Charles Girardier 1809 Chromium Grey 41 mm and 1809 Dark Red 37 mm

During the WATCHPRO Salon 2021 Exhibition in London (12 and 13 November), Swiss luxury watch brand Charles Girardier unveiled two new watch models from its 1809 series.

Entirely designed, developed and handcrafted in Geneva, these timepieces are the successors of the Tourbillon Signature Mystérieuse ‘Fleur de Sel’ (Salt Flower), which won the 1st prize in the Ladies’ Complication category during the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2020.

Incorporating Flying Tourbillon & Signature Mystérieuse automaton, the new models feature enamel dials. The 1809 Chromium Grey 41 mm has a Grand Feu enamel dial with chevron motif and the 1809 Dark Red 37 mm watch come with a Paillonné enamel dial.

Awarded the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2020 for the Best Ladies’ Complication Watch of the year, and following through on its successful expansion, Charles Girardier continues to deploy its inclusive 1809 collection.

Flying tourbillon watches with each a Signature Mystérieuse, the 1809 Chromium Grey 41 mm and the 1809 Dark Red 37 mm demonstrate how the Charles Girardier collection pushes boundaries. Complicated and refined, they are fashioned using the most demanding and sophisticated techniques of art craftsmanship.

Charles Girardier 1809 Chromium Grey 41 mm

The 1809 Chromium Grey measures 41 mm in diameter and is 12.2 mm thick. The polished gadroons and satin-finished flanks create a contrast of textures that emphasizes its profile.

Following through on the curves of the case middle, the lugs are also satin-finished. The choice of 18K white gold for the whole, including the faceted dauphine hands, polished tourbillon cage and applied hour markers, magically complements the Grand Feu enamel dial with its chevron motif in chromium grey.

Charles Girardier 1809 Chromium Grey 41 mm

On the case back, a small but not insignificant extra touch: Indeed, Charles Girardier has just obtained the right to apply the Poinçon de Maître to its creations. Next to the obligatory mentions, the initials CG are struck in the thickness of the gold, discretely signing the watch.

Charles Girardier 1809 Chromium Grey 41 mm

At the heart of the watch, the CG 1809 calibre proposes a tourbillon without an upper bridge. It is of the flying type and its permanent rotation, the defining principle of the tourbillon, is thus fully visible without the slightest obstruction. Turn the watch over and the case back reveals the lengths of high watchmaking gone to with this calibre.

Its substantial bridge, of one piece, fills almost two-thirds of the visible area. This is a legacy of the 18th century Charles Girardier watch construction, which the contemporary brand faithfully takes up and expands upon with equally unusual finishes. Instead of the traditional Côtes de Genève satin-finish, the brand has opted for grenage, an entirely manual technique, which results in a matte surface by applying silver powder with a brush. The other visible bridges, and in particular the one holding the tourbillon from below, also bear this graining.

Charles Girardier 1809 Chromium Grey 41 mm

The CG 1809 calibre is self-winding, but without a central rotor, which would obstruct the view and spoil the spectacle of the mechanism. This winding is carried out by a peripheral mass that circles the movement. The design of the CG 1809 calibre allows it to work without the slightest noise. In addition to the unobstructed view, this results in an equally pleasing reduced thickness. This rotor evolves around an environment made of matt textures, polished angles and blued screws.

The Signature Mystérieuse is powered by a small oscillating weight, which is not used for winding but to animate the initials C and G. A rotating component, marked with a rosette motif, carries one half of the signature, while the other, akin to a hand, rotates independently. When the arm moves, the two parts move and occasionally align. This system is the subject of a patent application.

Charles Girardier 1809 Dark Red 37 mm

The 1809 Dark Red 37 mm model’s exceptional Grand Feu paillonné enamel dial and high watchmaking movement form a rare combination. The Signature Mystérieuse with its animated, diamond-set initials C and G, joins the intricately worked tourbillon in its diamond-set cage and the diamond-adorned bezel in a dance of light.

The 1809 Dark Red measures 37 mm in diameter for a total thickness of 11.8 mm. The polished gadroons and satin-finished flanks create a contrast of textures that emphasizes its profile. The case is made from yellow gold.

Charles Girardier 1809 Dark Red 37 mm

The bezel, set with a total of 60 brilliant-cut diamonds, gives the 1809 Dark Red 37 mm a glow all its own. A final gemstone, a diamond cabochon, adorns the crown like a beacon.

Charles Girardier 1809 Dark Red 37 mm

The dial of the 1809 Dark Red 37 mm is made using the Grand Feu enamelling technique, with gold paillons embedded over an arabesque background motif. Shaped like a Fleur de Sel (salt flower), inspired by the fleur de lys or lily of the French crown, each tiny paillon is made of pure gold. The dial’s base is, too, made of solid gold, a material suitable for the most sophisticated enamelling.

Charles Girardier 1809 Dark Red 37 mm

At the heart of the watch, the CG 1809 calibre powers a flying tourbillon in a diamond-set cage. This rare practice, which few dare to undertake, literally creates a vortex of light.

Charles Girardier 1809 Dark Red 37 mm watch case back

The sapphire crystal case back reveals the extent of Haute Horlogerie performance this calibre packs into such a compact volume. 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.

Here, too, we note the unobstructed view from this side of the 1809 Dark Red 37 mm. That is because the CG Calibre 1809’s self-winding mechanism does without a central rotor. Indeed, the latter would hide mechanism. Winding is carried out by a ring-shaped mass, which circles the movement’s periphery and the height of which is the movement’s thickness. It is quite noiseless. The sense of elegant lightness comes not only from the clear view: the thickness – or rather thinness – of the movement is commendable for a ladies’ watch.

That is not to say the CG Calibre 1809 is completely rotor-free. Indeed, 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.

Technical details

Model: Charles Girardier 1809 Chromium Grey 41 mm

Charles Girardier 1809 Chromium Grey 41 mm

Functions
Hours, minutes, flying tourbillon, Signature Mystérieuse

Movement
Calibre CG 1809/04, mechanical with automatic winding by bidirectional peripheral mass, single ball bearing, one minute flying tourbillon regulator
Jewels: 32 rubies
Diameter: 30.6 mm, 13 ½ lignes
Thickness: 8.43 mm
Power reserve: 46 hours
Frequency: 4 Hz / 28,800 vph
Components: 307
Decoration: Garneted bridges, horizontal satin-finished and polished tourbillon bridge, polished tourbillon cage set with diamonds, sunray-brushed peripheral mass, bevelled plate and bridges, blued screws

Dial
Grand feu enamelling, white gold base with engraved chevron motif, Chromium Grey enamel
Signature Mystérieuse in white gold on rosette motif
18k white gold applique hour markers
18k white gold dauphine hands

Case
Material: 18k white gold, polished
Bezel: 18k white gold, polished
Crown: 18k white gold, fluted and engraved
Diameter: 41 mm
Thickness: 12.2 mm
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective coating
Case back: Sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 30 metres / 100 feet

Strap
Material: Grey calfskin, chevron motif, saddle stitching
Attachment: Presto quick-change system
Clasp: Folding clasp in 18k white gold

Warranty
5 years, first service free of charge

Int’l retail price
93,000 CHF (excluding VAT)

Model: Charles Girardier 1809 Dark Red 37 mm

Charles Girardier 1809 Dark Red 37 mm

Functions
Hours, minutes, flying tourbillon, Signature Mystérieuse

Movement
Calibre CG 1809/01, mechanical with automatic winding by bidirectional peripheral mass, single ball bearing, one minute flying tourbillon regulator
Jewels: 32 rubies
Diameter: 30.6 mm, 13 ½ lignes
Thickness: 8.43 mm
Power reserve: 46 hours
Frequency: 4 Hz / 28,800 vph
Components: 308
Decoration: Garneted bridges, horizontal satin-finished and polished tourbillon bridge, polished tourbillon cage set with diamonds, sunray-brushed peripheral mass, beveled plate and bridges, blued screws

Dial
Grand feu paillonné enamelling, rose gold base with engraved arabesque motif, gold ‘salt flower’ paillons, Dark Red enamel, Signature Mystérieuse in yellow gold, set with diamonds on arabesque motif, 18k yellow gold leaf hands

Case
Material: 18k yellow gold, polished
Bezel: 18k yellow gold, polished, set with 60 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.9 ct)
Crown: 18k yellow gold, diamond cabochon
Diameter: 37 mm
Thickness: 11.8 mm
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective coating
Case back: Sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 30 metres / 100 feet

Strap
Material: Red fabric woven on traditional Jacquard loom
Attachment: Presto quick-change system
Clasp: Folding clasp in 18k yellow gold

Warranty
5 years, first service free of charge

Int’l retail price
83,600 CHF (excluding VAT)