Since launching in 2004, the high-end creations of Greubel Forsey have been designed exclusively for the enjoyment of male patrons. However, the release of the new Diamond Set Balancier Contemporain at this year’s SIHH marked the brand’s bold entrance into the female market, writes Madeline Hoskin.
Invention and experimentation have been at the heart of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey’s mission since they first established themselves as a leading Swiss watch manufacturer 15 years ago. In a short period, these masterminds have gifted the world the Double Tourbillon 30°, the Quadruple Tourbillon, the GMT and the Grande Sonnerie, along with a host of other impressive complications.
Each of these developments has become fundamental in sculpting the appreciation and reverence that surrounds the world of high-watchmaking today, and the Balancier Contemporain with Diamonds – the atelier’s smallest model to date – certainly furthers this spirit of innovation.
Impressively the design successfully incorporates the Greubel Forsey’s exclusive balance wheel system into a diminutive 32.4-millimetre movement. In addition, it is also the first release intended to appeal to female buyers, and it achieves both elegant appeal and intricate engineering without losing any of the brand’s signature flavour.
Art and craftsmanship
The reveal of this feminine creation was cleverly paired with the release of the larger, more masculine Balancier Contemporain. While similar in shape, style and function, this larger design boasts 232 an incredible baguette-cut diamonds. A total of 9.58 carats of these diamonds are impeccably set into the bezel, case band, lugs and crown with expert care, forming a luxe frame around an asymmetrical mother-of-pearl dial.
The unique design artfully exposes the mechanism, without compromising on legibility, and while it isn’t the most complex of Greubel Forsey’s movements, it allows one to appreciate the watch’s near-perfect craftsmanship and quality. The 255 moving parts of this hand-wound beauty hum along at 21,000 vibrations per hour, with a 72-hour power reserve.
Depending on preference, one can opt for an 18-carat white gold or an 18-carat 5N red gold case, with the choice of either a rubber or glossy alligator leather strap.
Speaking with Julian Farren-Price, director of Sydney-based boutique J Farren-Price, it becomes evident that he feels immense pride to be among the select boutiques to secure this rare piece, one of only 33 to be released across the globe.
“In 2014 we were chosen to sell [Greubel Forsey’s] first-ever diamond men’s watch, being the 24 Secondes Contemporain,” he shares.
“Now in 2019, they have released their first ladies diamond watch, and we are again privileged to have secured this exceptional piece.
“The Balancier Contemporain features 9.58 carats of the finest diamonds, all flawless in purity. It is an extraordinary timepiece destined for the wrist of a very lucky lady.”
The Greubel Forsey flair
Arguably the most exquisite takeaway regarding this release is how it reinforces that Greubel Forsey isn’t a brand to make a women’s watch merely to keep up appearances.
There is no whittling down of the watch to excessively dainty proportions, which can occur at the expense of technical prowess. There are no over-the-top flourishes; only tasteful, highest-quality embellishments that add further to its appeal. While designed with ‘women’ in mind, it would not look out of place upon the wrist of a man who has a penchant for diamonds.
Indeed, Greubel Forsey’s first foray into feminine watches proves that it desires a discerning buyer – regardless of gender – to become the proud owner of a timeless investment piece that will forever uphold the brand’s reputation.