The Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 represents a major technical and aesthetic accomplishment: a flying tourbillon inclined at a 30° angle, mounted on a three-dimensional curvex titanium mainplate, equipped with a retrograde hours and minutes display system that is radically different from existing watchmaking conventions. Two tiny hollowed steel spheres, isolated within tubes on the left and right sides of the caseband, magically move with no mechanical connection thanks to magnetic fields.
Driven as ever by a determination to present avant-garde timepieces, rose gold and black PVD titanium were the metals chosen to make the case of this new version of the X-TREM-1. The sapphire tubes have been replaced by cylindrical ring-bound tubes housing mobile stainless steel spheres indicating the time.
The Extreme Complications Watches line certainly deserves its name. It expresses Christophe Claret’s determination to continue pushing the boundaries of mechanical watchmaking, integrating certain fields of research never previously applied in this domain. X-TREM-1 is a fine example of this approach that involves using a system driven by magnetic fields to display the hours and minutes.
The challenge was bold and some might say a little crazy: How could someone possibly think about introducing a magnetic field – the arch enemy of horological mechanisms – into the heart of a watch? The Christophe Claret team has done just that by creating a system where two small steel spheres – hollowed to make them lighter and encased within two tubes placed to the right and left of the caseband – are controlled by precision magnetic fields generated by two miniature magnets moved by cables. The cables are incredibly flexible, made from hundreds of Dyneema nanofibers all contained within an ultra-high-strength polyethylene gel, capable of withstanding tensile forces of up to a kilo. The entire thread is thinner than a human hair (4 hundredths of a mm in diameter). The resistance of the thread has been tested in the Manufacture Claret on an accelerated-wear simulator corresponding to 60 years of operation.
The spheres have no mechanical connection with the movement, with each one floating inside the two tubes and creating outstanding horological magic. This technology was developed with the School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD) in Yverdon-les-Bains, and a team headed by Professor Besson.
The entire construction and finishing of this timepiece meets the extreme demands systematically imposed by Christophe Claret. Ultra-light titanium was used for the three-dimensional curvex mainplate and the bridges. The flying tourbillon is fitted with double ceramic bearings to enhance its shock-resistance. It is inclined at a 30-degree angle in order to make it even more clearly visible to the wearer. The hand-wound watch draws its energy from two barrels enabling the use of a sophisticated display without disturbing the rate of the tourbillon, and thus the accuracy of the watch. The first barrel is reserved for the tourbillon, the second for the hours and minutes.
Christophe Claret considers the creation of each object as a collective challenge that takes shape by dint of passion and perseverance, along with a significant measure of emotions and dreams. He is never happy just to redo something that has already been done. The brand is resolutely dedicated to technological innovation and never hesitates to venture off the beaten track in its quest to offer unprecedented ways of reading the time.