By Rebecca Doulton
You can tell that Christophe Claret enjoys watchmaking and wants to transmit a sense of fun and wonder through his amazingly complicated timepieces.
Last year, a complication for ladies joined the collection of Christophe Claret watches, the Margot, complete with a game of roulette designed to answer the mystery of whether “he loves me” or “he loves me not”. And this year, Margot meets her sister Marguerite - a poetic watch that tells the time with unabashed romance.
In the very centre of the dial is a white daisy with lacquered petals and two small butterflies chasing one another. The darker butterfly, symbolising the female, is perched on a daisy petal that rotates every hour, while the lighter-coloured male butterfly, representing the minutes, flits around on a slender stem attached to the coloured gemstone pistil at the heart of the dial.
If you remember, the Margot watch allowed the wearer to gauge the intensity of her lover’s passion with five different variants ranging from un peu (a little), beaucoup (a lot), passionnément (passionately), à la folie (madly), and pas du tout (not at all). The new Marguerite watch has ditched the sentimental options and settled on the most upbeat answer of them all. When you press the pusher at 2 o’clock, the three numbers disappear and the phrase “il m’aime passionnément” magically appears.
It’s no fun having to reveal the trick behind this magic act, but I am sure Claret went to great lengths to pull this one off. Basically the dial is composed of two superimposing discs. On the perimeter of the daisy, you can see a metallic mesh with the numbers 3, 6 and 9 printed on the mother-of-pearl disc underneath. By activating the pusher at 2 o’clock, the numbers disappear, time is temporarily suspended, and the text “he loves me passionately” appears under the mesh.
The 42.50mm case on these ladies’ watches is available in white or rose gold, and is decorated with two different types of diamond setting. Known as the “flake” setting, the bezel and lugs of the watch are set in the gold with randomly sprinkled snowflakes of different sizes in soft triangular holes, while the “champagne-set” pieces look as though a bottle of sparkling bubbly has been poured over its surface and settled as diamonds.
However, the show is far from over. By turning the watch on its back, a view of the automatic manufacture movement with double barrels for a 72-hour power reserve and the movement’s oscillating weight, sculpted like a daisy and set with eight rubies, can be admired. If you fancy a quick spin of the wheel to see whether your beau loves you or now has cold feet, place the watch in a horizontal position and wait for the rotor to come to a standstill. The ruby closest to the little red heart on the rim will provide an answer to your question.
Available from July 2015, these new Christophe Claret watches for women will be presented in white or rose gold cases, with either flake or champagne-set diamonds, in 30-piece limited editions. The price in Swiss francs without VAT is 69,000.