but the polished hour indexes surpass it, plunging deep into the movement.
Each hand has its own geometry, finish and color, depending on the role assigned to it. The hour and minute hands take on a curved profile and are filled with Super-Luminova, complementing that of the hour indexes. The small seconds and 4-minute hand indicating the rotational speed of the spherical differential are in polished blued steel while the power reserve is indicated by a polished and openworked hand with a red tip.
A MARVEL OF HAND FINISHING
In the lower half of the Double Balancier Convexe, each regulating organ is sculpted individually. The two balance wheels, although identical in shape and function, occupy different planes and thus offer a complementary spectacle. The center bridge is in itself a showcase of the creative excellence of Greubel Forsey: multi-level, openworked and black polished with several interior angles, it carries the hour and minute hands above the movement.
The inclined escapement platforms are straight-grained with handpolished beveling and countersinks, while the differential bridge and balance wheel bridges are flat black polished with further hand-polished beveling. Every single component is hand finished to Greubel Forsey criteria and thus stands out on its own, and at the same time it contributes to the striking overall æsthetic of this timepiece.
ASTONISHING APPROACH TO THE CONTEMPORARY DESIGN
The bridges and mainplate of the Double Balancier Convexe are in frosted and black treated titanium. A new font has been adopted for the power reserve and different elements throughout this timepiece. On the barrel cover, we discover relief-engraved text, circular-grained with polished chamfer, describing the properties of the two coaxial barrels in series with rapid rotation (one revolution in 3.2 hours). They drive a 374-part movement, endowed with a 72-hour chronometric power reserve materialized by an openworked hand. The integrated and profiled lugs reinforce the compact and ergonomic character of this timepiece.
They extend onto either a textured rubber strap or titanium bracelet. Last particularity: the Double Balancier Convexe, like most of the contemporary creations of the Atelier, is now water resistant to 100 meters – a detail that does not mislead on its vocation to be worn daily, in all circumstances. Only 22 Double Balancier Convexe timepieces will be made per year between 2022 and 2024 for a total of 66 pieces overall. See more on www.greubelforsey.com