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Christophe Claret - X-TREM-1 – StingHD

Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 – StingHD

Christophe Claret’s X-TREM-1 is back in centre stage this year, accompanied by StingHD, the American specialist creator of luxury wrist candy for men.

The avant-garde X-TREM-1 by Christophe Claret, launched in 2012, is proof that watchmaking’s sacred cows are no match for the march of technological progress. Since the early days of watchmaking, magnetic fields (along with gravity) have been the watch’s worst enemy, because they interfere with how they work. Watchmakers have therefore endeavoured to protect their timepieces from this malevolent influence, notably by using amagnetic materials. Five years ago, Christophe Claret’s X-TREM-1 took the bull by the horns, beat those magnetic fields into submission and enfolded them in its bosom, where they became an integral part of the time display. 

The X-TREM-1 StingHD which Christophe Claret is unveiling at Baselworld this year has the same manually-wound mechanical movement and FLY11 flying tourbillon as its 2012 predecessor. The retrograde hours and minutes display uses two small hollow steel spheres placed inside two tiny sapphire tubes on either side of the caseband. The one on the left shows the hours, the one on the right, minutes. And that’s where the magnetic fields come in. They are generated by two magnets pulled by cables 0.04 mm in diameter made up of hundreds of nanofibres of an extremely strong polyethylene gel, and they move the spheres inside the tubes. The spheres are thus magnetically propelled for a distance of 23 mm inside the tubes, along a graduated hour or minute scale, which is how they indicate the time. These thoroughly tamed magnetic fields have no mechanical connection with the movement, which makes the hour and minute display all the more mysterious. The Swiss lever flying tourbillon, which is set at an angle of 30° to give the wearer the best possible view, makes one full rotation each minute using the energy supplied by one of the movement’s two barrels, and is fitted with a double ceramic ball race. The second barrel is dedicated to the hour and minute display.


X-TREM-1 – StingHD


Aesthetically, the look of the new X-TREM-1 StingHD will be familiar to connoisseurs of the American luxury brand StingHD. The company has been handcrafting men’s jewellery and accessories for more than fifty years. Some of its impossibly cool leather straps, embellished with precious metals or diamonds, feature the same skull motif as the X-TREM-1 StingHD. The black chromed aluminium skull of the timepiece, designed by the New York jeweller, can be found on the tourbillon, whose cage was specially adapted to accommodate it. Its eye sockets are filled with two natural red rubies. Another evanescent, grimacing skull appears on the specially treated sapphire crystal when the wearer breathes on it.

X-TREM-1 – StingHD


The watch’s black and red livery is intended to evoke the terrifying mystery of death. The imposing rectangular case with the typically curvaceous profile of the X-TREM-1 collection is made of black PVD titanium, and the tubes that contain the hour and minute spheres are encased in a steel mesh, also coated with black PVD. The rubies of the eyes are mirrored by the red lacquered hour and minute markers, the Christophe Claret name and logo on the sapphire crystal, and the StingHD name and logo on the tourbillon cage, as well as the scarlet topstitching of the black shagreen strap. Just eight of the X-TREM-1 StingHD will be available. Each comes with an additional personalised strap and a jewellery bracelet decorated with a skull made of black diamonds with ruby eyes. It carries a price tag of 278,000 Swiss francs (plus VAT).

 

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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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