Christophe Claret is a watchmaker who makes very, very different watches. He pioneered watches incorporating belt drives, metal balls in cylinders, and a number of gaming watches featuring poker, baccarat, blackjack, roulette and dice. So far, all his watches have been for men. This year, he presented Margot at Baselworld, the first Christophe Claret watch for women.
Like his Poker watch, Margot is a timepiece that incorporates a game, but this time it’s more romantic. The watch recreates the pastime of a girl picking a daisy and taking off the petals one by one, while reciting a rhyme to discover the depth of her lover’s love. In English, it’s “he loves me, he loves me not,” but in French, there are more possibilities. “Il m’aime un peu, beaucoup, passionnément, à la folie, pas du tout.” A little, a lot, passionately, madly, not at all. By pressing a pusher at 2 o’clock, a petal disappears, sometimes two petals, in a random sequence. Every time the pusher is pressed, a gong chimes, and the answer in French appears on the dial at 4 o’clock. When the last petal has disappeared, the user can read the final verdict. The reset pusher at 4 o’clock brings all the petals back.
The design of the movement is superb, with levers that flick the petals outwards so fast that it seems instantaneous. But above all, it’s a very beautiful watch, very feminine, with a ring of mother-of-pearl on the outside, with three baguette diamonds as hour markers at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, gold-tipped steel hands, a citrine gemstone at the centre of the dial, and more diamonds on the bezel and lugs. The crown is not in the normal 3-o’clock position, but behind the top lug. When you turn the watch over, you discover still more: the rotor that winds the automatic movement Is a circular, geometric design, with eight gemstones, forming yet another game. With a shake, you set the rotor into motion, and when it comes to rest, one of the gemstones lines up with the little red heart on the bottom edge of the caseback. “Le couleur des sentiments” is engraved below the heart, and the meanings of the gems are engraved at the centre of this flower: espoir, pureté, joie, confiance, tendresse, passion, loyauté, amitie. No apologies for the lack of translations: after all, French is the language of love.
The complexity of the movement can be gauged from the number of components, 731, and the number of jewels, 95. Two barrels give it 72 hours power reserve. Margot is made in four limited editions, each of 20 pieces. One edition is in white gold with 68 baguette diamonds and a blue mother-of-pearl dial, on a white alligator strap (CHF 278,000 + VAT); one is in white gold with snow-set diamonds (CHF 198,000 + VAT); two other versions are the same except that they are in red gold. The watch was presented at Baselworld 2014. Read more about Christophe Claret watches on the company website.