Swiss complications specialist Christophe Claret brings his eponymous brand to the SIHH watch salon for the second year in a row next week, and we’ve had a chance to preview one of the new timepieces he will unveil there: the Christophe Claret Maestro, which features a clever new “reminder” function. Here’s a closer look.
At 42 mm in diameter, the Maestro sports the smallest case in the Christophe Claret lineup and — at 68,000 Swiss francs for the titanium version (76,000 CHF for rose gold) — also the least expensive price tag for a Claret high-complication watch. The case’s curvex shape, at a relatively slim 16.06 mm thick, is accented by a glass dome that serves both as a bezel and as an expansive window into the dial side of the movement, topped by two-tone bi-material hour and minute hands and anchored by an inner bezel ring with matte and polished finishing.
The movement, made entirely in-house, is the manual-winding Caliber DMC16, composed of 342 parts and storing an impressive seven-day power reserve in two series-coupled barrels. Among its many visually arresting features are the “Charles X-style” skeletonized bridges that support the escapement (Claret has used these pocketwatch-inspired bridges in other timepieces, such as the Allegro and Maestoso); the balance wheel with countersunk screws; the cylindrical balance spring and Swiss lever escapement; and the series-coupled barrels positioned at 12 o’clock, which are skeletonized to reveal the blade spring of the first barrel and thus allow the wearer to determine the remaining power reserve in the watch.
In keeping with Claret’s noncomformist style, the date function has been designed in a very unconventional manner, and one for which Claret has obtained a patent. Placed at 5 o’clock and composed of two cone-shaped aluminum disks, one for tens and the other for units, the display makes a semi-instantaneous jump between 12 midnight and 12:20 AM. Atop the disks are either a natural ruby (in the rose gold version) or natural sapphire (in the titanium version). These gems are also used to conceal the shock-absorption system assembly.
The rubies and sapphires make another appearance as part of the movement’s signature function, a brand-new Claret invention called 3D Memo. Basically intended as the haute horlogerie equivalent of the tying a string around your finger as a reminder to make a phone call, meet a friend, pick up the kids, et cetera — or any number of daily objectives, like meditating 10 minutes a day or taking a half-hour walk — the device is located between 3 and 4 o’clock. After the wearer had accomplished the task that he has been reminded of, he simply presses a pusher to pivot the cone-shaped, gem-topped Memo button into its initial position using a semi-instantaneous jump system.
The Christophe Claret Maestro with 3D Memo is offered in two editions, both limited to 88 pieces. The 5N rose gold model (in the photos above) has PVD-treated anthracite gray and red anodized aluminum hands and a rose-gold crown; the version in grade 5 titanium (pictured below) has PVD-treated anthracite gray and blue anodized aluminum hands and a stainless steel crown. Both come on black alligator leather straps, and are fitted with sapphire exhibition casebacks.
source: watchtime.com by Mark Bernardo