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Baselworld 2014: Christophe Claret's Margot

The master watchmaker's playful and grand complication designed for women

by David Graver in Design on 27 March 2014

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To commence this year's illustrious Swiss watch and jewelry fair, Baselworld, veteran watchmaker Christophe Claret announced the release of Margot, a magnificent, limited edition, automatic winding addition to the world of haute horlogerie. For years Claret has sought to release a watch of this caliber—developed specifically with women in mind. With Margot, he delivers on that desire and more. With over 731 components and 95 jewels, this piece showcases a grand complication that invokes a childhood pastime while maintaining masterful craftsmanship and class. As playful as the watch can be, it's a testament to a time-honored tradition of meticulous detail work in the field.

"He loves me" or "he loves me not" the watch reads in French, randomized with the push of a button, as petals on the daisy-inspired dial slip away; the result of a complex system of internal mechanics. With the touch of another button, all the petals reappear. While youthful and charming, the complication reflects Claret's incredible imagination. And all the while, it's accompanied by a crystalline chime. To build the facial composition; three pear-shaped diamonds, a pair of gold-tipped steel hands and satin-lacquered titanium petals circumnavigate a central yellow sapphire pistil (the center of a flower). Mother of pearl rounds out the artistic value and composition.

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The display caseback features eight symmetrically placed semi-precious stones, all of which represent a specific emotion. When spun, they coincide with a red lacquer heart, yielding a prediction on the predominant emotion of the moment. It's a beautiful added flourish to an already ornate and refined piece. Inside, a Christophe Claret Caliber EMT17 automatic movement (in-house developed and made) operates at 4Hz with a 72 hour power reserve. The entire watch is quite substantial at 42.5mm in width and 14.52mm thick. It's pretty, playful and demonstrates a staggering attention to detail and thoughtful surprises to delight the wearer.

Christophe Claret's Margot is available for purchase, online, with prices ranging between 198,000 and 278,000 CHF depending on materials.

Lead photos by David Graver, others courtesy of Christophe Claret

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