Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Mesmerising Schwarz Etienne Geometry

A fascinating deconstructed geometric dial decorated with hand-guilloché patterns by designer Eric Giroud.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 4 min read |

Independent watch brand Schwarz Etienne is full of surprises on both the technical and creative fronts. Not only does Schwarz Etienne design and manufacture its movements and components, hairsprings and balance wheels included, but it also has a strong creative spirit illustrated by its eclectic and original lineup of watches. Collaborations are the order of the day, and the mesmerising dial of the new Geometry watch was masterminded by multi-faceted designer Eric Giroud. An engaging combination of old-school hand-guilloché motifs combined with a deconstructed arrangement, the new Geometry watch is a winner.

Hardly a newcomer to the watch scene – the company has been around since 1902 and specialised in producing components for the industry – Schwarz Etienne enjoys a high level of vertical integration with a small portfolio of creative, imaginative mechanical watches. One of the surprising things about Schwarz Etienne is its high degree of technical competence. A niche brand capable of producing its own balance wheels and hairsprings is a rara avis. You can watch our video about our visit to Schwarz Etienne and its sister company E20 Innovations, where the hairsprings are manufactured.

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indie spirit

Along with its high-end calibres, which are shared with other brands, Schwarz Etienne has cultivated an original design language. Instead of churning out run-of-the-mill models, Schwarz Etienne has no qualms whatsoever about engaging designers, famous names in watchmaking and reputed artisans to add some pizzazz to its collections. The beauty of this synergy is that you are getting solid horological content and top-range design/finishings. We’ve covered the Roma Synergy with a stunning guilloché dial by Kari Voutilainen, the Roma Phoenix with engraving specialist Les Ateliers Blandenier and the wonderful psychedelic cloisonné and champlevé enamel dial of the Ode to the Seventies.

Eric Giroud

From his initial architecture studio to graphic design, packaging and product design, Giroud got a taste for watches in 1997 and has never looked back. Architecture has always played a prominent role in his designs. I can’t vouch whether Giroud was inspired by Euirpedes’s quote, “Mighty is geometry: joined with art, resistless”, but his intrepid geometric deconstruction will strike many as a work of art.


The case chosen for Eric Giroud’s dial design is a 39mm stainless steel case from the Roma collection with elegant straight stepped lugs, a large crown and a thickness of 11mm. Polished throughout, the surfaces of the case attract the light, producing areas of radiant light and shadows. Giroud’s eye-catching dial is a masterpiece of hand-guilloché decorated with alternating geometric motifs and presented in salmon or silver colours. Almost like a piece of Op Art, the recurring yet deconstructed geometric motifs produce fascinating rhythmic patterns.

Using a solid gold base, the dial is geometrically split into four segments, each quadrant housing a series of concentric snailed arcs, fan-like pleats, Clous de Paris motifs and flat sandblasted areas. The medley of alternating patterns, with 3D ridges that rise and fall, produces a mesmerising, highly kinetic effect. Take, for example, the flat sandblasted minutes track with white markers and follow its non-linear course across the four segments – or the Clous de Paris motif that only appears in three segments and the changing size and height of the guilloché patterns that add so much depth to the dial.

The small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock – picked out in dark blue on the silver dial and anthracite on the salmon – is also sandblasted to match the minutes track and relies on a lance-shaped hand. Elegant lance-shaped hands are also used to indicate the hours and minutes. Complementing the dial colours, the salmon model is accompanied by an anthracite leather strap with a brown leather lining and the silver pone comes with a dark blue leather strap with brown lining, both finished with a folding buckle in stainless steel.

In-house automatic Calibre 200.02

The sapphire caseback reveals the authentic savoir-faire of Schwarz Etienne’s mechanical movements. The watch is powered by the automatic, in-house calibre ASE 200.00, wound by a micro-rotor. Running at 21,600vph and boasting a power reserve of 86 hours when fully wound, this high-end movement is beautifully decorated. The grey brass mainplate features a finely sandblasted finish, while the ratchet wheel is embellished with diamond drops and snailing. The bridges, also finely sandblasted, are coated in grey PVD with polished bevels and tone-on-tone engraving, and the wheels are circular-grained.

Availability & Price

The Schwarz Etienne Geometry is a limited edition of 100 pieces in each dial colour and retails for EUR 23,400. For more information, please consult

3 responses

  1. Utterly awful dial: they would have to pay me (a lot) to wear that!

  2. It looks absolutely amazing – at least a unique design that is setting this watch apart from everything else out there (boring other brands repeating the same thing all over again and again). Besides I like its elegance and clarity – its a decomposition but to read the time is very easy – which is one of the main reasons for a watch to be…. Congratulation to A.S.

  3. I like the dial a lot; expecting a precious metal case at this price point though. The movement decoration deserves a little more love.

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