Girard-Perregaux Le Corbusier Watch Trilogy: Modern times
It’s not known whether Le Corbusier himself favoured a particular brand of timepiece, but watchmakers from Le Corbusier’s home town of La Chaux-de-Fonds are very attracted to Le Corbusier’s works – hardly surprising, when examples of Corbusier architecture appear all over the Swiss city. The famous Villa Schwob is just one example: and the first of the three Le Corbusier watches is dedicated to his time in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
The face of the La Chaux-de-Fonds timepiece is decorated with a reproduction of a mother-of-pearl bas-relief, an early Corbusier work which he designed when studying engraving and chiseling. Matching the tint of the original was a genuine challenge for the manufacturers.
The inspiration for the second watch in the Trilogy, with its hand-engraved steel face, is linked to Le Corbusier’s impact on architectural theories and his focus on material efficiency. Meanwhile, the combination of steel with the cowhide bracelet is reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s LC4 ‘Chaise Longue’.
The final part of the Trilogy is the ‘Marseille’. The concrete face is an interpretation of a relief at the Le Corbusier housing project ‘Cité Radieuse’. This building in Marseille resembles an ocean liner moored in a park. Le Corbusier was fascinated by concrete as a building material and frequently used it in his architectural designs. More unusual by far, of course, is its use in watchmaking.
While it is open to question whether the master of modernism would have liked the Le Corbusier watches (which are limited to just five pieces each), there seems little doubt that Girard-Perregaux has successfully captured the essence of what makes Le Corbusier tick.
Fotos: FLC. ProLitteris / Girard-Perregaux