Talks about the St-Tropez watch
As its name suggests, Charriol’s St-Tropez watch collection offers more than simply a beautiful piece of jewelry for the wrist. It also holds promise of a breezy mood and a beach-holiday spirit that transcends the ordinary at every turn. And to celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Swiss luxury brand, Creative Director and Chairwoman Coralie Charriol is introducing a new and modern take on this well-loved timepiece, first introduced in the 1980s.
“The St-Tropez was the first Charriol watch entirely inspired by and designed for women—a harbinger of the age of female self-purchasing power in the luxury space,” says Coralie Charriol, daughter of company founder Philippe Charriol. “For that reason, it was one of the first projects I chose to tackle when I took the job as the first chairwoman of the brand.”
The Swiss-made St-Tropez watch is perhaps best known for its fashion-oriented, rigid open-cable bracelet enhanced by an attached chain bracelet. The redesigned version maintains these meaningful design codes while lending an equally significant update.
“The watch is so popular that it’s become somewhat synonymous with the brand,” shares Coralie. “Therefore the redesign required careful consideration and thoughtful execution.”
“The essence of the watch is intact, but we resettled the proportions and updated the trimmings—opening the dial, revising the chain, and expanding colors and sizing. The changes are subtle but refreshing, and it’s very exciting to see it come to life.”
French entrepreneur Philippe Charriol, who conceived the St-Tropez, was an influential force in the luxury industry, founding the eponymous brand in 1983 after a long career with Cartier. He ran his life and his work with insight and vibrancy until his death in 2019.
“From my dad I learned a fearlessness that I think has really helped me navigate the luxury world,” says Coralie, who joined the family business after college, rising to the helm after her father’s passing. “We’ve seen it all over the past 40 years, so it’s an exciting time to be a woman heading up a company, and I am very grateful for the work I do everyday.”
But these have been nor ordinary times, and her tenure has been challenged by the pandemic and the resultant changes in world economies. When asked how luxury has thus been remodeled over recent history, she had this to say.
“The most obvious change is the acceleration toward e-commerce and digital. The transformation was already underway, but the lockdowns and store closings quickened the focus to direct-to-consumer, particularly in regions that traditionally lagged behind.” Still, she acknowledges, “It’s an exciting time to map out an omni-channel strategy, finding the right balance between digital and brick-and-mortar.”
She observes that people are more thoughtful about their purchases these days as well, and want to invest in pieces that last.
“I inherited a company that I know intimately and love deeply—but it is also my father’s legacy,. So the number one priority has been to make sure the company has the right structure to survive another 40 years. My kids are suddenly teenagers and it’s been energizing to see the brand through their eyes—to work on a relaunch, a rebrand, a restart that will get them excited.”Coralie Charriol