skip to Main Content

Haute Horlogerie: next chapter of the legend

Charles Girardier Swiss haute horlogerie: the importance of writing the next chapter of the legend!
Tradition represents a continuous flow of cultural transmission through history since a basic event and / or ancestral past.

(in Latin traditio, tradere, trans “through” and dare “give”, pass on to another “)

UNESCO: Mechanical know how of the maître horloger candidate as a world culture heritage?

It is now official; the cultural know-how of Swiss mechanical watchmaking has finally become, just like the feast of vine growers in the canton of Vaud, candidate for the cultural heritage of humanity at UNESCO. Swiss identity par excellence, it is therefore a question of perpetuating and preserving the mechanical know how of the master watchmaker in Switzerland and in the world.

Cultural heritage: a duty to transmit a tradition to the next generation

It is a world cultural heritage, a memory of a real project in the long term, a tireless contribution to the happiness and pride of its followers. More than a burst of pride, it is an increasing awareness of authentic and timeless added value. Furthermore, it implies the duty to transmit this tradition to future generations, to perpetuate it and even to enrich it further.

Protestant Church and Jean Calvin at the origin of the Swiss Haute Horlogerie?

Iconic figures, watchmakers and their exceptional creations are renowned around the world. Paradoxically, it is the arrival of the reformer Jean Calvin in Geneva which contributed to the development of this industry in Switzerland.

What is the link between the protagonist of the Protestant Church and Swiss watchmaking?

Jean Calvin, according to the doctrine, forbade the wearing of jewels or any form of jewelry. As a result, many goldsmiths decided to embrace watchmaking instead. Actually the craftsmen of all the Arc of Jura got also attracted by this opportunity.

Even the today’s robotic is not successful in competing with the ability of the master watchmaker!

The intrinsic value of objects made by hands highlights the human dexterity, essential to achieve such a technical precision. Even the most recent robots recently do not compete successfully with the ability of master watchmakers!

It all began with pocket watches showing great precision and utter aesthetic beauty

At the beginning of the 19th century this industry was first producing pocket watches like those well-known by Charles Girardier the elder who obtained in 1810 from the Society of the Arts of Geneva, high award for his watchmaking achievements.

The ingredients of a successful watchmaking tradition:

Humbleness, discipline, belief that a timepiece itself makes its own publicity

Charles Girardier made his timepieces by hand and alone, always in (very) limited edition. As he was living in his own little world, he did not really realize what was being said about him. Nobody came to talk to him about his notoriety and he would not have cared much anyway. He had always defined himself a line of conduct based on his immense talent on how to design and how to manufacture his time pieces. Without worrying about selling much, filling his order book or not, he had never deviated from one of his strongest conviction: a quality product itself always makes its own marketing and publicity eventually!

Back To Top