Sporty, rugged watches are usually a long ways away from esoteric watchmaking and its typically delicate tourbillons and precious metals. While a six-figure price tag alone might make you think twice about taking the new Greubel Forsey Balancier S camping, it's built with durability in mind — even if its raison d'être remains its intensely technical mechanics and masterfully refined details.
An aesthetic that seems to be built around its mechanics is a signature of the Greubel Forsey watchmaking duo. For the Balancier S, the case's curvature should add wearing comfort, but it also appears to conform to the large, inclined balance wheel that's visible from the dial at 7 o'clock. Introducing angles such as this to the movement complicates its engineering many times over; the brand, however, says it helps maximize space and performance.
As with other Greubel Forsey watches, the manually wound movement was developed, constructed and painstakingly finished to the nth degree. Despite its complexity, it offers relatively simple time-telling functionality with a power reserve indicator at 2 o'clock and a small sub-dial for the seconds on the balance wheel's inclined plane.
The "S" in Balancier S stands for "sport," and it features a titanium case, rubber strap and 100m of water resistance. So, yeah, go ahead and take it for a swim. At 45mm across, the case itself bends to wrap around the wrist, resulting in an overall avant-garde but striking appearance combined with the exposed mechanics and extensive finishing the brand is renowned for.
Only 18 examples will be produced in this form, each with a USD price around $215,000.