I am not such a fan of partner look in any of the directions, but a subtle connoisseurs approach is something I can easily fall for. So what better way to start the new year than with a Christophe Claret selection for both partners? For the smaller wrist and more sensitive side of the couple, I have chosen the cute Christophe Claret Margot while for the bolder still pragmatic spirit I have selected the Christophe Claret Adagio.
Table of contents
- Christophe Claret Margot
- Christophe Claret Adagio
- Final notes
Christophe Claret is an extraordinarily creative mind but with a unique vision of haute horlogerie. Not only the watches must be excellently handcrafted, the movements with an unusual set of complications but the poetic message or the twist must be stronger than all the other characteristics. That is why I have selected today two ultra-complicated wristwatches at somehow diametral poles. The Christophe Claret Margot is one of my all-time preferred ladies’ pieces and maybe the most romantic watch ever – a dedication to love. The Christophe Claret Adagio is a highly complicated piece standing out with artistic crafts and a pragmatic set of complications (date and second timezone). Both watches are not what one would call novelties, but both models are timeless examples of what a gifted mind combined with exceptional artisanal work can achieve.
Christophe Claret Margot
While there are many ladies’ oriented pieces with lovely complications and absolutely amazing mechanical constructions, for me, the Christophe Claret Margot is the sweetest and most romantic one. It reminds me of the purity of the first love, the rush of adrenaline and the accelerated pulse when thinking about the loved one.
Elegance in the name of love
The Margot is a rather large watch if we consider the usual smaller wrist of the target audience. Measuring 42.5 mm in diameter and a quite hefty 14.52 mm, the watch is not your usual delicate ladies’ piece. But if we consider the “hidden” automaton, the watch becomes suddenly quite small…
The Christophe Claret Margot can be ordered in precious metals with various stone settings. The independent uses an external artisan for the most complex but best qualitative setting. For instance, the Ref. MTR.EMT17.000-020 comes with a staggering 4.8 carats of baguette-set diamonds – 69 stones mounted in white gold. For added spectacularity, the top lug features a superb hexagonal diamond. The other variation shown in the article is decorated with 64 diamonds in a snow-set, totalising 4.6 carats.
The later reference features a sporty and daring black PVD-treated grade 5 titanium caseband. This adds an interesting twist to this beautiful case. As one can notice in the video above, the crown is hidden under the top lug. The lower side of the case is poking my perverted imagination and reminds me of the mount of Venus, adding, at least for me, an erotic side to this love story. Also, note the precious addition of diamonds (the baguette version uses superb pear-shaped cut) to the strap system.
To activate and reset the automaton, two oblong pushers are placed on the right side of the case. Each step is followed by a bell stroke that brings even more drama into the scene. The left side of the case reveals the working mechanism via an oblong crystal aperture. The pushers and the windows feature the same shape in a cohesive design choice.
Effeuiller la marguerite – He loves me… he loves me not
The romantic complication of He loves me… he loves me not is placed centrally. The Margot petals are activated by the 2 o’clock push-button. The motion is accompanied by a chime (please see the video above) that adds charm and drama to this love quest. The animation and sound are quite well synchronised and the effect is simply… magical.
The central stem is surrounded by a beautiful gem in various colours. The dial is manufactured in mother-of-pearl that can have various base colours. This material is a fantastic light catcher and will create mesmerising colours and shines in various lights. It is also visible in pictures – how strongly can the light’s strength and shade influence what the viewer sees. Furthermore, this surface can be personalised with engravings.
The time is indicated by arrow hands manufactured in steel and gold (or only steel) with or without thermally blue shading the tip or the body. The hands are simply gorgeous and the depth of the flower petals is almost theatrical. As main indexes, the Christophe Claret Margot uses 3 pear-shaped diamonds and the Christophe Claret logo at the 12 o’clock position.
72 hours of power reserve for a carefree weekend or mid-week
The romantic complication of the Christophe Claret Margot is powered by the actuation of the pushers. The 2 o’clock one activates the chime, the petals animation and the message change while the 4 o’clock button resets the scene.
Turning the watch offers a glimpse into the Calibre EMT17. Most of the movement is hidden under the full rotor weight with large skeletonised “margot” petals windows. The rotor was enhanced with eight coloured gems set in equidistant positions. The movement showcases the excellent manufacturing capabilities of Maison Claret with precise lines and beautiful finishes. On the technical side, the Calibre EMT17 packs 731 components in 38.40 x 9.76 mm, offering an impressive 72 hours of power reserve from a twin-barrel combination.
Christophe Claret Adagio
A minute repeater with dual time, date and running seconds is an extremely attractive set of complications. Each complication per se is enough for many collectors out there. But having all of them in such an exquisite package does honour the house of Claret. Not only a skilful team of artisans are concurring for powerful mechanics but also the case is a work of art by itself. Adding baguette diamonds makes everything even more attractive and contributes to an elitist piece of haute horlogerie.
Let it sing… experiencing music with the eyes
Christophe Claret Adagio has a case that pays a tribute to the music. If we observe further the floral and twisted details, we can consider this watch a Renaissance musical garden
The engraver poured his soul into creating a powerful representation of each musical instrument. Using multiple techniques, the master engraver, the Neuchâtel-based artisan Eddy Jaquet, manages to represent faithfully the intrinsic details of various depicted materials: the soft fold of fabric, the slenderness and depth of the strings or the warmness of wood’s texture. Even the crown and the pushers received a floral decoration with vivid details. It takes around 130 hours to complete the Adagio case.
The top and the lugs of the 44 mm case are adorned with a splendid diamond baguette set. The choice of icing the top case increases the value of the watch not only at the expense of the stones but also by the artisanal work involved. Precious metals and stones put a weight toll on this large watch but remains still a nice piece to wear after the accommodation. The case offers a generic 30 m water resistance, which is not much but still offers some kind of protection against accidents. Please don’t go swimming with it…
Clean, precise elegant
Christophe Claret Adagio comes with a black onyx dial on which the information is displayed in a pragmatic matter. The case is considered enough decorated so other details on the dial are not necessary. Extra-long arrow tips hands are used to point the hours and minutes on the inclined inner bezel with black varnished round indexes.
Between 1 and 2 o’clock is placed the subdial of the dual-zone that can be set from the upper pusher. A small aperture reveals the day/night indication for the time. The 4 o’clock pusher is used to advance the date indicated by a large satin-decorated date aperture. The small seconds are displayed at 9 o’clock using a similar frame type with an arrow pointing to a black-on-white marked disk. The functionality can be observed in the hands-on video.
Besides the excellent legibility given by the dial’s simplicity, a beautiful effect is created by the applied Christophe Claret logo at 11 o’clock. The watch needs no luminescent or extra light-catching gimmick since it is a minute repeater. Just a twist of the left lever and the watch will activate the striking mechanism with full-sounding cathedral gongs (the minute repeater can be seen in action in the clip).
Singing the time away
Christophe Claret Adagio is powered by the Calibre SLB88. This is a traditional slow-beater – 18,000 vph or 2.5Hz and it uses a traditional swiss lever escapement and a traditional swan neck regulator. Yes, three-time “traditional” to emphasize the classic haute horlogerie approach of Maison Claret. Furthermore, gold timing screws are used to compensate for various positions.
The 34mm Calibre SLB88 is surrounded by long cathedral gongs that are free to breathe and vibrate in a generous space inside the case. The resonance is very pleasant, although not particularly loud (check the video for the minute repeater in action)… The movement uses 455 components, of which 46 jewels. It has 48 hours of power reserve – not much for a manual wind but well within the limits of what is available on the market. The polished sinks and chamfered edges look adorable on the Geneva waves pattern of the bridges. The mainplate has a large diameter executed perlage for a subtle look.
Christophe Claret Margot is an exercise of poetic complication. The independent brand excels in mechanical gimmicks with superb implementation. The extensive experience of the Maison is used by other brands as well, Christophe being the inventor and manufacturer of several tools and machines. His creative eye is surpassed only by the finesse and elegance of design and execution.
At its size, the Margot watch is not something one would call a mignon lady’s watch. But its complication with depths and cleverly used materials and surfaces makes it a superb wrist companion. It is not the first lady-oriented piece that I would enjoy for myself. It is one of those watches that one will play, almost in an unconscious way, only to find what message is displayed at a moment. It is a heartful reminder of the love you have for someone.
The bespoke possibilities are available for the right price. But be aware that the watch starts at around 200,000 CHF and jumps to almost 300,000 only by using the baguette setting.
Christophe Claret Adagio is a true gentleman’s watch – elegant but not the most discrete. It is a watch that pays tribute to many artisanal watchmaking skills. Again, Eddy Jaquet is telling a story of passion for music and natural elements. The complexity of the case is contrasted by the simplicity and legibility of the dial. The onyx natural black is highlighted by the well-executed baguette setting. The watch bears a price tag of over half a million CHF but it is well deserved…
Despite its heavy precious stones and materials, the watch is not as heavy as I imagined. One can clearly feel its weight but I find it a nice feel of the emotional and financial values that it bears. Changing the second time zone with a push of the button, respectively the date, makes the Adagio an even more practical beauty. The voice of the gongs is sharp and pleasant, being nicely tuned.
Christophe Claret Margot Technical Specifications
- Hours and minutes;
- “He loves me… he loves me not” (“Effeuiller la marguerite” in French);
- Symbolic ” colour-feeling” on the winding rotor;
- Striking chime at each action of the 2 o’clock pusher
- Calibre EMT17
- Swiss lever-type, 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
- Dimensions: 38.40 x 9.76 mm
- Twin barrels
- 731 components
- 95 jewels
- 72 h (approx.) power reserve
Case & Dial
- 5N red or white gold, snow-set 424 diamonds, 2.2 carats / 5N red or white gold, baguette-set 69 diamonds, 4.8 carats / White gold and slate PVD-treated grade 5 titanium, bead-set 64 diamonds, 4.6 carats
- Top lugs framing a hexagonal diamond
- Ø 42.50 x 14.52 mm
- 3 ATM / 30 m / 100 ft
- Blue mother-of-pearl
- White gold prong set with pear-shaped diamonds
- Blued steel with 3N yellow gold tips / Steel with 4N pink gold tips / Steel with blued tips
- Alligator leather strap
- White gold prong-set with pear-shaped diamonds / Stainless steel screws, set with diamonds
Christophe Claret Adagio Technical Specifications
- Hours, Minutes,
- Dual time,
- Minute Repeater
- Calibre SLB88
- Swiss lever-type, 2.5 Hz (18,000 vph)
- 455 components
- 46 jewels
- 48 h (approx.) power reserve
Case & Dial
- 5N red gold, white gold or platinum
- Set with baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel or with baguette-cut diamonds and sapphires
- Ø 44.0 x 13.9 mm
- 3 ATM / 30 m / 100 ft
- Black onyx
- Alligator leather strap
- Butterfly buckle