The Balancier S² is Greubel Forsey’s latest version of the Balancier S, with new details and a slightly enlarged case.
I get the sense that top-of-the-line Swiss watchmaker Greubel Forsey has been experimenting with its brand identity over the past few years, beginning with the GMT Sport in 2019, which at the time represented a significant departure from the original Balancier that we reviewed in 2018 — particularly in regards to the case. That was followed by the Balancier S in 2020, which takes on a similar case shape to the GMT Sport.
It appears Greubel Forsey has landed on a shape that resonates with their ultra-rich clientele, as the new Balancier S version two (or S²) continues the new oval-shaped case design — and despite being a large watch, it looks attractive on the wrist.
What they do not seem to have landed on, is a naming logic that makes a lot of sense from a marketing perspective. The name should help consumers understand the collections, which in turn should help sell the product, but does do a great job of the former, and we have no data on the latter. Moreover, it’s quite confusing to see the Balancier (non-oval case), GMT Sport (oval case), Balancier S (oval case), and Balancier S² (oval case) collection naming logic — why not just go with one name for the entire collection?
All of this said, the Balancier S² is attractive and has a unique case aesthetic to go with their already incredible watch movements. It’s almost as they’re going the Richard Mille route with one highly distinctive case shape, and I personally think they should continue down this path.
The new Balancier S² comes in a slightly larger 46.5 mm diameter case (top to bottom) by 43.5 mm (left to right) compared to the original Balancier S is 45 mm (top to bottom) and 43 mm (left to right).
In addition to the slightly massaged case specifications, the barrel cover no longer features the large “Greubel Forsey” signature, but instead, a modern circular pattern, and the Greubel Forsey signature now appears between 12 and 2 o’clock.
There are two versions of the Balancier S² at launch, one with a charcoal gray primary dial and the other with a light gray dial. The prominent central double-arched titanium bridge which holds the gear train is has been given an open-worked treatment, which along with the titanium case, keeps this sports watch lightweight.
While the sporty case styling is akin to what Richard Mille has done so successfully, Greubel Forsey makes only a fraction of the timepieces annually, and in that regard, the quality of the finishing remains the same: among the best in the industry.
Production is limited to 88 pieces for the charcoal gray dial, and 64 pieces for the light gray dial and the delivery of the entire run will take from 2022 to 2025.
Photos by Greubel Forsey.