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Golay Spierer: Exclusive to the extreme

Golay Spierer: Exclusive to the extreme

Sunday, 20 January 2008
By Florence Noël
Florence Noël

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3 min read

It took courage, but Christophe Golay and Emile Spierer are the kind of passion-driven artists who aren’t afraid to take risks.

And a good thing too, as the small company they set up in 2001, making nothing but 100% bespoke watches, is now considered a model business.

Breaking into this niche segment when you’re just starting out is by no means easy. However, neither Golay nor Spierer could be termed novices in the field of watchmaking. Heir to a long tradition of cabinotiers, Christophe Golay met watch enthusiast Emile Spierer in 2000 while browsing around a watch store. The two men quickly realised that they shared the same ambition to create exclusive watches whose every aspect, from dial to hands, from case to strap, would be exactly how its owner had imagined it.

Convinced there was a demand for this type of service, the two set off in search of suppliers who were willing to make parts… piecemeal. A lot was at stake but it was a tempting idea. “Our partners enjoy fashioning a unique component for an individual. It’s what motivates them,” commented Christophe Golay in an interview.


Golay Spierer was set up a few months later. The two partners chose the small town of Carouge (Geneva) as their base and somewhere they like to work. Their idea was quick to take off. At a time when many watches follow the same trends, bespoke watches by Golay Spierer bring a breath of fresh air and freedom. The company has customers from all over the world, both collectors and a certain aristocracy who appreciate the luxury of a bespoke creation.

And yet to own a Golay Spierer made-to-measure watch isn’t the extravagance one might imagine. For a simple model, one can expect to pay around CHF 8,000. This includes months of discussion with the watchmaker-designers, a study of the project in computer-generated images and actual production of the coveted object.

A modest sum compared with the hundreds of thousands of francs that certain Manufactures in the bespoke segment ask. Not to mention the equally exclusive service. Exceptionally, Golay Spierer give the owner of the watch a list of all the craftsmen who helped make it. The ultimate in bespoke service. Word-of-mouth recommendations mean order books are full until end 2009. Golay Spierer can look to the future with confidence.

  1. La Virginie Chinoise
    This is a Skeleton Watch with a case in stainless steel made for ladies with a manual winding movement handgraved. Its black lacquered dial reveals four “Chaton” applied numbers set with diamonds. A Chinese pictogram of a dragon is in white tampographie at 9 o’clock.
  2. La Marino
    This is a Golay Spierer’s creation of 2007. The “Marino” is a Stainless steel chronograph with a manual winding movement. This movement was entirely restored by hand and decorated with a black gold rhodium-plated design named “caviar”. The diameter of the case is 40.5 mm and its dial is white with some smoothed and polished finishes. The hands are polished by hand and blue PVD treatment. Roman numbers are used for the hours and minutes which are positioned at twelve o’clock.
  3. Les Pramotes
    These 6 watches were made for a group of Thai Watchlovers. They were created on the same basis with a hand-winding chinese tourbillon movement and a tourbillon polished and angled cage with a special shape. Only the material of the dial, case and bracelet were changed depending on the desire of the customer. Here a Pramote made of white enamel smoothed and polished with a bracelet made of white crocodile skin.
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