Editor’s note: While Sydney remains in a Covid-19 related lockdown, we highly anticipate the releases from the Geneva Watch Days 2021 like a breath of fresh air. Following the coverage of Watches & Wonders 2021 and the Only Watch Auction 2021, here’s our preview and the Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Charles Girardier 1809 Cobalt Blue 41 and Dark Grey 37 watches. For our standard detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
What Is It
Charles Girardier is kind of a new kid on the block, already making waves in the world of horology courtesy their Tourbillon Signature Mystérieuse fleur de sel winning the Ladies’ Complication Prize at the GPHG awards last year.
For the Geneva Watch Days 2021, they introduce two new timepieces, one for each sex.
The men’s version is a 41mm diameter and 12.20mm thick 18K white gold case timepiece that features a blue/grey grand feu enamel dial, while the brand’s mainstay calibre CG 1809/6 powers this handsome piece. CG 1809/6 is a self-winding movement that comprises 308 components, beats at the standard frequency of 4Hz, and offers a 46-hour power reserve.
The ladies version is a 37 x 11.8mm rose gold watch, featuring roughly the same movement specs and overall dial aesthetics. What sets it apart is the presence of a bezel that is set with a total of 60 brilliant-cut diamonds.
The movement for the new Charles Girardier 1809 Cobalt Blue 41 and Dark Grey 37 powers both the flying tourbillon at 6 and an automaton at 12. The latter features the customisable logo on two elements pivoting on an axis that is powered by an oscillating weight hidden under the dial.
This automaton gets charged by the movement of the wrist and sees the two individual mobile units “move in opposite directions that return to the initial position when the wrist is tilted for the reading of the time”.
CG movements are made in partnership with Timeless Manufacture SA, an independent Swiss company that designs, develops, and assembles mechanical movements.
What Do We Reckon
Having recently looked at the Charles Girardier 1809 Tribute to Jackson Pollock Only Watch 2021, one thing is clear: the brand has its own distinct design DNA.
Are the two new Charles Girardier 1809 Cobalt Blue 41 and Dark Grey 37 for Geneva Watch Days radically different from the brand’s existing portfolio? No.
But welcome they are nonetheless, thanks to the subtle colour differences that are now more muted, more refined towards somewhat everyday wearability.
If the Jackson Pollock version was night, the new Charles Girardier 1809 Cobalt Blue 41 is day. The ladies version, the new Charles Girardier Dark Grey 37, is all out bling, waiting to serenade the wrist of a select few ladies.
As for the timepieces themselves, I somehow prefer the ladies version, the new Charles Girardier 1809 Dark Grey 37. I find the design language — in particular the figure ‘8’ symmetry — to fit better inside a smaller case. There is something quite intrinsically feminine about this piece, making it stand out. The Cobalt Blue 41 is larger, but frankly, I can see it being worn by both the sexes.
Finishings wise, the polished gadroons and satin-finished flanks create a nice contrast of textures, complementing the satin-finished lug.
The use of 18K white gold for the men’s version works well with the choice of dial colour, while the 5N rose gold contrasts well with the silver-leaf paillons on the dial.
Overall, I also prefer the execution of the dial more on the ladies version: the dark grey grand feu enamel that is layered on an arabesque pattern is spangled with the above mentioned paillons that are in the in the shape of the ‘Fleur de Sel.
I really can’t elaborate more on these given I haven’t handled any of this brand’s offerings in person before, but solely based on media pictures, these do look quite charming.
Like I said, their watches have a distinct personality, and whenever they end up being deeply loved by the collector community, these have the potential of becoming highly sought after.
The men’s version retails for 93’000 euros (excl. VAT) and the ladies for 84’000 euros (excl. VAT). To find out more about the new Charles Girardier 1809 Cobalt Blue 41 and Dark Grey 37 and other Geneva Watch Days 2021 timepieces, please head to their respective websites here and here. All images unless otherwise specified are © 2021 – Charles Girardier.