SIHH 2017: Christophe Claret Maestro. Hands-on Live Pictures & Pricing.

Following a clear and consistent product design strategy, Christophe Claret unveiled the new Maestro at the SIHH 2017. With a name that takes its inspiration by the excellence of the master watchmaker, Christophe Claret himself, this watch with a perfectly domed crystal provides a striking, almost dizzying view of the movement architecture and the famous Charles X bridges. Equipped with a manual wound 7-day power reserve movement, a cone-shaped large date display and a 3D reminder function —MEMO function as Christophe Claret calls it—, the new Maestro is the first Haute Complication watch by Christophe Claret at a more affordable price when considering what haute horlogerie timepieces are going for these days.

With a 42mm case, this new watch is available in grade 5 titanium or 5N pink gold in a limited edition of 88 pieces each. he watches are delivered on a black alligator strap with double folding clasp matching the metal of the case.

The Dial

The dial, like a symphony conducted by a Maestro, showcases the famous Charles X style stepped and skeletonized bridges that Christophe Claret is very well known for. The skeleton-working of the bridge supporting the escapement represents a clever blend of classicism and modernity that affords a chance to appreciate all its subtle features. The balance-wheel with countersunk screws has been entirely developed and produced in-house in blue or red depending on the model.

The visual symphony continues with two series-coupled barrels ensuring optimal efficiency and majestically positioned at 12 o’clock. Here too, the bridges are skeletonized to provide an exemplary view of the blade spring of the first barrel and thus enable the wearer of the watch to gauge the state of the 7-day power reserve.

To make things even more interesting, the new Christophe Claret Maestro features a conical large date indicator at 5 o'clock that is composed of two cone-shaped aluminum disks. While the upper one features what would be the first digit on the 10, 20 or 30, the one below is for the units from 0-9. This patented large date display performs a semi-instantaneous jump between midnight and twenty past midnight. As a finishing touch, there is a natural ruby or a natural sapphire on top of the conical date indicator. To ease reading the date, the date is framed by two red or blue posts in parallel, depending on the reference.

Between 3 and 4 o'clock, the Maestro is fitted with a clever 'Reminder' function. Referred to as Memo by Christophe Claret, the ruby or sapphire topped small cone with the inscription 'MEMO' is there to remind the wearer of something important. All one needs to do, is press the top pusher at 2 o'clock and turn the cone to where the word Memo is facing the wearer. Once the reminder is no longer needed, by pressing the second pusher at 4 o'clock, the cone returns to its original position at night in a twenty-minute process driven by a semi-instantaneous jump system. To be quite honest, a completely useless function considering how it works but nevertheless a nice extra element to praise Mr. Claret for his creations.

Rounding out the impressive architecture of the skeletonized dial and the various elements on it, Christophe Claret equipped the new Maestro with a fully developed in-house balance wheel in red or blue to match the color scheme of the watch. A very impressive touch that no other brand has attempted so far.

The Movement

Turning the watch over, allows the wearer to contemplate the meticulously and exquisitely finished movement. Completely hand-finished following the highest Haute Horlogerie standards, the new Christophe Claret Maestro reveals a level of finishing that few watch manufacturers can claim to master, such as the stepped Charles X style bridges featuring 26 interior angles. This manual wound movement calibre DMC16 is composed of 342 parts and 33 jewels provides a power reserve of 7 days while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the Christophe Claret Maestro wears slightly larger than its actual size and more like a 43 or 44 mm timepiece. With unparalleled wrist presence and with its very unique domed curvex sapphire crystal, this is a watch that took the center stage at the Carre des Horlogers during the SIHH 2017.

We are so pleased to see that 'haute horlogerie' brands like Claret are working on bringing pricing down without compromising on design or craftsmanship.

Sticker Price CHF 68,000 —approximately $67,000 USD— for titanium and CHF76,000 —approximately $75,000 USD— for pink gold. For more info on Christophe Claret click here.