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Christophe Claret - Only Watch 2013 auction

Christophe Claret Only Watch 2013 auction

Christophe Claret conceived the X-TREM-1 Pinball, a unique timepiece designed to reflect children's most precious activity : playing. It will be auctionned at Only Watch.

The timepiece was specially conceived for Only Watch, the charity auction to benefit research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The auction will be held in Monaco under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, on September 28, 2013.

Pinball is an interpretation of Christophe Claret’s X-TREM-1 with its tiny metal balls indicating hours and minutes through new, grilled sapphire tubes. The Swiss watchmaker reworked the appearance of the movement to make it look like the interior of a pinball machine: bumpers, slingshots and balls are all evoked inside the highly visible mechanism. Even the colours reflect the Pinball concept.

The X-TREM-1 Pinball is the result of an exclusive concept of displaying the time unveiled by Christophe Claret in 2012. X-TREM stands for:  

X     for eXperimental
T     for Time
R     for Research
E     for Engineering
M    for Mechanism

High strength, ultra-light titanium was used for the three-dimensional curvex mainplate and the bridges, a world first for such a complex calibre. The flying tourbillon is equipped with double ceramic bearings to maximise reliability and is inclined at a 30-degree angle in order to make it more clearly visible to the wearer.


Only Watch 2013 auction

The mechanisms in the dial are reminiscent of the playfield of a pinball machine. It comes to life when the watch is wound thanks to the small ball-like circles located on the two ratchet wheels. The ratchet wheels and the crown wheel have been transformed into pinball bumpers, while a pinball-style slingshot has been placed at 10 o’clock. The hand-wound movement is powered by two barrels, the first reserved for the tourbillon, the second for the mechanism powering the hours and minutes. The case is made from white gold with palladium and Perunal-type aluminium. The deep blue colour was obtained through anodisation.

The hour and minute display uses a magnetic levitation system. Christophe Claret has succeeded in introducing a magnetic field  into the very heart of the watch. The system comprises two tiny steel spheres (hollowed out to reduce their weight), that move inside two small mesh tubes and mounted on the right and left of the case. These balls are invisibly pulled by two miniature magnetised carriages, which in turn are pulled by “cables”. The cables are incredibly strong and flexible, made from hundreds of Dyneema nanofibres all contained within an ultra-high-strength polyethylene gel. Thinner than a human hair (4 hundredths of a mm in diameter), these cables are capable of withstanding tensile forces of up to a kilo.

The spheres, which levitate inside the tubes, have no mechanical connection with the movement. This patented technology was developed in partnership with the School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD) in Switzerland.

On the dial side, three ratchet wheels and a bridge reminiscent of those found on old electromechanical consoles can be seen through the sapphire crystal. Set off against a blue background, the three-dimensional orange decorations match the numerals on the graduated hour and minute scales, as well as the stitching on the strap. The push-piece used for rapid time correction, positioned at the top, is inscribed with the word TILT, another nod to pinball machines.


The brand

The Christophe Claret watches are truly exceptional mechanisms. They testify to expertise resolutely geared towards technological innovation and consistently pushing back the limits of watchmaking in order to offer original ways of reading the time.

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