When we speak about great watch designers of the 21st century, we must recognize Eric Giroud as being one of the most influential.  Unlike many watch designer, Eric Giroud did not establish his own brand, hence, the name may be unfamiliar to some.

Eric comes from a design background and has been involved in a wide range of projects, including furniture, electronics, and various household items. In the early stages of his career, he had no connection to watch designs. It was only by chance that Eric received a watch design proposal, which posed a significant challenge for him as he had no prior experience or knowledge of watch design. However, being open to challenges, he accepted the job and embarked on his journey as a watch designer.

Once Eric started working in watch design, he discovered a world filled with passionate individuals, brimming with diverse design concepts and dreams, which greatly attracted him. Since his debut in 1997, Eric has designed numerous watch pieces. In the early years, he collaborated with brands like Mido and Tissot. Later on, he became more recognized for his work with brands such as Vacheron Constantin, MB&F, and Harry Winston. Some notable creations include Harry Winston’s Opus 9, Romain Jerome’s Spacecraft, MB&F’s LM Flying T, and FOB Paris’ Clous de Paris. Clous de Paris watch is not positioned as a high end product, making Eric’s designs accessible to a wide audience. Although I mentioned mostly independent or emerging brands, Eric has actually been involved in designing for many traditional brands as well. However, due to non-disclosure agreements, I cannot share further details (wink wink, the brand makes over a million watch yearly)

For watch designers, movement limitations bring about completely different design directions. When such limitations exist, the creative space becomes much narrower. For example, certain chronograph movements designed for 36mm cases may need to be adapted for 42mm watches, resulting in limited freedom to modify pushers positions or sub-dial placements. Fortunately, some brands allow Eric to create designs without any framework restrictions. After completing his design drawings, he collaborates with engineers to determine how to produce the movement and case. Therefore, movement limitations are an important consideration for Eric.

Eric’s watch designs incorporate multiple elements. He is not fond of gimmicky designs. However, his simplicity does not equate to classic tradition. We can see that his watch creations feature innovative and avant-garde aesthetics, with forms and layouts that deviate significantly from traditional timepieces. So when I say that he doesn’t like gimmicky, it means his designs are executed in a clean and clear manner, as exemplified by the LM101 watch.

MB&F LM101
Delaneau Rondo 36
MB&F Flying T

Over the years, Eric has received recognition of his work, winning numerous design awards, and his works have frequently graced the stage of the GPHG (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève). Examples of his award-winning pieces include Harry Winston’s Opus 9 in 2009, MB&F’s Thunderbolt No 4 in 2012, Delaneau’s Rondo 36 in 2013, MB&F’s Legacy Machine Perpetual in 2016, and MB&F’s Legacy Machine FlyingT in 2019. Additionally, he received the Red Dot Design Award for Swarovski’s D:light in 2010 and MB&F’s HM6 Space Pirate watch in 2015.

Swarovski d:light watch
Harry Winston Opus 9
M.A.D. Editions MAD 1 Red