Following the enormous success of the poetic Margot timepiece in 2014, Christophe Claret is continuing to use the language of flowers to court romantic women. Once again, the daisy (“marguerite” in French) is the star and unfurls its white lacquer petals on the opalescent dial. A red butterfly (or blue depending on the model) tracks the hours from one of the petals whilst the minutes tick by as a delicate butterfly on the stem flutters past. The stem runs into the daisy’s pistil capped by a ruby (or blue sapphire) in the centre. The Marguerite’s dial bears the hour indices (3, 6 and 9) and presents a declaration of love on demand: “Il m’aime passionnément” (he loves me passionately). All you have to do is press the pusher at 2 o’ clock on the caseband. The 42.5mm rose or white gold case peppered with a hundred diamonds on the bezel and lugs. Price: 69,000 CHF
What a journey! Christophe Claret graduated from the Geneva Watchmaking School, trained under Roger Dubuis and founded the brand that bears his name in Le Locle in 1989. He started out working for major brands and ended up unveiling the DualTow in 2009 which we still remember today. This watch symbolised the dawn of the Christophe Claret brand. Next came the X-TREM 1, Blackjack, Adagio, Soprano and Margot. The watchmaker has added a new piece to his Traditional Complications collection: the Allegro. This minute repeater has cathedral gongs, so-called because they coil twice around the movement rimming the case. The gongs are made of drawn steel and fitted with a patented mechanism that prevents vibration and interference to produce a unique sound. The manual wind movement also brings to life the date, GMT and day/night indicator functions. It comes in rose gold or grey with titanium. Limited edition (20 of each model available). Price: 268’000 CHF (excl. VAT)
Early 2015 was marked by intense activity at Christophe Claret. In January in Geneva the brand presented Aventicum, its latest creation. In early February, Mr. Claret, accompanied by Wolfgang Sickenberg, the brand’s CEO, visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend a dinner for collectors as a prelude to the opening of the brand’s first retail presence in the country. Finally, from February 23 – 28, the Le Locle brand will exhibit in Doha, Qatar, at the 12th Salon of Watches and Jewellery.
Mr. Claret was invited by Sincere Group – the Christophe Claret distribution partner in Singapore – to fly to Malaysia in early February to meet watch collectors and share a convivial dinner. Mr. Claret was accompanied on the trip by Wolfgang Sickenberg, and they found that the technical knowledge of the Malaysian collectors more than matched that of Swiss specialists. In addition, at the Master Craftsmen & Bespoke Art event in the heart of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, Christophe Claret presented three of his most recent creations: Margot, Maestoso and Soprano, which were much appreciated. During the evening’s festivities, Mr. Claret gave a talk on chiming watches, complications that are close to his heart and a domain in which he has over 25 years of experience.
“For both our brand and myself, these meetings are important as direct contact with our clients is full of sentiment. Our clients are demanding, and rightly so. They enjoy talking directly to the person who conceived their watch and the owner of the brand. For my part, I enjoy taking this opportunity to present the way we work and how we constantly push the boundaries of haute horlogerie because ultimately, these collectors become our best brand ambassadors”, explains Christophe Claret.
This visit to Malaysia also included exploring possibilities of promoting the brand in this burgeoning market. To this end, negotiations have been successful and the opening of Christophe Claret’s first retailer is expected to be announced shortly.
Late February also heralds an important journey for the brand, this time to Qatar. From 23 to 28 February 2015, Christophe Claret will participate in the 12th edition of the Salon of Watches and Jewellery in Doha. The event will be held in the beautiful setting of the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).
The solid gold bust of Marcus Aurelius was unearthed from the entrails of Aventicum in 1939, the former Roman Swiss capital which is now called Avenches, south of Lake Murten. The Roman emperor’s effigy has been reproduced, miniaturised (3mm tall) and magically captured in the heart of the dial of Christophe Claret’s brand new watch. A carefully installed mirascope on the watch beams the gilded statuette onto the dial which meant the watchmaker had to completely redesign the time display. The hours and minutes are underlined by two markers rather than tracked by hands traditionally placed in the centre. The time functions are brought to life by the self-winding AVE15 calibre housed in a rose gold, white gold or titanium 44mm case coated in anthracite grey PVD. You can gaze at the movement through the caseback as it provides the 72-hour power reserve. Price: 49,000 CHF exc. VAT (rose gold) – 53,000 CHF exc. VAT (white gold)
Christophe Claret is totally in tune with the times. To start with, Margot is the first-ever model that the master watchmaker from the Neuchâtel Mountains has created exclusively for the ladies – and, yes, another watchmaker takes the plunge; secondly, its self-winding mechanical movement unveils a delightfully romantic complication: a “he love me, he loves me not”, petal-picking daisy; or rather, a flower, a highly in-vogue design-icon this year, which is extolled in all its splendour here. When the push-piece at 2 o’clock is gently pressed, one or two petals vanish whilst a crystalline chime resonates. Instantaneously, an aperture set between 4 and 5 o’clock displays the ancestral refrain “I love you – a little – a lot”… When all twelve titanium-composed petals have disappeared, a gentle touch on the push-piece at 4 o’clock brings the flower back to life. The white-gold case is adorned with 68 baguette diamonds, totalling 5.2 carats. The flower’s stigma is fashioned in citrine. Four versions of this model have been designed, each proposed as a limited edition of 20 pieces. Price: 278,000 CHF