Join Vogue Scandinavia on a trip to St Tropez to celebrate the 40th anniversary of female-led Swiss watch brand Charriol's
"St Tropez has always been a spiritual home for Charriol," says Coralie Charriol, CEO of Geneva-based watch brand Charriol. "My father Phillipe loved the sun and wanted to capture the spirit of St Tropez for his first ladies' watch. We trademarked the name and to this day it remains one of our bestsellers." We're headed to the sun-drenched port on the French Riviera for the last weekend of the season. "Really, this is when the locals come to enjoy," she adds, pointing out that the weekend-long extravaganza coincided with the prestigious Les Voiles de St. Tropez sailing regatta.
Under the stewardship of Coralie, the festivities planned were anything but ordinary: dinner at local hot-spot Senequier, lunch at Le Club 55 (which has been frequented by the likes of Birgitte Bardot, Naomi Campbell, and Kate Moss over the years), and a euphoric birthday dinner at Lou Pinet – toasted with a Tarte Tropézienne, of course – which ended with guests dancing on chairs. A weekend embodying the very definition of joie de vivre.
Founder Philippe Charriol with family in St Tropez.
In many ways, Coralie grew up with the brand. "I was able to mark my own milestones through the achievements of our family-run company. So to celebrate four decades of hard work and dedication, I wanted to tap into a passion of mine, which is surfing," she says.
Founded by Philippe in 1983, the brand has long kept women front of mind – and today is led by one. "When I stepped into the role as CEO, I knew that I wanted to add to the St Tropez universe, but to create a watch that was a bit less precious than the original St Tropez," Coralie says. "The Surf watch has all the rugged appeal of traditional diver watches - it mixes sport with style and really rounds out the collection."
The milestone event wasn't just about looking back at the brand's rich heritage; it also heralded the debut of the St Tropez Navigator Collection. This latest offering rejuvenates Charriol's classic appeal with a dynamic flair, drawing inspiration from the versatile design of diver watches. "It was important to me that we keep with the spirit of a more sporty style and offer automatic movement, which relies on the energy from the mover to tick," says Coralie. "It's a more mechanical structure, but honours the tradition of watchmaking, and feels so appropriate for the Surf watch."
Charriol's popular St Tropez Surf watch, with the newly launched 36mm automatic reference on a diver strap at the bottom.
As her first solo venture since assuming the role of CEO in 2019, Coralie views the collection as more than a commemoration. "It's not just an anniversary; it's a toast to the future," she says. But what's next for the brand? "We've looked to the sea, and now we're turning to the stars," Coralie says. "We are about to launch a beautiful Zodiac collection which I cannot wait to debut and a possible moon phase movement for Watches and Wonders 2024."