Christophe Claret has expanded its offer of watches that are not only inspired by popular games of chance, but also allow their wearers to play them. The latest one in this lineup of automata timepieces is Poker watch that includes the best liked version of the game – Texas hold ‘em – which can be played by three players. Needless to say, this required the making of an intricate movement that would include all the possibilities that match those of a 52-card deck and the answer for this demanding task is caliber PCK05, a self-winding movement with the three days worth power reserve. There will be four versions of Chritoph Claret Poker timepiece, each of them restricted to 20 pieces. Two of them are with two-toned cases and made of the combination of gold and titanium, while the remaining ones are just from titanium. Depending on the version of the watch, you will have to pay between $180,000 and $194,000 for the latest Chritophe Claret’s mechanical jewel.
Games of Chance as Inspiration
Previously to launch of the latest poker-inspired watch, the Le Locle based brand had other watches with similar themes. Two of the most alike are those that allow their wearers to play blackjack and baccarat, while the company led by the famed French watchmaker also has a piece that enables its wearer to play pinball. When it comes to the games of chance inspired trio, Poker piece was actually supposed to be the first one to be released. However, its release was pushed back by the complexity of the movement. A pair of master watchmakers (with one of them being Christophe Claret himself) worked full-time for two years in order to perfect the functioning of the original movement which has no less than 655 components and which allows fantastic 98,304 different combinations for three players.
How Does It Work?
Now let us take a closer inspection on how Poker watch which is the first timepiece ever to include such a feature actually works. As it has been noted, it is devised to include three players in the game. They are supposed to position themselves around the watch in each of three respective positions on two, six thirty and ten thirty o’clock positions. Thanks to a system of blinds that are incorporated on the dial, each of them can see only two of the cards that they have been dealt. At the start, you should press a pusher at the left side of the case-band which shuffles the deck. This activates the rotation of four concentric discs on which the cards are painted (one of these discs is made of sapphire). These four discs which are mounted on ruby bearing or ceramic stop after a few seconds when they are held in place by dampers. Another press of the same pusher deals two of the cards to each of three players.
After the first round of betting, it is time to unveil three “flop cards” positioned at the nine o’clock place which are naturally visible to everyone, as are the fourth (“turn”) and the fifth (“river”) that are exposed after the next rounds of betting, as the rules of Texas hold ‘em state. In order to show three flop cards that each of the players use, you should press another pusher which stands above the first one. Finally, two remaining cards are shown after the subsequent presses of the third pusher. Any confusion about the functions is avoided since the pushers are inscribed with appropriate names of features. Another neat detail is the sounding of a cathedral gong chime every time the cards are being dealt.
A Spare Roulette Game on the Back and a Hidden Pin-Up Girl Figure
This is basically the explanation on how you play the game on the watch, but this is not the entire story about unusual features of the watch. The sapphire crystal of the watch is designed in that manner that if you breathe just a few breaths of warm air on it, you can see a figure of a pin-up girl on it due to condensation. Finally, there is a spare game on the transparent rear side of the watch. There we have a rotor used to wind the extensive power reserve which corresponds to overall casino theme of the timekeeper. This rotor is in a form of a roulette wheel, the same kind that was used on two similar pieces by Christophe Claret, namely the ones inspired by baccarat and blackjack. There is also a cool personalization option which also allows the placement of a green emerald next to your lucky number. In order to make the roulette game clearer, the watch includes a special mechanism that makes sure that it stops at a precise number and not between two adjoining ones.
Each of these impressive complications is enabled by proprietary PCK05 self-winding movement with 72 jewels and the total number of components measuring to 655. The caliber with Swiss lever escapement operates at the frequency of 28,800 vph. It likewise includes double barrels which are used for its extensive power reserve which lasts for three whole days.
Apart from possessing the poker game, the watch naturally has a timekeeping function as well. It is expressed by two clearly visible central hands which are included on its skeletonized dial with playing cards pattern. The hands are made from the combination of black PVD titanium encircled by precious stones and coated with Super-LumiNova. It should also be said that Poker watch has a round housing whose diameter is 45 mm, while the thickness is 15.95 mm. Moreover, its water resistance is to 100 meters, whereas the attachment of choice is a black alligator strap with stitching in a color that corresponds to the one used on the hands of the model.
Four Versions Issued in 20-Piece Limited Editions
As it has been said, there are four different versions of the watch, each of them restricted to just 20 copies. The first one is with the reference number MTR.PCK05.001-020. This one has its housing, as well as its cabochon crown, made from white gold and black PVD treated grade 5 titanium. Its dial is made of nickel silver while hour and minute hands are made from black PVD titanium outlined with red ruby. Finally, its clasp is constructed from ADLC coated stainless steel with caps made of black PVD grade 5 titanium and coat of arms in white gold.
The other two-tone variation of Christophe Claret Poker watch is with the serial number MTR.PCK05.021-040. This one has its case and crown made from mixture of 5N pink gold and black PVD grade 5 titanium. On its gilt nickel face, one can notice hands with outline made of orange ruby. This has the similar clasp as the first one, with the only exception that its coat of arms is made of pink, instead of white gold.
Two other versions of the timepiece are with housings made completely of black PVD titanium, as well as skeleton dials made of nickel silver. Titanium is once again used for caps and coat of arms on the clasps of both versions, together with mentioned main section in ADLC treated stainless steel. There are, however, slight differences among the pair of models. While the MTR.PCK05.041-060 includes blue spinel for the hands and its cabochon crown, the MTR.PCK05.061-080 utilizes a red ruby. It is also interesting that each of the four versions is made with a different pin-up girl figure.
Christophe Claret Poker is clearly a true masterpiece of mechanics and engineering with its immensely complex feature. It is clearly intended for aficionados of Texas hold ‘em poker or should we say the wealthiest of them, since the price of the watch is between $180,000 and $190,000. However, its mechanism which does allow a proper game of poker could be considered more as a gimmick, and quite an expensive one, since it is very hard to believe that someone will be using the watch instead of a real deck of cards. That is to say, after you play the initial game to make sure that it actually works.