Complication Ladies watch “Fleur de Sel” of the revived brand of the 18th century watchmaker Charles Girardier won one of the awards of the year.
Sea salt, which forms flower-like figures in a thin, fragile surface due to evaporation on the surface of sea water in very sunny summer seasons, is called “fleur de flood” in French meaning “salt flower”. Being the hero of an unusual natural event, this salty sea flower is on the dial of the two-year-old Charles Girardier’s Tourbillon Signature Mystérieuse “fleur de sel” watch, marking one of the biggest surprises of the year in the watchmaking world. It stood out among the competitors with very successful technical innovations and won the award as the most popular watch among Ladies’ Complication Watch.
Charles Antoine Girardier “Girardier L’Aine (Elder Girardier)” was a master who did not like to be at the forefront in his time (1759-1839) but wanted to do the best in his work, who did not compromise and produced a small number of watches due to his attitude that attaches importance to quality rather than quantity. One of the admirable watches of this Geneva master is on exhibit at the Geneva Art and History Museum, and other is in the Petit Palais in Paris.
Charles A. Girardier, an eminent craftsman, dials were important for him style and saw the visible face of the watch as a combination of painting and sculpture that should contain decorative arts.
Patrick Ulm, an entrepreneur who has implemented various projects to protect traditional crafts, decided to bring the romantic spirit of the master to life in the 21st century with the Charles Girardier brand in 2018. A team has worked about two years to produce first watches of this new brand. Charles Girardier watches are designed and produced inspired by the pocket watches of the master named after him at an independent Geneva-based manufactory.
The enamellers come to apply the colored and translucent enamel powder with a brush to reveal the guilloche pattern. The enamel powder is then fired in a kiln heated to 800 degrees Celsius (technique known as “grand feu”) which allows the enamel to vitrify. The craftsman then delicately places each silver flake (we use gold for other enamel colors). Finally, the enameller will cover the whole with a new layer of translucent enamel, but colorless this time called “fondant” and which will give the enamel its full depth. On the dial, the mysterious signature – an automaton – features the Charles Girardier logo with an interlaced C and G on two elements pivoting on an axis. At the center, a flying tourbillon enhanced by a set tourbillon cage. The tourbillon makes one revolution per minute. It can be personalized to the client’s taste with the gem setting, its color and the initials of the customer.
- Animated letters embellished with precious stones, brand was inspired “Jacquemarts” a form of automaton from that to create the mysterious signature.
- Enamel dial that gives a sense of depth as if looking at the sea surface, as it has been baked in translucent layers over and over again.
- Tourbillon cage adorned with precious stones and a bezel inspired by 19th century pocket watches.