This week at the Baselworld 2012 watch fair, one of the most elite watchmakers on the planet today, Christophe Claret, will present its latest creations: the luxury Baccara Collection of watches designed to show the love of gaming and a very intriguing timepiece named X-TREM-1.
The new Baccara Dragon wristwatch brings the thrills and spills of the casino to your wrist. This newcomer is a perfect continuation to the line of “gaming” watches established last year with the 21 Blackjack timepiece which made a furor on the watch market. With this year’s model, gamblers can enjoy their favorite games: baccarat, roulette and dice.
The Baccara Dragon watch will be available in two versions: with an 18-karat white gold case and with 18-karat red gold one. Each version will be limited to the maximum of 9 pieces. Depending on a model, the suggested retail price will be between 194,000 and 228,000 Swiss francs (from $210,000 to $250,000).
The large-sized 45 mm case is actually a unique combination of gold (white or red) and black PVD-coated titanium. Its round case incorporates an elegant bezel marked with black lacquer-coated indexes. The case is constructed to resist water pressure up to 30 meters (100 feet).
The dial of the new Baccara is made of titanium and gray sapphire, adorned with a dragon motif. Laser cut in a jade or black titanium plaque, this legendary creature and renowned symbol of luck appears to be protecting both the watch and its owner.
Three Casino Games in a Single Wristwatch
The baccarat cards appear on the dial as if by magic. At the 6 o’clock position, the player’s cards are distributed in three small square-shaped windows, whereas the banker’s cards are set also in the elegant square-shaped apertures which are located at the 12 o’clock position. To shuffle the cards, the player presses a pusher located at the 9 o’clock position, which arms a spring, and then simultaneously turns three gold discs on which they are printed. The second pusher located at the 8 o’clock position allows the cards to be distributed to the player. Finally, the third pusher which is situated at the 10 o’clock position organizes distribution to the bank. Every time the shutter opens, for either the player or the bank, a Cathedral gong is struck and this amazingly eye-catching mechanism can be seen through a lateral window set at the 2 o’clock position.
The new Baccara also gives the wearer the chance to experience the thrills and spills of the craps table. A pair of nicely crafted dices are displayed in two transparent windows, built on the side of the case where the gong with a hammer is also installed. Each of them measures 1.5 mm and they can be rolled by a simple shake of the wrist.
Turning over this Baccara timepiece reveals the winding rotor, visible through the anti-reflective sapphire crystal case back and serving as the massive roulette wheel on which an arrow indicates the winning number. Also, the future owners will have the option of having their own lucky number engraved on an emerald set in the timekeeper.
The watch is powered by the in-house manufactured BCR09 automatic movement with two winding barrels. The highly efficient Caliber, built on 40 jewels, consists of 501 parts and it has 6 double sets of ceramic ball bearings.
The impeccable mechanism preserves the amazing 72 hours of power reserve when fully charged and oscillates at the rapid frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
This Christophe Claret’s masterpiece is attached to a black alligator leather strap with a two-screw attachment system that minimizes damaging of the case when the strap is changed. The strap is fitted with a buckle in white or pink gold.
Pushing Back the Boundaries of Horology
A few days are left before the world’s biggest and most important event in the watch and jewelry sector will begin and I would like to present you another masterpiece by Christophe Claret – the X-TREM-1. This newcomer features magnetic retrograde hour and minute indications, and a tourbillon which displays seconds. The overall concept of the watch is simply breathtaking.
We do not have a lot of information about the X-TREM-1 timepiece, so it is better to watch the video and to see a few screen shots, while we are waiting for the watch to be officially revealed this week at Baselworld 2012.
The most intriguing thing about this Christophe Claret’s novelty is the use of two spheres which seem to levitate and move at the guidance of magnetic force. As it is shown in the video, each of the magnets slides up and down two rods and the final result is that they guide the spheres which mark the time.
This visually interesting and technically fascinating newcomer boasts some high-tech parts and systems that seek for new experiences in time-reading. The main principle which this model uses is magnetism. As we all know, magnets are the traditional enemy of mechanical timepieces, so the incorporation of this type of material is quite impressive. In this particular model, magnets are used to create the illusion that the steel balls contained in each of the side sapphire crystal tubes move up and down with no help to indicate the hours and minutes. These magnets are extremely thin.
This high-end tourbillion watch utilizes a magnetic field to create the impression of the hours and minutes hands floating in mid air. The X-Trem timepiece features a flying tourbillion, inclined at 30 degrees, mounted on a three-dimensional curvex titanium base, indicating hours and minutes backwards.
The nomenclature of this model is symbolic: X stands for Experimental, T for Time, R for Research, E for Engineering, whilst M stands for Mechanism. The X-Trem watch is powered by the Caliber FLY11 with full 50 hours of power reserve when fully charged. This advanced mechanism is built on 64 jewels and contains 419 parts. There are two mainspring barrels for the movement. The first one is for the escapement and the second one is for the gear train. The tourbillon movement and the time indication gear trains each have their own independent energy supply to optimize power distribution and duration. The flying tourbillon produces 21,600 vibrations per hour and rotates once every 60 seconds. This Christophe Claret’s masterpiece is housed in a rectangular case with curvex profile. Its modern-looking case measures 40.80 mm X 56.80 mm and it is 15 mm thick. The water-resistance of the case is assured to sufficient 100 meters (330 feet).
This timepiece will be available in three versions: a polished white gold/bead-blasted black PVD-coated model, a polished rose gold/bead-blasted black PVD-coated one and a platinum/bead-blasted black PVD-coated version.
Hours and minutes are displayed by two hollowed spheres with 4 mm diameter each, weighing 0.100 grams. They move past sapphire scales marked with thin Super-LumiNova graduations beneath the sapphire. Time can be adjusted via an integrated pusher which is situated on the caseband, at the 12 o’clock position. The strap will be available in either black hand-sewn alligator leather or in rubber-touch leather fitted with an innovative two-screw fastening system that facilitates strap change and avoids damaging the case.
Depending on a model, the retail price is between 264,000 and 288,000 Swiss francs (approximately from $287,000 to $313,000).
For the past 22 years, the famous French watchmaker, Christophe Claret, has been developing and creating innovative and highly complex movements for various major watch brands. Today, this brilliant manufacturer has its own brand and for the coming years he prepared a number of projects that will hopefully continue to surprise and delight us for their creativity and innovation.