Experience: Goyard Watch Box. Where Hand-Painted Personalization Makes a Difference.

An important part of our watch collecting lifestyle is to find the right box or boxes to safely keep our precious timepieces at home or while traveling. In the past, we've shared with you here the Tiffany & Co. watch box we own and which we think is the ultimate watch travel box that we recommend for most watchlifestylers in terms of quality, looks and price. However, this time we are bringing you another special box owned by one of our contributors. Part of the many joys of owning a watch is the ability to just admire them when they are not on our wrists. We often find ourselves spending way too much time just looking at our own collections and while it may sound silly to those who don’t share our passion for watches, the rest of us watchlifestylers surely get what we mean.

To make that time looking at your pieces much more enjoyable, our contributor JK was fortunate to be given this wonderful Goyard watch box —Coffret 4 Montres Noir— as an anniversary gift this year. Interestingly, the box that houses part of JK's amazing Audemars Piguet collection, is befitting of the watches inside it.

While there are many wonderful European maisons to choose from, one of our favorite for the past three or four years has been Maison Goyard. Maison Goyard originally started as the House of Martin in 1792 by Pierre-Fraçois Martin specialized in box-making, trunk-making and packing. Originally the brand was known as a specialist in box-making, trunk-making and packing. Pierre-Fraçois Martin was the guardian of a young woman named Pauline whom he arranged to marry his employee, Louis-Henry Morel. As her dowry for her wedding, Pierre-Fraçois Martin gave his business to Morel. In 1834, the House of Martin moved its store from 4, rue Neuve des Capucines to 347, rue Saint-Honoré. Even though the postal address changed to 233, rue Saint-Honoré in 1856 on account of a new street numbering system, its location has remained the same ever since.

Eleven years later in 1845, Morel hired a young 17-year old boy named François Goyard. Under the tutelage of Martin and Morel, young Goyard learned the craft of trunk making. After Morel's sudden death in 1852, François Goyard took over the company. The canvas used to make all Goyard good is called the Goyardine canvas. When Edmond Goyard created the Goyardine canvas in 1892, he was inspired by his family history: the piled up dot pattern clearly hints at logs driven by his ancestors, and, although its appearance is similar to leather, the Goyardine is made with the same natural coated cloth mixing linen and cotton that the Compagnons de Rivières used for their garments. At once hard-wearing, soft and waterproof, the Goyardine proved a true technical revolution at a time when other trunk-makers were using plain linen cloth. Like all family secrets, the exact manufacturing process of the Goyardine remains strictly confidential. Though it was originally hand-painted, the current process requires a ground-color application, followed by three successive layers of etching colors that create its trademark slightly raised pattern. Moreover, the Goyardine increases in beauty with age.

Drawing on his father François’ work, Edmond Goyard turned the store on rue Saint-Honoré into an increasingly elitist institution with an international clientele. He created the first Goyard advertisements, participated in various World Expositions and opened three branch stores in Monte-Carlo, Biarritz, Bordeaux, as well as trade offices in New York and London, the latter located on Mount Street, like today’s Goyard Mayfair boutique. He also laid the foundations for the brand as we know it today, as he came up with the emblematic Goyardine canvas, launched a pet accessories range and developed products for automobiles. In 1998 Jean-Michel Signoles —a keen collector and connoisseur of all things Goyard— purchased the company and revived Goyard’s heritage opening new boutiques across Europe, the Americas and Asia. Within a decade, the Signoles restored Goyard to its original glory, and firmly re-established it as a beacon of timeless elegance, craftsmanship and exclusivity. Additionally, personalization of a Goyard product makes a huge difference and it typically costs nothing —$330 in the case of this watch case. The art of personalization stems from Europe’s heraldic traditions and had its heyday in the 19th century. Back then, it was a practical imperative that had nothing to do with fashion or status, but pursued the sole purpose of determining easily the legitimate owner of a trunk.

Goyard perpetuates the tradition of personalization according to the highest standards where all monograms are hand-painted with exclusive paints made with strictly natural pigments, thus allowing for versatility and elegance. Thanks to a large choice of designs and fonts coming in a wide range of shades, each customer can make their Goyard unique and express their individuality.

Since its doors first opened in 1853, Goyard has been a favorite with celebrities, and many illustrious artists, captains of industry, heads of state or royals have sported its creations. The names of the leading personalities of the 19th and 20th century are to be found in Goyard’s filing cabinet, which keeps track of each and every order placed by customers through a system of nominal index cards. Upon reading the files, one may daydream easily about the extraordinary and not so unlikely encounters that could have taken place at 233, rue Saint-Honoré: Pablo Picasso and Sacha Guitry, the Maharadjah of Kapurthala and Jacques Cartier, the Agnellis and the Rockefellers, the Romanovs and the Grimaldis, Estée Lauder and Barbara Hutton, Mrs. Pompidou and the Princess Aga Khan, Coco Chanel and Jeanne Lanvin, Romy Schneider and Sarah Bernhardt, Edith Piaf and Arthur Rubinstein, Cristobal Balenciaga and Karl Lagerfeld just to name a few.

This beautiful box made of the legendary Goyardine canvas holds four watches in a similar fashion as the Tiffany & Co. box we featured in the past. As you can see the compartments are wide enough to fit Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshores with a 44 mm diameter. Light but sturdy in construction, the Goyard watch box is perfect for traveling or just when you are in need of taking your pieces to that watch get together or the Red Bar Crew weekly meetings.

Presently Goyard operates 16 boutiques worldwide and it is only at these boutiques where one may purchase Goyard goods. You cannot purchase Goyard online making it even more desirable than Louis Vuitton. For those of you traveling to Paris, here's a good watchlifestyler insider tip: when in Paris, you will be tempted to purchase items at Goyard’s flagship store at 233 Rue Saint Honoré —where you may even encounter a long line to get in—, however, we suggest going just across the street to the much quieter 352 Rue Saint Honoré location.

The size of this four compartment box is 5.25" W x 7.5" D x 3" H.

Sticker Price $3,040 USD plus $330 for Marquage —personalization. Audemars Piguet watches not included. For more info on Goyard click here.