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Charlie Paris Alliance

The Modern & Mature Everyday Watch

Many moons ago I wrote a profile story on Charlie Paris, a French brand founded in 2014 by two childhood friends, Adrien and Ambroise. By creating Charlie, the pair has been playing a key role in bringing French watchmaking back to its glory days and onto the International scene. Offering an eclectic collection—ranging from everyday dressy timepieces to rugged divers worn by polar explorers—Charlie Paris comes back with an astonishing new collection called Alliance. The brand describes the Alliance as being its most daring and most mature collection yet. And once I’ve handled the new models in the metal, I have to say I do agree with them. 

As we will see below, there’s a lot to talk about with the Alliance. In many aspects, Charlie Paris managed to offer a modern and unique take on the genre of capable everyday watches. The type of watch one can wear in many—if not all—situations due to both having the right looks and appropriate specifications. But more than that, the Alliance inscribes itself within the Charlie Paris design canon whilst providing a new type of horological experience. The devil’s in the details and Charlie Paris has gone the extra mile to make the Alliance special. 

I’ve never seen something quite like it. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the new Alliance collection.


The Alliance comes in two variants: the 68H (time + date) and the Phase de Lune (or Moon Phase in English.) Each model comes with a different dial layout and in two different colors (white and blue) and movements. However, both have more or less the same dimensions. The 68H has a case diameter of 39.5mm, a lug-to-lug of 46.5mm, a thickness of 8mm and a lug width of 20mm. The Phase de Lune differs in that it is 9mm thick instead of 8mm. But other than that, the watches have almost identical dimensions and feel at home on my 6.25”/16cm wrist. The latter feeling is always a dangerous one to have as it potentially means having to pull out my credit card. 

The 68h comes with a la Joux-Perret G100 which beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz) and comes with an impressive 68 hours of power reserve. (Hence the name.) This movement is assembled and regulated by the watchmakers of Humbert-Droz à Besançon (the new capital of French watchmaking.) For the history buffs out there: Humbert-Droz is a family-owned and operated society of watchmakers founded in 1956 in Besançon. It is known for assembling all sorts of movements for watch brands that exist within different ends of the horological spectrum. The Phase de Lune, for its part, is powered by a Soprod C105 which also beats at 28,800 BPH and comes with 42 hours of power reserve.

Although I’m not an expert in Moon Phase calibers, it seems that the C105 is rather unique as it is a perpetual Moon Phase movement. Meaning that the moon phase complication only has to be adjusted after 122 years and 51 days unlike most such calibers that need to be adjusted roughly every 2.5 years. (Think of it this way: three generations could be wearing the Phase de Lune without having to get the moon phase adjusted!) This is quite neat in a watch that retails for below $2,000 at the pre-order price. (More on that later.) Moreover, these movements can be admired thanks to a unique double-domed sapphire crystal case-back which exists solely to make it easier for us to drool over the beauty of these movements. 


The only caveat of having such a neat case-back and total thickness of below 10mm is that the 68H and Phase de Lune only have 30 meters of water resistance. While this is a detail that would normally bug me, I’d say the Alliance gets a pass due to being so good-looking. Speaking of looks, the top crystal is also made of sapphire and of the double-domed variant. Both crystals are made to the specifications of Charlie Paris in order to make the watches robust whilst remaining elegant and legible. I don’t know how crystals are made but this seems quite impressive to me.


I’ve got to be honest: I care more about how a watch looks and how it makes me feel rather than what beats underneath the hood. And to be further honest: I’m not the type of guy who leans toward dressier watches. And—to come full-circle on my honesty today—I do like the 68H very much. Much more than I thought I would. This surprising attraction is due to the fact that the Alliance collection ticks a few important boxes for me. First, the dial layout is elegant whilst being aggressive, and the overall dimensions coupled with the unique case design makes it wear like a gem. (I know, I’ve been using the world “unique” quite often in this review.) 

At first glance, the dial doesn’t offer anything radically different than many other everyday watches. But once we take a closer look, we can see how much attention to detail the team at Charlie Paris put into designing these watches and how, in reality, they look different than most other everyday watches. Beginning with a modern interpretation of the leaf-type of hands that are polished on the sides and brushed on the top. And continuing with the long claw-like applied hour markers which also come with a dual finish: brushed on top and polished on the chamfers leading inward to the dial.

Being everyday watches, both models come with a date aperture which has been integrated within the dial in two different ways. On the 68H, the date is at 6 o’clock and framed with a semi circular/rectangular applied element. On the Phase de Lune, the date is at 3 o’clock and comes with a built-in magnifying element, making reading the date a breeze. This is clever and I love the fact that Charlie Paris went about integrating the date aperture in the two models differently. Again, showing that the devil is in the details. Furthermore, the applied markers have been shortened to make space for the date apertures. 

Staying with the dial, we can see that the minute tracks are doubled, one showing each minute hash marks and the other being fully-graduated and printed on the raised rehaut. This in combination with the applied markers, the date apertures, the sub-registers on the Phase de Lune and the pointy and elegant handset creates a powerful visual show. The light bounces off the applied elements in different ways depending on the angle I’m looking at the watches, whilst being absorbed by the matte finished dials. This means that reading the time is easy despite the treatment of the hands and markers. 

But there is more to the design which I will discuss below.

The Heart of the Matter

Indeed, at the Heart of the Matter is the fact that Charlie Paris created two things that are unique (here it is again!) and powerful combined together: a drop-dead gorgeous case and an experiential case-back. It is one thing to make a watch that looks elegant and comes with the historical pedigree, hand-finished enamel dials, chronometer-certified movements, and why not setting a bezel with precious stones. But it is an entirely other thing—and an accomplishment—to create a watch with a new type of case design and a crazy case-back which I’ll talk more about in a couple of minutes.

So we already know that both models are slender. Good. Now I’m going to turn your attention to the two prominent bevels on the case. All around the case the fixed-bezel sits wider than the mid-case and is brushed on the top and sides while being polished on the first step and again underneath where it meets the case. Then, the case-back sticks out a little bit and also displays a polished finish. This is very intricate—and again unique—and gorgeous to look at. Not only is it beautiful but this case construction further contributes to making the watches look thin on the wrist.

Now let’s turn to the case-back. The wide double-domed sapphire crystal lets us admire the entirety of the movements. And it is domed so that it can contour the customized and branded rotor, looking as if we can touch it. Furthermore, the crystal is so wide that it shows the metal ring that sits between the case and the movement and four blued screws that hold it in place. The stainless steel outer portion of the case-back is thin and also held in place by four screws. Looking at the entire bottom of the Alliance makes me feel like I’m admiring a modern and svelte Super Car. 

Having listed all of the specifications and novel case design and case-back construction, it would be fair for you to assume that the Alliance 68H and Phase de Lune should retail for as much as Swiss luxury timepieces. But no, you’d be wrong, as I was wrong the first time I looked at their price tags. Respectively: about $1,440 pre-order price for the 68H ($1,700 afterwards) and $2,020 pre-order price for the Phase de Lune ($2,350 afterwards.) Although value for money is subjective, I’d argue that Charlie Paris priced the Alliance rather competitively given how it’s made and how it looks.


Whether or not you have heard of Charlie Paris before doesn’t really matter. As someone who is familiar with the brand’s full catalog, let me tell you this: the Alliance is a very different animal than anything else the brand has made before. While not all Charlie Paris models resonate with me, some do. For example, I like their Concordia line of sports watches which also provide for great value for the money spent. However, the Alliance is just different and I find it unique—ok, that’s the last time I will say this word today!—that Charlie Paris manages to create collections that are so different from one another. 

The subtitle for this review is “The Mature & Modern Everyday Watch.” Yes, that’s absolutely what the Alliance is. It is also somewhat of an outlier within the genre of dressy watches due to having what I describe as an “aggressive” dial design thanks to the long and pointy hour markers and the thin and sharp hands. The Alliance is, to keep things simple, anything but boring to look at. And I’m saying that because everyday watches can easily and quickly become boring to look at. 

Just not these ones. 

Thanks for reading.


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