Christophe Claret @ First Complication Specifically Developed For Women

The first Christophe Claret complication specifically developed for women, the story goes that the Île Saint-Louis in the center of Paris during the Middle Ages was a meadow lined with willows and poplars. It was an idyllic place for sweethearts to stroll and ‘learn’ the depth of each other’s love by picking petals off a daisy while reciting: “Il m’aime… il ne m’aime pas du tout”. Translation: He loves me… he loves me not (at all).  Note that while the English version is all or nothing – i.e. loves me, loves me not, the French has a wider range of possibilities: loves me a little, loves me lots, loves me passionately, loves me madly, or doesn’t love me at all.  The tradition has since transcended time and is the perfect allegory for Christophe Claret’s desire to create a watch that is both charming and complex, the ultimate embodiment of women. As a beautiful expression of true love, Margot takes watchmaking savoir-faire and transforms it into an amorous declaration.

Margot is Christophe Claret’s first ladies’ watch complication. It features an ingenious mechanism that helps to ‘predict’ or at least tries to one of nature’s paramount questions: “Does he love me?” A simple press of the pusher at 2 o’clock brings the watch to life. With each press, a petal sometimes a pair of petals, it is impossible to foresee subtly disappears under the dial in a smooth action, perfectly depicting the delicate undressing of the flower. The eagerly-awaited answer appears at random in calligraphic letters (in French) on the dial at 4 o’clock: Un peu (a little) – beaucoup (a lot) – passionnément (passionately) – à la folie (madly) – pas du tout (not at all)? At each press of the pusher, a distinct, crystalline chime resonates, aurally signaling the pace of the game. The striking mechanism is one of Manufacture Claret’s signature complications, blending technical mastery with sublime esthetics, and here its hammer is adorned with a prong-set ruby. A caseband window at 8 o’clock allows clear views of it vertically striking the cathedral gong above. 

Pressing the reset pusher at 4 o’clock instantly makes all petals reappear around the pistil and turns the ‘sentiment’ display at 4 o’clock to an ellipsis (…). The petal display and its mechanism have been awarded a patent.  Such an original technique called for ingenious design. The dial exudes romantic femininity: At the whim of its iridescent reflections, the natural mother of pearl dial reveals delicately engraved verses penned by Victor Hugo, one of the standard-bearers of the 19th century French Romantic movement. These excerpts are taken from the writer’s classic poem Unité, which features in his compendium Les Contemplations. On the dial, three pear-shaped diamonds at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock poetically punctuate the scene. A pair of gold-tipped, steel hands – each delicately rounded by hand – glides over the 12 white, satin-lacquered titanium petals that tightly embrace the central citrine pistil, its multi-level corolla intensifying the three-dimensionality of the dial’s landscape.

In perfect harmony with the movement, the feminine gold case has a curved profile to marry with even the most slender of wrists. To soften her silhouette, Margot’s crown is hidden from view, placed on the back next to the top lugs.  Margot features baguette diamonds or snow-set brilliant cut diamonds, depending on the model, with the gem-set lugs featuring different designs that complement the esthetics of the jewels. Brilliant or baguette cut diamonds also bring a scintillating play of light around the bezel. The display back reveals the automatic winding rotor, a delicately carved, flower-shaped carrousel of colors symbolizing sentiments of love, with a central cabochon concealing the rotor’s ball bearings. Each one of the eight resplendent triangular precious stones denote a feeling – hope, passion, tenderness… Which one will line up with the red-lacquered heart when the flower halts its waltz?  Tout est mystère dans l’amour,” wrote Jean de La Fontaine – “Love bears a world of mystery”. Without a shadow of a doubt, Margot fully embraces these words of the 17th century French poet. Margot blossoms in four limited editions of 20 pieces each.

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