Swiss luxury watch brand Charles Girardier launched its new ladies’ watch model during the Geneva Watch Days 2021 event.
The 1809 Dark Grey 37 mm is a new version of the brand’s Signature Mystérieuse (‘Mysterious Signature’) flying tourbillon, the winner of the Ladies’ Complication Watch Prize in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2020.
This dazzling ladies’ wristwatch combines an exceptional grand feu enamel dial spangled with pure silver-leaf paillons and a fine watchmaking mechanism. Above the tourbillon, the diamond-set initials C and G perform a mesmerizing ballet in the spotlight of the diamond-set bezel.
The 1809 Dark Grey watch’s case is made of 5N rose gold. It measures 37 mm in diameter and has a thickness of 11.8 mm. The polished gadroons and satin-finished flanks create a contrast of textures that emphasizes its profile. The lugs follow through on the curves of the case middle. The bezel is set with a total of 60 brilliant-cut diamonds. A diamond cabochon adorns the crown.
The dial, made of dark grey grand feu enamel layered on an arabesque pattern is spangled with paillons. These are pure silver-leaf flakes in the shape of the ‘Fleur de Sel,’ the pattern inspired by the iconic fleur-de-lis symbol.
The making of the dial begins with a solid gold base plate shaped to accommodate the tourbillon at 6 o’clock and the Signature Mystérieuse at 12. The surface of the plate is engraved with an arabesque pattern. Then the meticulous process of applying the enamel begins.
After each layer of enamel is applied, the enameller slides the dial into a kiln heated to no less than 800 degrees Celsius, so the enamel paste may vitrify. The operation is repeated a total of eight times, the last two of which are particularly important. It is upon the last but one layer that the dial maker places the silver-leaf paillons, one by one. After this, the artisans apply the final coat of translucent enamel.
Paillonné enameling is an ancestral craft with which an ornamental motif is embedded in the very substance of the enamel. At Charles Girardier, the paillons are made in the same workshop as the dial. Pure silver-leaf was chosen because it is resistant to very high temperatures. It is only after the paillons have been delicately arranged that the last coat of enamel is applied. This translucent layer, called fondant, has a dense and smooth texture that creates a dramatic impression of brilliance and depth.
On the dial side of the 1809 Dark Grey watch, the CG Calibre 1809 movement boasts a flying tourbillon, with its cage set with diamonds.
Through the sapphire crystal case-back, the captivating beauty of this haute horlogerie movement can be admired. Its substantial bridge, made of one piece, takes up almost two-thirds of the visible area.
This is a legacy of the 18th century Charles Girardier movement design, adopted by the brand today with equally unusual finishes. Instead of the traditional Côtes de Genève or satin finish, today’s Charles Girardier opts for a grenage, an entirely manual frosting technique that creates a matte surface by applying a silver powder with a brush. The other visible bridges, and in particular the one that holds the tourbillon from below, also show this graining.
The CG Calibre 1809 self-winding movement has a peripheral oscillating weight instead of central rotor.
The mechanism Signature Mystérieuse is based on a small oscillating weight, used not for winding but to power the automaton driving the initials C and G. This rotor lives in a setting of matte textures, polished bevels and blued screws.
One rotating component carries one initial, ‘half’ of the signature, while the other, the size of the minute hand and rotating independently, carries the second element. As the arm is set in motion, the two parts begin to rotate, occasionally aligning to reveal the secret of the mysterious signature. This system is the subject of a patent application.
Entirely manufactured in Switzerland, this exceptional movement was developed by Timeless, a specialist of watchmaking components based in the Canton of Geneva.
Model: Charles Girardier 1809 Dark Grey 37 mm
Hours, minutes, flying tourbillon, ‘Mysterious Signature’
Calibre CG 1809/03, mechanical with automatic winding by bidirectional peripheral mass, single ball bearing, one minute flying tourbillon regulator
Jewels: 32 rubies
Diameter: 30.6 mm, 13 1/2”
Thickness: 8.43 mm
Power reserve: 46 hours
Frequency: 4 Hz / 28,800 vph
Decoration: Garneted bridges, horizontal satin-finished and polished tourbillon bridge, polished tourbillon cage set with diamonds, sunrayed peripheral mass, beveled plate and bridges, blued screws
Grand feu enamel, rose gold base with engraved arabesque pattern, pure silver ‘Fleur de Sel’ pearls, dark grey enamel
‘Mysterious Signature’ in pink gold, set with diamonds, on arabesque pattern
18K rose gold leaf hands
Material: Rose gold 5N 18K
Bezel: Rose gold, set with 60 brilliant-cut diamonds (.9 ct)
Couronne: Rose gold, set with diamond cabochon
Diameter: 37 mm
Thickness: 11.8 mm
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective coating
Case back: Sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 30 meters/100 feet
Material: Pearl grey ribbon woven on a traditional Jacquard loom
Fasteners: Interchangeable, Presto system
Buckle: Folding clasp, 18K rose gold
5 years, first service free of charge
84,000 Euros (excl. VAT)