Christophe Claret Baccara
#wtbasel/ A spectacular timepiece that doubles as a miniature casino with three games: baccarat, roulette and dice.
Christophe Claret presents the Baccara, a spectacular timepiece that doubles as a miniature casino with three games: baccarat (‘baccara' in French), roulette and dice, each one of them appealing to our audio, visual, and tactile senses. The mechanical wonder that is the exclusive movement – which required over a year of development – is complemented by the aesthetic wonder of the special sapphire crystal protecting Baccara's dial which, when blown upon, reveals a secret, talismanic Chinese ideogram.
The Baccara forms part of the new and original field of horological innovation initiated by Christophe Claret – that of playful, interactive timepieces.
Like the DualTow, Adagio and 21 Blackjack before it, Baccara is representative of radically creative, exclusive and playful timepieces developed and produced at the Manufacture Christophe Claret in Le Locle, Switzerland.
Baccara takes its inspiration from the world of gaming, an activity which has always fascinated master watchmaker Christophe Claret. “I am not a gambler myself, but I love watching how players behave in a casino,” says Mr Claret. “I had the opportunity of going behind the scenes in a Macao casino recently, accompanied by the director. It was a real education.”
It is a certainly an impressive feat for Baccara to house within its precious case a veritable mini casino comprising baccarat, roulette and dice, all requiring exceptionally complicated micro-mechanics in addition to those providing the traditional time indications of central hours and minutes.
The baccarat cards appear on the dial as if by magic. At 6 o'clock, the player's cards are distributed in three small windows edged in either rhodium or red gold, depending on the version. The banker's cards are at 12 o'clock. To shuffle the cards, the player presses a pusher located at 9 o'clock, which arms a spring, which then simultaneously turns three gold discs on which they are printed. At 8 o'clock, the pusher allows the cards to be distributed to the player. Finally, at 10 o'clock, a third pusher organizes distribution to the bank. Every time the shutter opens, for either the player or the bank, a Cathedral gong is struck and this wonderful striking mechanism can be seen through a lateral window at 2 o'clock.
It is the sheer complexity of Christophe Claret's movement that makes it possible to have an authentic game of baccarat, as if the wearer was in a real casino. As the bank and the player have 252 different card combinations available to them, there are exactly 63,504 game possibilities. Or, more precisely, as the player and the bank do not necessarily draw a third card, there are 24,774 different game possibilities. Statistically, the player has 29,731 chances of winning (46.82%) and the bank 28,039 (44.15%). There are 5,734 chances of a draw between the player and the bank (9.03%).
Baccara also gives the wearer the chance to experience the thrills and spills of the craps table: a pair of delicately crafted dice measuring 1.5 mm on each side are housed in a cage at 4 o'clock and visible through a lateral window in the case band and rolled by a simple shake of the wrist.
Turning over Baccara reveals the winding rotor, visible through the anti-reflective sapphire display-back crystal and serving as the roulette wheel on which an arrow indicates the winning number. Finally, Baccara owners will have the option of having their own lucky number engraved on an emerald set in the watch.
Three casino games in a single wristwatch – that is the masterstroke achieved by Christophe Claret and his team, who have once again managed to introduce innovations to the very exclusive world of haute horlogerie. Nothing has been left to chance in the development of the movement, which factors in the highly complicated rules of real baccarat. Christophe Claret's quest for ultimate perfection is applied to all elements, from choice of materials to the superlative fine finishing of the most delicate components. To protect and enhance the Baccara's exclusive calibre, great attention has been given to the minutest details of the 45mm case. It is available in three versions: white gold and grade 5 black PVD titanium; red gold/grade 5 black PVD titanium; and platinum/grade 5 black PVD titanium.
Baccara's dial is completed by an eye-catching silhouetted dragon or tiger, in between the two sets of card windows. Laser cut in a jade or black titanium plaque, this legendary creature and renowned symbol of luck appears to be protecting both the timepiece and its owner.
The symbolism in Baccara doesn't stop here. There is one last detail – a halo of mystery– that is invisible to the naked eye. On the sapphire crystal, the lucky Chinese ideogram is revealed when blown upon the watch, appearing in the mist as if by magic and remaining for several seconds; a little ritual that should not be missed, not only by superstitious players before beginning their round of baccarat, but indeed by anyone wishing to start their day on a good note.
This secretive ideogram is produced through a metallization process of the sapphire crystal, especially developed for Christophe Claret and it was an idea that came to the master watchmaker during his trip to Macao. “When I visited the Macao casino, I realized that most of the players were superstitious,” says Mr Claret. “They get involved in all sorts of gestures – they have their lucky talismans next to them, or they might destroy several decks of cards before starting a round. When you witness that sort of behaviour, it's really incredible. “What's more, some players tend to gather around certain tables and shy away from other ones, as if those chosen tables will bring them bring luck. Luck – everyone counts on luck and that's what I wanted to symbolise with this ideogram.”
Mechanical self-winding movement
6 double sets of ceramic ball bearings
4 Hz, 28,800 vph
Power reserve: approximately 72 hours
Three games: baccarat with chime, roulette and dice
White gold and grade 5 black PVD titanium
Black lacquered bezel hour-markers
Diameter: 45 mm
Two side windows, one revealing the striking mechanism's hammer and gong, the other a pair of dice
White gold and grade 5 black PVD titanium crown
Watertight to 3 ATM (30 m)
Titanium and grey sapphire decorated with a dragon motif
Black PVD and red ruby hands indicating the hours and minutes
Front with three “BANKER” windows and three “PLAYER” windows
Back: three-dimensional roulette wheel that rotates in step with the watch's oscillating weight
Black alligator leather with a two-screw attachment system that minimizes damaging the case when the strap is changed
• White-gold and grade-5 black PVD titanium with a dragon motif for the jade dial, black PVD and black spinel or black ceramic hands indicating the hours and minutes
• White-gold and grade-5 black PVD titanium with a tiger motif for the titanium and grey sapphire dial, black PVD and ruby hands indicating the hours and minutes
• 5N red-gold and grade-5 black PVD titanium with a dragon motif for the titanium and grey sapphire dial, black PVD and orange sapphire hands indicating the hours and minutes
• 5N red-gold and grade-5 black PVD titanium with a dragon motif for the titanium and grey sapphire dial, black PVD and black spinel or black ceramic hands indicating the hours and minutes
• 5N red-gold and grade-5 black PVD titanium with a tiger motif for the jade dial, black PVD and orange sapphire hands indicating the hours and minutes
• Platinum and grade-5 black PVD titanium with a dragon motif for the titanium and grey sapphire dial, black PVD and ruby hands indicating the hours and minutes
• Platinum and grade-5 black PVD titanium with a tiger motif for the titanium and grey sapphire dial, black PVD and ruby hands indicating the hours and minutes
Each version will be limited to a maximum of 9
Suggested retail price in Swiss francs, exclusive of VAT
Between 194,000 and 228,000 Swiss francs, depending on the version
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.Find out more >
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