In his own words, Christophe Claret is a CEO that isn’t really influenced by the watch industry, but instead draws his inspiration from antiques, automobiles, and even airplanes. Not content to simply be part of the standard mold in a branch that has a knack towards repetition, his creations are both a breath of fresh air and also represent that the watchmaking industry still has a lot of inventiveness left in its fingertips.
Christophe Claret has been creating watches ever since he became the head of this Le Locle brand back in 1992. It’s an exclusive manufacture, offering extremely limited collections of high-end watches.
It places a significant emphasis on three separate points. Firstly, the manufacturer prides itself on its in-house production and it creates all of its own watch components, even going so far as inventing highly efficient design machines. Secondly, it invests in top tier craftsmanship and a very skilled force of watchmakers. Lastly, it’s disciplined itself in the field of form perfection by concentrating on giving each and every one of its timepieces the best possible finish.
According to a four eyes principle, a second watchmaker always thoroughly scrutinizes an assembled movement along a strict set of benchmarks to test its full functionality. Chiming watches are also particularly placed under the microscope by its quality control, with its CEO even getting hands on and evaluating each and everyone one himself. Christophe Claret is a Swiss watch brand mixing things up in the industry with a very ostentatious portfolio.
Christophe Claret Maestoso (0:25)
The Maestoso is a hand winding, skeletonized watch from Christophe Claret’s Tradition collection. The timepiece has a traditional detent escapement, a movement widely considered to be impossible to incorporate into a wristwatch because it was originally designed to only run in a stabilized position. Yet, Christophe Claret has managed the unimaginable with the aid of an anti-pivot cam within the spring balance that operates with a safety finger and prevents the titanium detent from turning over. While the watch’s face displays the hour and minutes, it also depicts the constant force at the four position.
Christophe Claret Aventicum (0:35)
For all the Romanophiles: The Aventicum is originally based on the capitol of Rome’s Helvetia and its ruins rest near the Swiss town of Avenches. It has an automatic movement and 72 hours of power reserve. True to Christophe Claret’s propensity for crazy inventions, a replica of the bust of Marcus Aurelius has been placed in the center of the dial. It’s displayed in magnified form thanks to the clever optical effect of its mirascope. An “H” and “M” on an inner ring on the dial depicts the hour and minutes respectively. Its automatic rotor, composed from sapphire crystal, displays five Roman race chariots.
Christophe Claret Poker (0:45)
You probably guessed it already: the Poker watch is indeed very capable of 3-player Texas Hold’Em in best hee-haw fashion. It’s a smoky casino themed, automatic winding timepiece. Two pushers activate the dealer while three windows on the watch’s face located at the 3, 6, and 9 positions on the dial display each dealt poker hand. It even has a blind system to prevent players from spying on each other’s cards.
True to Christophe Claret’s proficiency in the production of high-quality chiming timepieces, a cathedral bell rings out each time one of the watch’s pushers is pressed. An attractive and fully functional roulette wheel is also displayed on the case back of the Poker that’s operable simply by shaking the watch.
Christophe Claret X-Trem-1 (2:43)
XTREM, an acronym standing for Experimental, Time, Research, Engineering, andMechanism is Christophe Claret pioneering new territory with its watch creations. Originally inspired by the headlights of a Porsche 911, it’s a very extraordinary timepiece in Christophe Claret’s Extreme collection. The X-Trem-1 is a hand winding watch that has a flying tourbillon at a 30° angle and is mounted on a three dimensional, titanium main plate.
Surprisingly magnets, normally the arch enemy of movement operation, have been incorporated into the X-Trem-1. They control the display of the hour and the minutes. In turn the watch’s “mystery hands”, two small sized steel spheres, appear to float and move within the sapphire glass tubes on either side of the dial without any kind of mechanical assistance.
Christophe Claret Margot (4:05)
Here’s one for the ladies: the manufacturer showcases its elegant Margot. Its Christophe Claret’s first ladies watch complication. The Margot has the age-old lover’s theme of “He loves, he loves me not” and the timepiece comes to life by a simple press of its pusher located at the two position. With each additional press of the pusher, more of the pedals disappear at random under the watch’s dial.
The answer is eventually spelled out in calligraphic French lettering at the 4 position and a chime repeatedly rings signaling the overall progress of the game. The case back of the watch has an intricately designed automatic rotor that has sculptured flower petals and gemstones. Each one represents a different human emotion. One eventually aligns with the red heart on the case back, perhaps providing its wearer with the desired answer once the chiming ends.