By Osheen Arakelian
Following Adagio and Soprano, Christophe Claret presents his latest musical masterpiece, Allegro. A master watchmaker with 25 years of experience, Christophe Claret has combined the finest horological complications in Allegro: minute repeater with cathedral gongs, GMT, big date, small seconds and day/night indicator. With this new timepiece, the conductor of this musical horological orchestra from Le Locle proves he is at the zenith of his art.
Christophe Claret has continued his pursuit of complicated and complex timepieces that is evident in his previous works including the gaming range, the X-TREM-1 series, the beautiful Margot ladies watch and lastly his beautiful musical masterpieces that the Allegro will be a part of. The story of Christophe Claret and his love of minute repeaters go back to the year of 1989 when the first caliber bearing the name Christophe Claret was made and introduced to the world. This began a drive and a passion to continue developing and advancing the art with new techniques and evocative names like Adagio, Soprano and now the Allegro. Allegro honors the traditions on the one hand, while the other is resolutely turned towards modernity and innovation without compromising the underlying character that is, Christophe Claret.
Let’s get to the good stuff now that we have some background information to give you a bit of background behind the genius. Allegro’s caliber is regulated by a 3 Hz (21,600 vibrations per hour) balance, and powered by a single mainspring barrel providing the timepiece with a 60-hour power reserve. The minute repeater is activated by a traditional slide mechanism at 10 o’clock on the left side of the case. Part of the repeater mechanism, the rake, is visible through an opening on the lower half of the dial and offers a beautiful view of the inner workings of the minute repeater. What really pushed the boundaries was using a balance wheel with counter-sunk screws, that despite being much more complex, offers a near perfect inertia/weight ratio and ease of regulation and balance for the movement. The Cathedral gongs that are a Christophe Claret specialty circle the movement twice and is manufactured using traditional drawn steel, as well as assembling and tuning.
However, Allegro’s complications don’t just finish with the minute repeater. The timepiece also has a GMT/second time zone displayed at 3 o’clock on the dial and is adjusted by a pusher located at 4 o’clock. Complementing the GMT is a day/night indicator and even a big date at 12 o’clock. Rounding off the dial beautifully. Lastly, small seconds are displayed in a subdial at 9’oclock.
The same workings you would expect to find from Christophe Claret are meticulously detailed and aesthetically brilliant. The movement is bead-blasted and rhodium-plated nickel silver for the white gold version or pink gold for the pink gold version and is finished within a 45mm metal case. Sapphire crystal is utilized for both the dial side and caseback so the Charles X type skeletonized bridges are beautifully visible to the eye. The Charles X type bridge is also found on the balance cock and finished the movement with nothing less than expected from someone as meticulous as Christophe Claret. But none of that is as cool as seeing Allegro sitting in the bottom of a fish pond, completely water tight and water resistant.
Beautiful as always from Christophe Claret and a real winner from Baselworld 2015 in our books. For more info, please visit christopheclaret.com
Osheen Arakelian – Contributing Editor
Drawing on a lifelong love of horology and a more recent introduction to appreciation of fine whisky, Osheen brought the two together with watch & whisky. He is proprietor of the site, which covers everything related to watches and whisky. In between completing a degree in commercial law and supporting a rich social life, he is out and about attending all the latest watch and whisky events Sydney has to offer. His passion has also taken him around Australia attending a number of events and he hopes to continue his career in the watch industry on a more serious level after he graduates. Read his articles here.