Art and Movement: This Jackson Pollock-inspired Flying Tourbillon from a ‘Revived Beauty’ will Star in Geneva’s Only Watch Auction - Lifestyle Asia

Charles Girardier’s 1809 Tribute timepiece also features a technique that reflects the American artist’s own style.

As a tribute to the American artist Jackson Pollock, Charles Girardier presents a one-off watch in 18K rose gold. 

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The timepiece was designed, developed, and produced for the Only Watch 2021 Charity auction, conducted by Christie’s Geneva on November 6, 2021 at 2 P.M.

Charles Girardier specializes in complicated watches that are made according to the traditions of Métiers d’Art, crafts that rise to the level of artform. 

Its dial was created using Fusion Enamelling, a patented technique that evokes the Pollock technique of Action Painting. The result is an explosion of colours and shapes on an 18K gold canvas.

Fusion Enamelling allows a free artistic approach, bustling and bursting with color and movement. A skilful interplay of temperatures are done at each stage of an eight-step process, subtly varying around 800 degrees Celsius. It took six days to make the dial for the “Jackson Pollock.”

Atypical artist

Art critics characterised the unconventional painting process that made Pollock a key figure of Abstract Expressionism in the 1940s and 1950s.

Jackson Pollock

“I don’t work from drawings or sketches. I paint directly on the floor. I like to work on a big canvas,” he said. “I feel better, more comfortable in a large space. With the canvas on the floor, I feel closer to a painting, I am more part of it. This way I can walk around and be in the painting like the West Indians worked on the sand.”

To paint, he used hardened brushes, even wooden sticks. Pollock’s painting is a real performance: he throws, splashes and squirts his palette, his animus onto the canvas. In 1956, Time magazine dubbed Pollock Jack the Dripper due to his painting style.

Tragically, a car accident in the summer of 1956 would claim his life at 44 years old. New York’s Museum of Metropolitan Art, the MoMA, organized a retrospective exhibition only four months later as a tribute to his career. His paintings are now among the most prized in the art world. 

“The She-Wolf,” by Jackson Pollock / Jackson Pollock, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Two of his works are among the 10 most expensive paintings in the world. Despite his life having been cut so short, his recognizable style had a considerable influence on the American school.

Pollock renewed the artist’s movement, giving it considerable energy and a new spontaneity. It is this energy and motion, this freedom of being and movement, that Charles Girardier has tried to capture with his timepiece designed, developed and manufactured in Geneva for Only Watch 2021

Reviving beauty

This unique 41 mm piece, in 18K 5N pink gold, complicated and refined, was created according to the traditions and techniques of Geneva watchmaking. The design of its dial highlights its Haute Horlogerie movement, forming a rare combination, a triple innovation inspired by Charles Girardier’s heritage in complications. 

SomebodyPutSomethingInMyDrink, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Apart from Fusion Enamelling, the 1809/7 movement offers a tourbillon at 6 o’clock without an upper bridge. Its permanent rotation is therefore visible without any obstruction, with a single, peripheral and bidirectional mass, equipped with a single ball bearing and therefore quite silent, too.

Thanks to a small automaton at 12 o’clock formed by a delicately chiselled arabesque-shaped piece, reproducing the Charles Girardier monogram, a ‘C’ and a ‘G’ intertwined in a filigree brought to radiance in galvanized 5N rose gold.

Supported by three studs driven into the pastille at the base, itself decorated using the same Fusion Enamelling for perfect harmony, the assembly rotates on an axis powered by an oscillating weight dedicated to this complication and concealed beneath the dial, which turns unidirectionally.

“I wanted to revive a sleeping beauty that had fallen asleep in the early 19th century. The next chapters of the House of Charles Girardier will be guided by the same passion, values and reincarnated DNA of Master Watchmaker Charles Girardier,” says Patrick A. Ulm, Charles Girardier CEO.

Created in 2018 by Ulm, the brand is the resurrection of the work of Charles Girardier L’Ainé—Charles Girardier the Elder. 

In 1809, this Genevan was awarded the title of Master Watchmaker and was already producing elaborate pocket watches with dials featuring finely painted scenes. It was upon discovering one of his creations in England, in the Agatha Christie Museum, that Ulm began the journey that led to the creation of the brand.

For more information, visit OnlyWatch.com.

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