We had all heard about magical numbers and their significance. But, did we ever expect it to adopte into the world of watchmaking? Well, the delicate domain of Charles Girardier’s fine watchmaking has expanded. With a 41mm case in polished titanium and a choice of en camaïeu cobalt blue or emerald green dial in the tradition of grand feu enamelling, the visually captivating Magic 8 series embodies the Geneva Maison’s poly-artistic savoir-faire in Charles Girardier.
The dynamic composition that gives the collection its name demonstrates the brand’s command of motion and the science underlying it. Two asymmetrical hands deconstruct and reconstruct the number 8 as though in an infinite cycle, driven by a calibre with a peripheral rotor, demonstrating the spiritual successors of Charles Girardier L’Aîné’s horological engineering prowess. Similarly, It is a phantasmagorical riff on the concept of eternity and perpetual movement.
A Peak Into The History
Charles Girardier launched the ‘1809’ collection in 2020: The brand that honours the tradition of Charles Girardier l’Aîné exhibited an unimagined mastery in dials within the exquisite and polished surrounds of 18K white or rose gold cases measuring 37 or 41 mm.
The brand received an award in the Ladies’ Complication category at the GPHG 2020 for its first foray into the watchmaking world. The dials of these watches for fans of imaginative contemporary Haute Horlogerie warranted special notice for its grand feu, paillonné. And flinqué enamelling, which was done to the finest standards of one of Geneva’s oldest watchmaking arts.
The ‘1809’ collection inaugurated a new type of complication as well. Charles Girardier had engineered a discreet – and patented – mechanism into the peripheral-winding calibre with flying tourbillon, creating the now-famous Signature Mystérieuse, a singular dial automaton that would prefigure that of the Magic 8 collection.
Capturing The Intangibility Of Time
With a new tonality, Magic 8 expresses all of Charles Girardier’s identification clues. The exquisite finishing, a profound link with elite watchmaking, this time encased in a circular, 41mm case with short, restrained lugs and a cambered bezel. Inside, a new kind of difficulty awaits, one that shares the Signature Mystérieuse’s theatrical sense of rotation.
On the Magic 8’s dial, a kinetic composition based on the number eight produces an endless motion. The number ‘8’ is graphically a very meaningful number – or is it figure? – in numerous civilizations around the world. It is a bringer of good fortune and the emblem of infinity.
The number ‘8’ has been associated with good fortune, happiness, wealth, and positive energies throughout history and across civilisations. Its representation of unlimited energy, as the infinite loop, distinguishes it from other figures. It takes on a cosmic form as it comes to life, uniting the physical and spiritual worlds. The link to an infinite world, the one that endures.
For a little instant towards the end of the minute, the’magic’ 8 appears complete. The two sections of the graphic rotate in opposite directions for a minute. Shapes that change and evolve, abstract and interesting. The eight is recreate a minute later, but in reverse. Time is disturbed and then restored. Points of reference lose one meaning and gain a deeper one as a result.
An Infinitely Charles Girardier Radiant Gradient
The Magic 8’s case is made of grade 5 titanium and – quite unusual for this choice of metal for a watch case – fully polished. Furthermore, This gives it an unexpectedly refined look, whilst retaining the light and hard feel typical of titanium. Finally, As for the dial, it is made using another method. After grand feu, paillonné and flinqué and their multiple expressions in the 1809 collection, Charles Girardier presents the grand feu enamelling technique known as en camaïeu.
A convex silver plate serves as the foundation for multiple layers of enamel. Each of these layers is vitrified in a high-temperature kiln that exceeds 800°C. The depth of enamel varies between the center and the perimeter of the dial because it is cambering along its edge.
Moreover, Fluctuations in layer thickness result in colour variations, resulting in an alien gradient from the edges inward. Similarly, The dial’s colours, cobalt blue and emerald green, elevate the bar even higher for Charles Girardier, one of the few maisons to perfect this method.
The Movement, A Chromatic Study
The calibre’s reference, CG8080, is evocative, extending the artistic approach and the mise en abyme of the ‘8’ down to the very heart of the mechanism. Furthermore, Charles Girardier’s movement inaugurates a new aesthetic interpretation. All the bridges are in black, with a particular hue achieved with a latest-generation galvanic treatment that gets the most out of the NAC surface coating technology.
Derived from platinoid metals, the treatment brings forth the Calibre CG8080’s finishes. Five
chamfered bridges, decorated with circular stripes. Moreover, The choice of guilloché for the peripheral mass, boldly elegant in itself, made it all the more interesting for its Clous de Paris technique. Furthermore, Standing out against all these parts in deep black: the anthracite balance wheel. The large gear wheel of the winding mass. And the movement’s engraved legal information, lacquered in the same tone as the dial. In this interpretation, the Calibre CG8080 presents a deceptively monochromatic landscape in the way lines. Lastly, Shapes, angles and textures capture light, creating infinite hues.
Room For The View Charles Girardier
The aesthetic feast presented by the CG8080 calibre’s structure and craftsmanship – of its components, finishes, and interplay – is unhindered. Indeed, the winding mass in the shape of a peripheral rotor goes beyond combining the benefits of an autonomous movement. Similarly, With a broad vision to provide the best of both worlds.
However, The CG8080 calibre’s uniqueness in the Magic 8 collection is that it enhances the motion of the seconds wheel by driving the two parts. Moreover, That together make the 8 at eight o’clock without the need of an extra, dedicated complication mechanism, retaining the Magic 8 collection’s balanced proportions.
Truly a beautiful way to carry forward the serendipitous journey. This watch is priced at CHF 38,800, excluding VAT.