In January 2017, Christophe Claret celebrated its second year as official SIHH exhibitor with the introduction of “Maestro”. Heralded as the brand’s smallest and least expensive to date, the Haute Complication timepiece also boasts two new functions with eye-catching displays.
The case, 42 mm in diameter and 16.06 mm thick, comes in two versions: 5N pink gold or grade 5 titanium. These materials determine the colours of the two-tone hands, and of the precious stones that decorate the displays, with rubies for pink gold and blue sapphires for titanium.
Looking through the glass dome that serves as a bezel we admire the panoramic view of the hand-wound movement and signature Charles X style stepped and skeletonized bridges. An inner bezel with matt and polished finishing reinforces the graphic architecture. At 12 o’clock, an open view of the top barrel – there are two, with one mounted on top of the other for an impressive power reserve of 7 days — allows you to see how much power is left. Moving down to the balance-wheel with countersunk screws, entirely developed and produced in-house, we observe the natural ruby or natural sapphire that adorns it to conceal the shock-absorbing system.
But what is this at 5 o’clock? Christophe Claret has positioned two cone-shaped aluminium discs, the top one for tens and the lower one for the units, to create a large date display that makes a semi-instantaneous jump between midnight and twenty past. The centre is mounted with a ruby or sapphire for harmonious beauty.
Between 3 and 4 o’clock we discover yet another invention: a second cone shape that is in fact a 3D MEMO. How does it work? The sides of the cone are set with 2 precious stones: either a ruby or sapphire, and a diamond. When the diamond faces 6 o’clock, it means we have no special events to be reminded of during the day. But when we want to make sure that we will not forget to e.g. pay a compliment, go to the dentist, take our pill, or reserve our concert tickets, we simply press the pusher at 2 o’clock. The cone pivots 180° so that the ruby or sapphire faces us instead of the diamond, and stays facing us until we complete our objective. Once achieved, we simply press again on the pusher to make it pivot back into place. And if we totally forget, the cone automatically pivots back into place between midnight and 12:20. This cone is also topped with either a ruby or sapphire.
As in all Christophe Claret timepieces, finishing is impeccable. Complemented with black alligator straps, they are limited to 88 pieces each. Priced excluding taxes at CHF76,000 for the pink gold version and CHF68,000 in titanium, they will be in boutiques by May 2017.