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Christophe Claret - Mecca

Christophe Claret Mecca

At the heart of this timepiece conveying a message of peace, the mirascope casts an image of the Kaaba monument

Exactly like the effigy of Emperor Marcus Aurelius enthroned at the heart of the Aventicum model unveiled in 2015, the micro-engraving of the Kaaba is highlighted by the mirascope, a process invented about thirty years ago at the University of California. The mirascope is composed of two identical parabolic mirrors arranged one on top of the other, creating an elliptical shape. The convex mirror on top has a hole in the middle. When an object is placed in the center of the concave bottom mirror, the reflection from the top mirror creates a hologram of the object, which appears nearly two times larger than it actually is. As a result, the Kaaba looks as if it is thrusting out of the middle of the watch and offers a 360-degree view of the famous cube-shaped building erected in the Holy City of Mecca.

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Mecca, like all Christophe Claret signature timepieces, epitomizes the highest standards of fine watchmaking embodied by the brand. Two months of research and several prototypes were necessary to develop the technically demanding mirascope. The next critical step was designing and crafting the hour and minute hands, which had to be reconfigured, as the mirascope was now the centerpiece of the watch. The hands became pointers revolving on an invisible ring around the perimeter of the dial, each equipped with a counterweight to optimize stability. The challenge of creating the hands was to find a material light enough to compensate for the relatively larger – though mainly concealed – size of the display mechanism. The solution was to use anticorodal (aluminum), which has an excellent rigidity/weight coefficient.

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Esthetically speaking, the Mecca timepiece features a wealth of emblematic elements and references to the Muslim faith. The dial which opens on to the micro-engraving of the Kaaba is decorated with an oriental-inspired engraved motif lacquered in gray and green, the color of the Muslim faith. The Arabic hour numerals were then replaced at 5 o’clock by a white ceramic stone and at 7 o’clock by a black spinel, symbolizing the black stone located at the  Kaaba through which Muslims start the seven rounds of the Tawaf in a counterclockwise direction. The white ceramic represents this same stone, as described in the Koran before it became black due to repeated touching by pilgrims.

On the back of the Mecca, the ball-bearing cover is adorned with a transfer depicting the Kaaba, with the movement’s self-winding oscillating weight rotating around it. Christophe Claret has obtained a patent for the sapphire element connecting the ball bearings to the oscillating weight concealed behind a circle. Crafted in sapphire so as to reveal the meticulous movement finishing, the oscillating weight bears a transferred world map featuring white dots symbolizing Muslims turning around the Kaaba. Three Arabic expressions set the final touch to this new invitation to experience spirtuality. At 12 o’clock, Masjid al-Haram means “The sacred mosque”. At 4 o’clock, the word “Tawaf” evokes the seven turns that the pilgrims must perform around the Kaaba. Finally, at 8 o’clock, Makkah al-Mukarramah means “The Holy City of Mecca”.

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The Meca timepiece comes with a 44mm grade 5 titanium and anthracite gray grade 5 PVD case, or grade 5 titanium case and only 63 pieces will be produced, a symbolique figure corresponding to the age of the prophet Mohammed when he died.

 

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