Saturday, May 21, 2016

CHRISTOPHE CLARET – X-TREM-1 Red Gold and Damascened Stee Limited Edition

CHRISTOPHE CLARETX-TREM-1 Red Gold and Damascened Stee Limited Edition NEW

The X-TREM-1
Ultimate watchmaking by Christophe Claret

Four years after unveiling the X-TREM-1 timepiece, the watchmaker from Le Locle reveals two new versions in damascened steel, issued in 8-piece limited edition. X-TREM-1, the first of a generation of exceptional timepieces, 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 sapphire tubes on the left and right sides of the caseband, magically move with no mechanical connection thanks to magnetic fields


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 display the hours and minutes.

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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 sapphire 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 six years of operation.

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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.

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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.

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The pleasing aesthetic alliance between gold and damascened steel

Driven as ever by a determination to present avant-garde timepieces, white or 5N red gold and
damascened steel were the metals chosen to make the case of this new version of the X-TREM-1.

A keen student of history, Christophe Claret felt it would be an interesting exercise to craft the case
of the X-TREM-1 – the most innovative and contemporary model in his collection – from damascened
steel produced using ancestral methods. This material was first made in the Caucasus around 2500
BC, soon after the discovery of iron, and subsequently spread throughout Europe as well as to Asia.
Entirely forgotten during the Middle Ages, it was rediscovered by the Crusaders. Weapons equipped
with extremely sharp damascened blades were long considered the finest in the world. After a
further period of neglect, this type of steel reappeared under Napoleon and was used to make gun
barrels around the mid-19 th century. It has been consistently used in Asia, and Japanese samurai
warriors made their katana swords from this material combining the suppleness of the blade with an
extremely hard cutting edge. Its resistance in combat gave them a significant tactical advantage over
their enemies.

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Damascened steel is traditionally produced by layer-assembling two types of stainless steel. Several
successive forging and folding steps result in a piece of metal that may comprise several hundreds of
layers. This extremely technical high-end alloy boasts excellent properties: a homogenous structure,
pure material, as well as extreme resistance to corrosion and shocks. For this new X-TREME-1 model,
the grades of steel used are 316L and 304L. The difficulty lay in introducing gold or ceramic into
damascened steel for the time indication, and the second challenge involved actually machining the
case from the extremely resistant damascened steel.

The many details that make a difference and contribute to giving this model its strength include the
subtle color match between the case, the spheres, the hours and minutes numerals, the tourbillon
age and the Christophe Claret logo.

Each of the two versions is produced in an 8-piece limited edition.

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.

An interesting historical side note

In The Talisman, a romanticized account of the Crusades in Palestine, Sir Walter Scott tells the story of
an encounter between Richard the Lionheart and Sultan Saladin. The two adversaries boasted of the
respective qualities of their swords. To show the resistance of his heavy sword that he wielded with
two hands, Richard sliced through a steel bar. In response, Saladin drew his Damascus steel scimitar
across a silk cushion and “the cushion fell apart without even half sinking under the touch of the
Sultan’s blade. It seemed almost to separate itself.” The stunned Europeans were thinking it might be
a trick, when Saladin gave a further demonstration by splicing in two a supple silk veil that he held in
the air. Walter Scott describes the Saracen’s weapon as ideally sharp and maneuverable, “a curved
and narrow blade, which glittered not like the swords of the Franks, but was, on the contrary, of a
dull blue color, marked with ten millions of meandering lines. “

Technical Specifications

Dimensions:        26.6 x 46.4 x 11.94 mm
Number of parts:         419
Number of jewels:         64
Power reserve:         50+ hours
Barrels:  Dual barrels: one for the movement gear train, one for the time indications
The tourbillon movement and the time indication gear trains each have their own independent energy supply to optimize power distribution and duration.
Escapement: Swiss lever type
Oscillation frequency of the balance: 3 Hz (21,600 vph)
Tourbillon rotates once every 60 seconds
Flying tourbillon inclined at 30° supported by a double ceramic bearing, with cone-shaped pinion transmission
-  Mystery hours and minutes displayed with indications provided
by hollowed steel spheres moving 23 mm inside two cylindrical
sapphire tubes. The metal spheres are driven by magnetic
carriages following a thread.
-  Seconds displayed on the tourbillon cage
-  Movement state-of-wind indication
-  Fast time adjustment is via an integrated pusher on the caseband
at 12 o’clock 
Curvex with sides inclined at 30° angle
Mainplate and bridges in bead-blasted titanium
Open-worked ratchet and wheel
Distinctive features:
Use of precisely-shaped magnetic fields in a mechanical movement
No mechanical connection between the indications and the movement
Winding and time-setting via lift-out rotating “bows” on caseback
Rectangular with curvex profile
Dimensions: 40.80 x 56.80 x 15 mm
Water resistance: 3 ATM  / 30 m / 100 ft
Ref: MTR.FLY11.130-138 Price in Swiss francs (ex VAT): 272,000.-
  • White gold and damascened steel with time indication in black ceramic
  • Spheres:   Black chrome-treated stainless steel
Ref: MTR.FLY11.140-148 Price in Swiss francs (ex VAT): 268,000.-
  • 5N red gold and damascened steel with time indication in 5N red gold or black ceramic
  • Spheres:   4N pink gold stainless steel
Polished rose gold/bead-blasted black PVD-coated grade 5 titanium
Hour and minute displays:
    Hours and minutes are indicated by two 4mm-diameter hollowed spheres weighing 0.100 grams that move past sapphire scales marked with thin Super-LumiNova graduations beneath the sapphire
Anthracite hand-sewn alligator leather or rubber-touch leather fitted with an innovative two-screw fastening system that facilitates strap change and avoids damaging the case
Buckle:      Black chrome-treated stainless steel
Number of watches: 
Each version is issued in a limited edition of eight pieces

Limited Edition of 8 timepieces

------------------------------------------------ - Manufacture Christophe Claret

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