Christophe Claret Angelico – two milestone anniversaries, two breathtaking horological complications

A remarkable demonstration of Claret manufacture capabilities and, as Claret said, "Art for Art’s sake”

Christophe Claret Angelico MTR.DTC08.000-010
Christophe Claret Angelico MTR.DTC08.000-010
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Christophe Claret Angelico is the anniversary piece from the Le Locle-based manufacture: the 30th anniversary of the Manufacture and the 10th anniversary of the brand. The Angelico was launched during SIHH 2019 The timepiece is a spectacular package of breathtaking horological complications and astonishing finishes. I will present you today both anniversary pieces, the Christophe Claret Angelico Reference MTR.DTC08.000-010 and the Christophe Claret Angelico Reference MTR.DTC08.020-030. Picture heavy article.

Angelico focused on the blue gem stone
Introducing Christophe Claret Angelico Reference MTR.DTC08.020-030 in an artistic, gem focused manner.

Review: Christophe Claret Angelico

The origin of the species

One cannot talk about Christophe Claret Manufacture without the mention of Christophe Claret the man. He was born in 1962, in Lyon, the capital city in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. At an early stage in his life, Christophe finds his passion for horological mechanisms. He spent over a year in the workshop of a watchmaker restorer. He gains experience by disassembling, clean, servicing and assembling diverse mechanisms. In 1978, the young Claret is admitted to the Geneva Watchmaking School. The same year finds Christophe setting his own watchmaking workshop in the home town of Lyon.

The Angelico is an entire spectacle. All the main acts are playing on the front of the watch’s scene. The movement, the dial and the time display are one and single mise en scène.

Four years later finds him spending ten months with Roger Dubuis and learning about perpetual calendar watches. He also takes classes in corporate management. Claret creates in 1984 his first skeletonised watches, followed two years later by the first hour and quarter repeater watch.

In 1987, the RPC, standing for Renaud Papi Claret, is created. Christophe buys the company shares from Dominique Renaud and Giulio Papi – in 1991 Christophe Claret SA is born.

Angelico in blue
The blue variant of the Angelico is nothing more, nothing less, but the same marvel in another colour scheme.

A path full of excellence

In the following years, several extraordinary pieces were created:

  • The first musical wristwatch to chime in passing and on demand, featuring a 20-tooth comb and playing two tunes
  • Wristwatch with sapphire bridges and mainplate, and tourbillon
  • Tourbillon Orbital
  • Tourbillon Glissière

In 2019, the manufacturer celebrated 20 years of existence. The celebrating piece, the Christophe Claret DualTow is a single-pusher planetary chronograph and tourbillon It is the first to bear the manufacture’s owner name.

Angelico is an astonishing machinery
On and of the wrist, the Angelico is a piece of astonishing machinery.

Christophe Claret is going stronger and stronger, releasing spectacular pieces. The name is backed-up by several patents and innovative ideas. The watches released after the DualTow are: the Adagio, the Blackjack, Baccara and Poker (yes, the cards games), the mono-pusher chronograph Kantharos, the controversial X-TREM-1 (using magnets in a mechanical movement to display time), the Soprano (tourbillon and Westminster chime), the first detent escapement – the Maestoso, the charming Margot, Marguerite and Layla ladies watch, the Aventicum (with a miniature gold bust of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius), the Maestro (with MEMO function, including the Mamba and Pantherophis) and the Angelico, launched this year.

Angelico in titanium with blue sapphire
Christophe Claret Angelico Reference MTR.DTC08.020-030 in grade 5 titanium and blue sapphire.

The name of the Christophe Claret Angelico is inspired by the Fra Angelico, the Italian Renaissance “painter of angels”.

The way you look today, tonight, tomorrow and forever…

The Christophe Claret Angelico is presented in two versions: a 5N red gold case with natural red ruby and a grade 5 titanium case with natural blue sapphire. The watches would have also been great without the gems. But this touch increases the interesting level to the infinite. And I am not talking about the infinity stones. In reality (red), these timepieces are as nice and fabulous as the space (blue). One can never get enough of it.

Oblique view of the titanium version
The Angelico cases (gold and titanium) are brushed and polished and present bombe sides.

The Christophe Claret Angelico is presented in a relatively large case – 45.5 mm diameter and 17.5mm height. The watch is covered by a domed crystal. The show is multi-dimensional displayed, the Angelico being a world of itself.

A beautiful crown and slender, delicate pusher
A beautiful crown and slender, delicate pushers

Nice details are overall present

The pushers are decorated in the same way as the case: a subtle brushing that highlights the polished beveling. The crown follows the theme, but with a deeper chamfer. The crown is engraved and lacquer filled: black for the gold version and blue for the titanium.

Angelico profile
The delicate profile makes the watch’s perception as a rather small timepiece.

The shape and construction of the watch create the impression of a much smaller watch. Having it on the wrist, I was not aware of the actual dimensions. Every of the watch’s details is perfect. That means the even the fast-changing system strap is fitted with a gorgeous buckle.

strap and logo
Black PVD and a gold Christophe Claret logo – maximum contrast in a precious and elegant presentation.

The back of the watch reveals the “uninteresting” parts of the DTC08 mechanical hand-wound movement. All the spectacular horological complications are displayed on the top: the detent escapement on a 6-minute tourbillon and cable-type fusee system.

instant-jump dual-time mechanism
The back of the movement displays the instant-jump dual-time mechanism.

Immersing in time reality and space

The Christophe Claret Angelico has a complex, three-dimensional time display. The Calibre’s DTCO8 elements are integrated delightfull into the dial’s landscape. A left-right symmetry highlighted by a top-bottom asymmetry.  The dial is presented as an architectural complex where elegance is the main characteristic.

Christophe Claret Angelico MTR.DTC08.000-010
Christophe Claret Angelico MTR.DTC08.000-010

The most important feature of the Angelico is not the time display. Even if the watch is capable of instant-jump dual-time display with day/night indicator. The stars of the show are the 6-minute tourbillon with detent escapement and the cable-type fusee.

Christophe Claret Angelico titanium dial view
The moment between the oscillations of the 2.5Hz balance wheel.

Christophe Claret takes one of the most sensible escapement types and mounts it on the Angelico. A nice article about the escapement can be found on the Time and Watches Website.

Angelico 6-minutes tourbillon
Another perspective of the 6-minutes tourbillon

A modern touch to a traditional complication

The classical known chain fusee was replaced with a modern concept – a cable fusee system. Similar in concept and construction, the Angelico uses a 0.18mm super-thin cable to assure the constant force of the system. The cable is capable to pull a weight of 10 kilograms. That is impressive and not fully necessary. The advantage of the cable robustness is the reliability it offers in the force transmitting.

Detail of the cable fusee and minute's hand
Detail of the cable fusee and minute’s hand

The watches use different cable colours for each version. The properties are the same between the variants. While the red version is more present, the white cable of the titanium watch is more subtle. Note the minute’s hand with the blue sapphire.

The cable fusee system
Regardless of on the tambour or on the barrel, the cable is an unusual show for a watch’s display.

The power reserve is ingeniously displayed by the cable on the barrel body using a notation on the barrel’s bridge.

Note the power reserve on the barrel's bridge.
Note the power reserve on the barrel’s bridge

The bridges are lovely decorated. The satin frosted finish, present almost everywhere is tamed by the polished beveling. An important detail to note is the clear jewels in the polished sinks.

The minutes hand of the blue Angelico
The time display is realised with a hand fitted with a blue sapphire that circumvolute around the dial. Here, the minutes’ hand hovers above the 60 minutes Claret logo.

A time display like no other

The time display is one of the most interesting out there. The only thing going clockwise is the minute hand. Placed “outside” the dial, the hand rotates around the dial. It uses a charming register: volumetric indexes with Arabic numeral for every 5 minutes, with an exception for every 15 minutes. The 15, 30 and the 45 minutes use three-dimensional applied indexes. At 12 o’clock, the Christophe Claret logo doubles as 60 minutes’ index.

A view of the ruby minutes hand
A view of the ruby minutes hand

The home and local time are displayed via two apertures, symmetrically placed on the bottom of the dial. Moreover, the watch is capable to display day/night for both times.

Time: hour diplay
A distorted view of the hour display due to crystal curvature.

Some notes and the photo gallery

There are some spectacular watches released this year. Christophe Claret Angelico is one of the most interesting ones. The watch offers not only spectacular complications with astounding finishes but also useful functions. For a hard-core traveller, this watch can make the difference between the airport’s boring lounge waiting time and a chance to study even more the intrinsic details of the Angelico. It is an awesome conversation starter and a watch the offers pride. At only 10 pieces pro version, the Angelico is not a watch to be seen at every wrist. Could be one of the infinity stones spectacular pieces of an extremely well-curated collection. At the same time could be a collection itself. It offers a selection of fine classical horological complications realised in a modern way.

Angelico red on the wrist
For the short time that I had the Angelico on my wrist, I felt the enormous power and confidence that this watch brings

Regardless of the version, red gold or titanium, Christophe Claret Angelico offers a clean and powerful contrast. The time legibility is exceptional. The hours are easily visible and readable. The minutes display using a gemstone is terrific – how can one not see the right time in this presentation.

The watch felt smaller on my wrist.
The watch felt smaller on my wrist. The Angelico timepiece is a lovely presence on the wrist.

The 72 hours power reserve is excellent. Considering the cable fusee system, the chronometric precision is assured until the complete depletion of the barrel. The DTCO8 calibre is an amazing show.

Christophe Claret Angelico is a perfect example of the brand’s capabilities and an exceptional piece to mark the important milestones. I consider myself lucky to be able to enjoy, even for a short time, both pieces. Please have a look at the photo gallery below. It includes pictures not used in the article. After the gallery are presented the technical specifications.

 

Christophe Claret Angelico Technical Specifications

Movement

Calibre:

  • DTC08, mechanical hand-wound 

Dimensions:

  • Diameter: 41.10 mm
  • Height: 14.20 mm (with time indication)                

The number of components:

  • 470

Number of jewels: 62          

Barrels:

  • Two parallel-mounted mainspring barrels

Power reserve:

  • Above 72 hours                

Escapement:

  • Tourbillon with detent escapement and cable-type fusee

Balance-wheel oscillation frequency:

  • 2.5 Hz (18,000 vph)             

Functions: 

  • Time and instant-jump dual-time display with day/night indicator

Case

Diameter:

  • 45.50 mm                           

Height:

  • 17.45 mm

Water resistance:

  • 30 m (3 ATM)

Reference: MTR.DTC08.000-010

Case: 5N red gold

Christophe Claret Angelico MTR.DTC08.000-010
Christophe Claret Angelico MTR.DTC08.000-010

Hand: 4N pink gold with a natural red ruby

Strap: black alligator leather

Limited series: 10

Price excluding VAT in Swiss francs: 238’000 CHF

Reference: MTR.DTC08.020-030

Case: grade 5 titanium

Christophe Claret Angelico MTR.DTC08.020-030
Christophe Claret Angelico MTR.DTC08.020-030

Hand: white gold with a natural blue sapphire

Strap: black alligator leather

Limited series: 10

Price excluding VAT in Swiss francs: 218’000

 

For more information, please visit the Christophe Claret Website.

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