Christophe Claret's X-TREM-1, is one of those watches where your mind needs to wrap around the idea that a magnetic field is the one working behind the scenes to display the hours and minutes. While horological fans understand that magnets and mechanical timepieces don't go well together, Christophe Claret decided to do the impossible by mixing them in one amazing horological complication. The X-TREM-1 ref. MTR.FLY11.100-108 features an 18K white gold and grade 5 titanium case with white gold metalized numerals and a tourbillon case at 6 o'clock. This timepiece is as visually striking as it is technically innovative. Christophe Claret has always focused on developing original timepieces incorporating the latest technological innovations. The brand is known for pushing the boundaries of mechanical watchmaking and straying away from the beaten horological path. First presented in 2012, X-TREM-1 is a testament to this endeavor and represents a totally new way of telling the time.
The rectangular case on the X-TREM-1 in white gold measuring 40.80 mm x 56.80 mm x 15 mm, displays hour and minutes by means of two tiny hollowed steel spheres isolated within sapphire tubes on both sides of the caseband. The Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 is equipped with a flying tourbillon which is inclined at 30° and mounted on a convex titanium mainplate while supported by a double ceramic bearing, with cone-shaped pinion transmission. The flying tourbillon rotates a full turn every 60 seconds.
The whole mechanism is revolutionary: the two spheres —which appear to be floating in their respective tubes and weighing 0.10 grams each— are controlled by magnetic fields generated by two magnets moved by ultra-thin surgical silk thread. Thanks to the magnetic fields generated by the magnets, the spheres have no mechanical connection to the movement and float inside the tubes, as if by magic. Crucially, the magnetic fields are precision-focused so that they have no effect whatsoever on the movement —apart from the task assigned to them, which is to display time in an incredibly original way.
The Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 ref. MTR.FLY11.100-108 just like its other counterparts, is only available in a limited edition of eight pieces. Yes ladies and gentleman, only eight lucky watchlifestylers can be the proud owners of such an amazing timepiece.
The X-TREM-1 is powered by the Christophe Claret manual winding calibre FLY11 composed of 419 parts, 64 jewels, dual barrels —one for the movement gear train and the other for the time indicators— and a flying tourbillon. When fully wound, this calibre provides a power reserve of 50 hours while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph. Additionally, the open barrel acts as movement state-of-wind indicator that when the movement is fully wound the spring is centered in the barrel.
Winding and time setting functions are performed via the two lift-out rotating bows on the case back. To wind or set the watch, one only needs to lift the handle up to proceed with the winding and setting functions.
This exceptional timepiece fitted with mystery hours and minutes displayed on each side of the case is fitted with a matching black hand-sewn alligator leather strap with gray contrast stitching. The strap is secured to the case with an innovative two-screw fastening system that facilitates strap change and avoids damaging the case. The strap is equipped with a titanium folding clasp with white gold Christophe Claret logo insert.
On the wrist, just like with all other Christophe Claret timepieces we've reviewed, the wrist presence is out of this world. Regardless of the 18K white gold on this watch, the watch wears light and quite comfortably. Even if you happen to have a wrist smaller than 7.25" —but not in the 6.5" range—, the tonneau-shaped case will help the watch wrap around your wrist and fit just perfectly.
Sticker Price $268,000 USD. For more info on Christophe Claret click here.