Again an impressive manufacture that we wanted to share with you here, on Monochrome-Watches. This Weekly Watch Photo column is for us a very pleasant way to show you amazing pictures of watches, and for this week, it is quite a piece of art: Christophe Claret. The brand represents the essence of the complicated, non-compromised horology with strong design, such as the X-trem-1, gaming-oriented timepieces with the Poker Watch or modern interpretations of the classical watchmaking with, for example, the Soprano. Far away from the spotlights and the glossy displays, here are some watches of the actual collection into the nature.
For those who are not familiar with Christophe Claret, a quick view on his references will unravel a bit more on its huge competencies: Ulysse Nardin, Frank Muller, Harry Winston, some collaborations with Renaud & Papi… All those names had used the skills and creativity of Claret to create complicated watches. Even if the manufacture continues to create some complications for other brands, Claret also uses his talent to create his own collection, and believe us, we are taking about heavy material here.
The first of the watches we wanted to introduce to you is the X-Trem-1 (take look at our in-depth hands-on), a watch that clearly has the right name. It is an extreme timepiece. It comes with a very strong and unique design and a very cool feature: two transparent tubes, placed on each side of the watch contain a metal ball that goes up and down and so indicate the minutes (on the right side) and the hours (on the left side). These hollow balls are driven by magnetic carriages following a double sliding rod on each side, and they really have no mechanical connection with the movement. Alongside this mind-blowing display, it also comes with an inclined tourbillon located in a separated window. The one you can see here is the full black edition but a new warm chocolate brown edition was recently presented too.
Here, at Monochrome-Watches, we usually talk about watches created for men. But somehow, we found that the Margot was certainly one of the most impressive pieces made for ladies. Its flowery design hides a very high level of complication, as it integrates an horological interpretation of the ‘do you love me?’ game. With each press on the pusher located at 2, a petal – sometimes a pair of petals, it is impossible to foresee – subtly disappears under the dial in a smooth action, perfectly depicting the delicate undressing of the flower. The eagerly-awaited answer appears at random in calligraphic letters (in French) on the dial at 4 o’clock: Un peu (a little) – beaucoup (a lot) – passionnément (passionately) – à la folie (madly) – pas du tout (not at all)? At each press of the pusher, a distinct, crystalline chime resonates, aurally signaling the pace of the game. An impressive game of gears and levers, clearly up to Christophe Claret’s usual level, that reveals a very poetic display.
The Maestoso is part of the Traditional Complications collection, meaning watches relying of classical horology and complex watchmaking skills, but with Claret’s modern interpretation. The main feature of the Maestoso is its detent escapement, a mechanism usually designed to run in a perfectly stabilized position and used during the 18th and 19th centuries in marine chronometers, and that brings a very high level of accuracy. The main complexity of the integration of such an escapement into a wristwatch was to offer a high level of security, as a detent escapement is very sensitive to vibrations and movements. Here, a clever (an necessary) anti-over-banking security device has been integrated. Alongside these technical specifications, the full skeletonized dial brings a deep view on all the mechanical elements and thus, allows to contemplate the finishing details.
These two last watches are part of the gaming collection. The Christophe Claret Poker and Baccara allow you to REALLY play one of these games on your wrist, only with mechanical gears, levers and springs. For instance, the Poker watch masters the 98,304 combinations of 52 cards across three players, by only pressing 3 pushers integrated in the case band and thus allows three players to play Texas Hold’em poker against each other. And because such a complication is not enough, the Poker watch also comes with a Cathedral-style chiming gong. To achieve such a movement, 655 parts are required, including sapphire discs with 52 cards printed on each of them.
The Baccara watch uses the same spirit: At 6 o’clock, the player’s cards are distributed in three small windows. The banker’s cards are at 12 o’clock. To shuffle the cards, the player presses a pusher located at 9 o’clock while a pusher at 8 o’clock distributes the cards to the players. At 10 o’clock, a third pusher organizes distribution to the bank. Every time the shutter opens, for either the player or the bank, a cathedral gong can be see through a caseband window at 2 o’clock. On both of these watches, the back recreates a roulette game with the rotor of the movement.
Those two watches could be seen as trivial and frivolous but technically speaking, they are really impressive and requires a very high level of knowledges to achieve the uncertainty of these games.
More infos on Christophe Claret on the official website.