CHARLES GIRARDIER REALLY makes only one watch – which is not surprising given that its production numbers are in the mid double digits – but this boutique Geneva-based independent does that one watch very well. Well enough, in fact, to win a prize at last year’s Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Geneve (GPHG) in the Ladies’ Complication category in a field of established names.
The watch in question is the Tourbillon Signature Mysterieuse, available in a men’s 41mm in diameter and a ladies’ 37mm in several executions. It would have attracted the attention of GPHG judges for three reasons, the first being the beauty of its handcrafted decoration. The winning watch was a diamond-set ladies’ model with a light blue, arabesque-patterned grand feu enamel dial, topped with delicate flower-shaped silver paillons.
The second is its movement: the 309-component, four-hertz and 46-hour automatic Calibre 1809, which is the only movement the manufacture currently produces. The layout is simple, with just the two central hands flanked north and south by an animated monogram and a flying tourbillon, respectively. The monogram is what gives this watch that extra mechanical quirk – and the ‘mysterious signature’ name. When the watch is held at 45 degrees, such as when checking the time, the two parts of the monogram will twirl in opposite directions before settling back into their home positions. It adds just a bit of flash to the watch, and a responsive one at that. Display casebacks are the norm and the peripheral rotor allows an unobstructed view of the tourbillon.
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