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Reportage | 26 oct.

Art and material
Le Corbusier and Girard-Perregaux, both native of la Chaux-de-Fonds, have had a destiny in common.

 © FLC Prolitteris
Girard-Perregaux and Le Corbusier, born Charles-douard Jeanneret, both originated from la Chaux-de-Fonds, in Switzerland, and had a destiny in common. Le Corbusier's architectural work inspired Girard-Perregaux in designing his fine watchmaking creations.
1945 is a turning point in both lives: while a watch inspired by Art Deco was launched, and became one of the most iconic models of Girard-Perregaux, the Modulor concept was developped, and became one of the founding principles of an original approach to architecture by Le Corbusier, who published at the time  Les Trois tablissements Humains .
Similarities between their mutual universe took shape in 2012 on the occasion of the 125 th birthday of Le Corbusier. Girard-Perregaux launched a limited series of three watches, each declined in 5 versions, inspired by the original watch created in 1945 and renamed Vintage 1945 Le Corbusier.
The Le Corbusier Trilogy revives the architect's spirit through three towns and three essential periods in his life: his youth at La Chaux-de-Fonds, when he was doing his basic training as an engraver and chiseler; his work as an artist in Paris, as part of the modernist artistic movement about form, space, light and order; and his conception of architecture, expressed through his majestuous creation of Cit Radieuse in Marseilles.
 © Sophie Colin
 © Sophie Colin
Today, Girard-Perregaux celebrates the 70th anniversary of the 1945 watch and the 50th anniversary of the death of Le Corbusier, and imagines a new model in the same style of the original watch. The 2015 version of Vintage 1945 Le Corbusier is a limited series of 50 pieces.
For Girard-Perregaux, the four amazing timekeepers are an opportunity to highlight a prestigious and historical expertise as well as a genuine artistic delicacy. Working subtly on material and design, fine watchmakers created dials which tell the story of Le Corbusier.
It is a plastic approach to the whole universe of Le Corbusier , Product Development Director at Girard-Perregaux, Stefano Macaluso sums-up.
 © Girard Perregaux
The concrete dial of Vintage 1945 precisely gets back to the Modulor system defined by Le Corbusier as a  range of harmonious measurements to suit the human scale, universally applicable to architecture and to mechanical things . Vintage 1945 Le Corbusier has a rectangular curved case and illustrates the concept of exact proportions and perfect volumes.
 © Girard Perregaux
The use of pearl and steel in two out of three original models implied a delicate mode of operation all through the creativity process, while the use of concrete was a genuine challenge to creativity and innovation. Le Corbusier considered concrete as his favorite, and used it to build Cit Radieuse.
The cold material becomes noble when used by fine watchmakers. The expertise of working concrete consists in handling the material with sophistication and great delicacy, as if miniaturising it.
 Concrete combines sand and cement. We shape it on a microscopic scale, using sand as thin as dust. We thus pay tribute to Le Corbusier who was a master of reinforced concrete , Stefano Macaluso explains.
 © Girard Perregaux
Three days are necessary for concrete to be poured out and to dry out, before completion can be accomplished.
 Concrete clearly delineates the watch, the material is highlighted,
and its use demands expertise because imperfections are fatal on such a small scale 
fine watchmaker Antoine de Macdo adds, as expert of vintage watches, and associate to the Girard-Perregaux project, in charge of selling the new watch.
Girard-Perregaux and Le Corbusier certainly had a destiny in common, but they also shared high standards views, and aimed at perfection, through which art and intelligence stand alongside.
 © Girard Perregaux
 © Pluris
 © Pluris
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Crédits photo : Sophie Colin, Pluris, Girard-Perregaux, Girard Perregaux, FLC Prolitteris, FLC - ProLitteris
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