Independent watchmaker Charles Girardier can trace its history back to the late 18th century when its eponymous owner was a respected pocket watch maker.
But like so many Swiss ateliers, it was dormant for decades before entrepreneur Patrick A. Ulm saw examples of vintage timekeepers in museums and was inspired to resurrect the brand in 2019.
Mr Ulm was fascinated by the Charles Girardier pocket watches’ incredible handcrafted dials, some of them with animations, and has used them as inspiration for modern wristwatches.
Just a year after relaunching Charles Girardier, Mr Ulm was on stage at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2020 with its Signature Mystérieuse beating Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Piaget, Louis Vuitton and Jacob & Co. to the ladies’ complication watch prize.
That is not far off the equivalent of Emma Raducanu winning the US Open as an 18-year-old qualifier.
This month Charles Girardier is extending the Signature Mystérieuse line with a new flying tourbillon reference.
The 1809 Dark Grey 37mm is tapping into fast-rising interest in complicated mechanical ladies watches, but also appeals to women who want jewellery on their wrists by decorating the watch with 60 diamonds set into the bezel, the brand’s signature G and C presented in gold and diamonds at the top of the dial and additional stones used to draw attention to the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
The watch’s dark grey dial is created using paillonné enamelling, an almost forgotten craft that allows for an ornamental motif to be embedded into the surface of the enamel.
The Signature Mystérieuse 1809 Dark Grey comes in a 37mm rose gold case housing a decorated CG 1809/03 automatic movement with a peripheral oscillating weight.
It is priced at €84,000 (excl. VAT). A burgundy version is also available.