Luxury watchmaker Christophe Claret has unveiled a unique new twist on its X-TREM-1 timepiece. In honor of Monaco’s fifth annual Only Watch charity auction, the manufacture created the X-TREM-1 Pinball, inspired by the world of children’s play. As its name indicates, this watch represents that favorite children’s pastime, the pinball machine, with bumpers, slingshots and balls evoked throughout the X-TREM-1 Pinball timepiece.
To create this unique piece, Christophe Claret used high strength, ultra-light titanium for the three-dimensional curvex mainplate and the bridges, a world first for such a complex calibre. The flying tourbillon, inclined at a 30-degree angle, is equipped with double ceramic bearings for easy readability. Inside the rectangular white gold, palladium and aluminium case is a bright blue dial with orange highlights featuring mechanisms evocative of pinball machines. Small ball-like circles located on the two ratchet wheels represent the namesake pinballs, with a pinball-style slingshot at 10 o’clock, while the ratchet wheels and the crown wheel have been transformed into pinball bumpers. The push-piece at the top of the X-TREM-1 Pinball is inscribed with the word TILT, another nod to pinball machines.
In an unusual move, the heart of this mechanical hand-wound timepiece features a magnetic levitation system displaying the hour and minute. The magnetic field is comprised of two tiny steel spheres (hollowed out to reduce their weight), which move inside two small mesh tubes (base in white gold, mesh in stainless steel), mounted on the right and left of the case. The pinballs are invisibly pulled by two miniature magnetised carriages, which in turn are pulled by hundreds of nanofibre cables contained within an ultra-high-strength polyethylene gel. According to the manufacture, these ultra-thin cables are thinner than a human hair (4 hundredths of a mm in diameter) yet are capable of withstanding tensile forces of up to a kilo. Christophe Claret developed this patented technology in partnership with the School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD), in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland.
The X-TREM-1 Pinball will be auctioned off in September as part of Only Watch, the annual charity auction which benefits research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, held under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Photos courtesy Christophe Claret.