Christophe Claret Maestro - The most complicated two hands timepiece with date
The first big new novelty of the Christophe Claret Maestro is that is represents the most accessible proposal ever released by this small haute-horlogerie manufacturory. Despite the price not been exactly “accessible” to everybody, the Christophe Claret Maestro will retail at 68,000 Swiss Francs in its grade 5 titanium version and at 76,000 Swiss Francs in its pink gold version, this timepiece represents a small revolution in itself if you consider its high level positioning and the degree of complications that are usually associated with a Christophe Claret. It is then quite obvious to ask ourselves the following question; will a Christophe Claret Maestro offer something less than, let's say, a Soprano (the timepiece that, concept-wise, somehow resembles it the most)? If you leave aside the absence of a true big complication, this watch has it all and it is a 100% Christophe Claret timepiece.
In a catalogue that offers exceptional complications, mysterious functions, and many patented ideas, Christophe has managed to create two timepieces that focus on bringing out some of the basic concepts of the manufacturer's idea of a complicated watch, while still displaying an exceptional and unique personality both from an expressive and technical point of view and representing, in short, a three-hand-timepieces with a date. The sapphire glass is a gigantic “bubble”, whose central part is almost flat and extremely raised so that is can host the mechanic movement. The sapphire glass tapers on the sides and ends on the outer side of the case with an architectural design with no bezel. When seen from the sides, the glass appears so thick that it exceeds the case's thickness (16,06mm), the calibre hosted within the case is the DMC16; a refined and balanced mixture between tradition and the ever-present touch of technical originality the manufacturer is famous for.
The first reference entails the so-called “Charles X style bridges”; a tribute to the great pocket watches of the past that are as much refined as they are rare (Christophe Claret is the only manufacturing company, together with Breguet, that manages to interpret this type of architecture fully abiding by the rules of tradition). The second reference entails a series of elements developed according to a strong tridimensional concept that also feature both a precise and original mechanic function. From an aesthetic point of view the calibre is an essential design element, its vertical development geometry represents at least 80% of the entire Christophe Claret Maestro's personality.
Every main element of the time measuring function of this timepiece has been placed in the foreground and is very well visible to the owner, who is almost able to touch the components; the big balance wheel with adjustment screws in the foreground, the double cone with the date viewing function (the dozens are positioned above, while the units are located below), the double barrel that guarantees up to 7 days of power reserve, and the bridges. All these elements summarize the 342 components that make up this calibre. This is a movement that can be wound in an extremely delicate and consistent manner; two characteristics that are typical of those big manual calibres from the past. There is no hesitation during the winding phase and no gear clearance either when the crown is released.
Next to the cone where the date is displayed (A quick date adjustment can be carried out using the button located at 4 o'clock) is another cone for the Memo function; a mechanic system designed to remind the owner about specific events. Depending on the model type, the cone will be topped by a ruby or a sapphire and, on the side, a matching ruby or a sapphire. Once the goal has been set by pressing the button located at 2 o'clock, the cone will rotate to align with the ruby and the sapphire. At night, through a semi-instant process that lasts 20 minutes, the cone will progressively move back to its original position. At 12 o'clock is a series of two barrels protected by a bridge, they are on full view though the radial skeletonized structure that allows a full view of the moving blade spring.
The Christophe Claret Maestro synthesizes with a 42mm case all the ideas and characteristics that made master Christophe Claret famous. The decorations, the in-house crafting, its quite impacting aesthetic side, and some of its easily recognizable elements (like the slightly curved lugs that are tapered towards the end) are some of the brand's trademarks. In a few words, this is probably the first Christophe Claret to use on a daily basis, mainly in its grade 5 titanium version, despite the pink gold version being overwhelmingly warm and, I can guarantee that to you, it also gives you an extreme sense of pleasure when you wrap around your wrist.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®