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Christophe Claret - The Maestro presents… the Maestro!

Christophe Claret The Maestro presents… the Maestro!

A mechanical interpretation of the knot in the handkerchief is the latest innovation from Christophe Claret.

Christophe Claret is known for his unusual, often playful, innovations in the world of watchmaking. Having developed an entire range of timepieces based around the theme of games (the “Gaming” collection includes the Poker, Baccara and Blackjack models) and even pinball for the X-TREM-1, he more recently turned his attention to playful mechanical complications for ladies with the Margot and Marguerite models.

The first non-horological content in Christophe Claret’s “Traditional” collection, however, did not come until last year with the arrival of the Mirascope in the Mecca and Aventicum models. But the innovation here was more about precision machining and optics, rather than mechanics. The second playful addition now comes with a mechanical gimmick in the new Maestro model. Inspired by the expression “tie a knot in your handkerchief” as a means of remembering to do something important, the new Maestro includes a bejewelled MEMO display on the dial at 4 o’clock on the dial.

I’ll come back to that towards the end, because this discreet innovation is one of the smallest elements on the dial and it is overshadowed by a number of other striking features, not least of which is the conical large date display with vertically aligned numbers. This patented display consists of two aluminium cones that rotate gradually between midnight and twenty past midnight to change the date.

Le maestro présente… la Maestro !

Complete the tour of the dial and you can see right inside the first of two series-coupled mainspring barrels beneath a skeletonized bridge at 12 o’clock, with the visible state of the spring’s coil giving a rough idea of how much of the seven-day power reserve is left.

Le maestro présente… la Maestro !

At 16.06mm thick, the Maestro is by no means petite, yet its 42mm case diameter is paradoxically the smallest in the Christophe Claret collection. Furthermore, it is not the height of the date display cone, as you might think, that accounts for this thicknes but the two superimposed barrels, as you can clearly see in this photo:

Le maestro présente… la Maestro !

Back to that MEMO function… The fact that this small cone is also reset at midnight over a 20-minute period indicates that it is engaged with the same gears that are responsible for the date change. The reminder can be set as and when the wearer requires, but like the knot in the handkerchief that inspired it, it has its limitations. Christophe Claret suggests that you can use it to remind yourself to meditate for 10 minutes a day, go for a walk, eat your five a day or write a love note every day to your sweetheart (no pressure there!). Unfortunately, it will not remind you what you are supposed to do, but only that you are supposed to do it.

Le maestro présente… la Maestro !

Either way, you don’t buy the Maestro for its MEMO function. All the important bits are visible where you want to see them – on the dial. There is so much going on (the visible mainspring, the oscillation of the balance, the tick-tock of the escapement and the daily animation of the date-change and MEMO function) but the watch nevertheless retains a light and airy feel thanks to the generous sapphire crystal and the thoughtfully designed chapter ring. The Christophe Claret Maestro is available in two different executions, each limited to 88 pieces. The titanium-cased version with blue accents and natural sapphires costs 68,000 Swiss francs, while the rose-gold version with red accents and natural rubies costs 76,000 Swiss francs.

Tie a knot in your handkerchief to remind you to see it during the SIHH.

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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