Christophe Claret impressed a lot of women at Baselworld this year – myself included – with the launch of its new Margot timepiece. Today I am going hands on with this watch to show you why.
Sure It’s Pretty But…
Let’s start by getting the obvious stuff out of the way. Yes, the Margot timepiece is generously adorned in diamonds and yes, it is absolutely gorgeous to look at. I think I speak for many women though when I say that’s not the reason I find it so attractive (although it certainly doesn’t hurt.)
No, what really makes people sit up and take notice is that this a highly complicated timepiece that has been made exclusively for women. Now it may seem like I am stating the obvious here but many of the ‘women’s’ watches currently available on the market – especially the complicated ones – are simply repurposed men’s watches.
There’s nothing wrong with that of course but the important thing to understand is that with this new timepiece Christophe Claret is taking things one step further, recognizing and acknowledging the growing sophistication of female consumers.
And what a step it is! The Margot timepiece is unlike any ladies watch I have come across before. Playful and fun on the one hand and yet extremely complicated and well-made on the other.
As I discussed in my first article, the whole concept for the watch is based around the children’s game ‘he loves me, he loves me not’, whereby a flower donates its petals in order for the protagonist to determine if her true love is real.
Unlike the absolute English version though, the French version allows for different degrees of love: loves me a little, loves me lots, loves me passionately, loves me madly, or doesn’t love me at all, which makes things even more interesting.
Of course the whole idea of this game is that love, like nature, can be quite unpredictable and this is where the Margot timepiece gets really fun. Every time you play – by activating the pusher at 2 o’clock – a petal – sometimes a pair, it is impossible to know – instantly disappears under the dial in a smooth action, emulating the delicate act of undressing of the flower.
Simultaneously the answer to your question appears at random in calligraphic letters (in French) in the little aperture at 4 o’clock: Un peu (a little) – beaucoup (a lot) – passionnément (passionately) – à la folie (madly) – pas du tout (not at all)? It’s all so surprisingly smooth and fluid, making it a real pleasure to watch.
A small chime sounds also sounds with every press of the pusher. This striking mechanism is one of Manufacture Claret’s signature complications, blending technical mastery with sublime aesthetics, and in this case the tiny hammer is adorned with a prong-set ruby. It’s actually visible through a small window in the caseband at 8 o’clock, meaning you can watch it vertically striking the cathedral gong above.
When you get to the end and all the petals are gone you simply press the reset pusher at 4 o’clock and the flower springs back to life as if by magic! You can watch the entire sequence in the video below:
Aesthetically the Margot timepiece is simply breathtaking. At 42.5mm x 14.5mm it’s certainly not the smallest ladies watch on the market, but it still undeniably feminine, with the curved profile of gold case ensuring it sits comfortably even on slender wrists such as mine. At the centre of the dial sits a gorgeous yellow sapphire pistil that seems to almost jump out at you, giving the flower an incredibly realistic feel.
Another subtle touch that I really like is how the crown has been tucked away in the back between the top lugs. It’s still easily accessible but you don’t have to worry about it digging into your wrist and it gives the case an uninterrupted symmetrical profile.
Turn Margot over and the display back reveals the delicately carved automatic winding rotor. Around the outer perimeter eight resplendent triangular precious stones denote a feeling – hope, passion, tenderness, etc., whilst on the rotor itself there is a red-lacquered heart. The game is to spin to the rotor and see which stone the heart lines up against. Again it’s all very whimsical and silly and yet at the same time utterly captivating.
In total there will be four, 20 piece limited editions of the Margot timepiece. The one shown here in the photos is the white gold version baguette-set with 68 diamonds (totalling 5.2 carats!) There is also a snow-set white gold version (approx. 3 carats of diamonds) and the same again of both in red gold.
Pricing for the baguette-set diamond versions in either white or red gold is CHF278,000 (approx. US$314,300), whilst the snow-set versions are priced at CHF198,000 (approx. US$223,850).
Please visit the official Christophe Claret website for more information on the new Margot timepiece.