Christophe Claret - Margot , Christophe Claret
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
Christophe Claret - Margot , Christophe Claret

Margot , Christophe Claret

Christophe Claret

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Margot , Christophe Claret

He loves me… he loves me not
The first Christophe Claret complication specifically developed for women “He loves me… He loves me not.” The elusive answer wafts in on a delicate petal, announced by a Tinker Bell-like chime. Behind the game, an enchantingly innovative complication specifically developed for women. Christophe Claret's
Margot ‘picks petals’ with the simple press of a button.
What hopeless romantic hasn’t ever picked the petals off a daisy to discover how their sweetheart feels about them? “He loves me… he loves me not.” A game of luck, or a game of love? With Christophe Claret’s Margot, time is wooed infinitely. On the dial, the classic conundrum comes to life in an elegant and romantic ladies’ timepiece.
The story goes that the Île Saint-Louis in the center of Paris during the Middle Ages was a meadow lined with willows and poplars. It was an idyllic place for sweethearts to stroll and ‘learn’ the depth of each other’s love by picking petals off a daisy while reciting: “Il m’aime… il ne m’aime pas du tout”. Translation: He loves me… he loves me not (at all).
 
Note that while the English version is all or nothing – i.e. loves me, loves me not – the French has a wider range of possibilities: loves me a little, loves me lots, loves me passionately, loves me madly, or doesn’t love me at all.
The tradition has since transcended time and is the perfect allegory for Christophe Claret’s desire to create a watch that is both charming and complex, the ultimate embodiment of women. As a beautiful expression of true love, Margot takes watchmaking savoir-faire and transforms it into an amorous declaration.
Margot is Christophe Claret’s first ladies’ watch complication. It features an ingenious mechanism that helps to ‘predict’ – or at least tries to – one of nature’s paramount questions: “Does he love me?” A simple press of the pusher at 2 o’clock brings the watch to life. With each press, a petal – sometimes a pair of petals, it is impossible to foresee – subtly disappears under the dial in a smooth action, perfectly depicting the delicate undressing of the flower. The eagerly-awaited answer appears
at random in calligraphic letters (in French) on the dial at 4 o’clock: Un peu (a little) – beaucoup (a lot) – passionnément (passionately) – à la folie (madly) – pas du tout (not at all)?
 
At each press of the pusher, a distinct, crystalline chime resonates, aurally signaling the pace of the game. The striking mechanism is one of Manufacture Claret’s signature complications, blending technical mastery with sublime esthetics, and here its hammer is adorned with a prong-set ruby. A caseband window at 8 o’clock allows clear views of it vertically striking the cathedral gong above.
 
Pressing the reset pusher at 4 o’clock instantly makes all petals reappear around the pistil and turns the ‘sentiment’ display at 4 o’clock to an ellipsis (…). The petal display and its mechanism have been awarded a patent.
 
Such an original technique called for ingenious design. The dial exudes romantic femininity: At the whim of its iridescent reflections, the natural mother of pearl dial reveals delicately engraved verses penned by Victor Hugo, one of the standardbearers of the 19th century French Romantic movement. These excerpts are taken from the writer’s classic poem Unité, which features in his compendium Les Contemplations.
 
On the dial, three pear-shaped diamonds at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock poetically punctuate the scene. A pair of gold-tipped, steel hands – each delicately rounded by hand – glides over the 12 white, satin-lacquered titanium petals that tightly embrace the central citrine pistil, its multi-level corolla intensifying the threedimensionality of the dial’s landscape.
 
In perfect harmony with the movement, the feminine gold case has a curved profile to marry with even the most slender of wrists. To soften her silhouette, Margot’s crown is hidden from view, placed on the back next to the top lugs.
Margot features baguette diamonds or snow-set brilliant cut diamonds, depending on the model, with the gem-set lugs featuring different designs that complement the esthetics of the jewels. Snow-set or baguette diamonds also bring a scintillating play of light around the bezel.
 
The display back reveals the automatic winding rotor, a delicately carved, flowershaped carrousel of colors symbolizing sentiments of love, with a central cabochon concealing the rotor’s ball bearings. Each one of the eight resplendent triangular precious stones denote a feeling – hope, passion, tenderness… Which one will line up with the red-lacquered heart when the flower halts its waltz?
“Tout est mystère dans l’amour,” wrote Jean de La Fontaine – “Love bears a world of mystery”. Without a shadow of a doubt, Margot fully embraces these words of the 17th century French poet.
 
Margot blossoms in four limited editions of 20 pieces each.

Technical specifications

Movement:
Caliber: EMT17, automatic-winding
Dimensions: Diameter: 38.4 mm
Height: 9.76 mm
Number of components: 731
Number of jewels: 95
Power reserve:
- 72 hours
- Two barrels
Escapement:
- Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
- Swiss lever
Functions:
- Hours and minutes
- “He loves me... he loves me not” (“Effeuiller la
marguerite” in French)
- Symbolic ‘colour-feeling’on the winding rotor
Features:
- 12 "He loves me…he loves me not” petals to ‘pick off’
- ‘Sentiment’ displayed in window at 4 o’clock: un peu (a
little), beaucoup (a lot), passionnément (passionately),
à la folie (madly) and pas du tout (not at all)
- Pusher at 2 o’clock ’picks off’ 1 or 2 petals while
advancing the ‘Sentiment’ indicator by 1 sentiment
- Striking chime at each action of the 2 o’clock pusher
with a visible hammer at 8 o’clock
- "He loves me… loves me not” reset pusher at 4 o’clock:
All the petals instantly reappear around a pistil, while
the ‘Sentiment’ displayed in the window at 5 o’clock
turns to an ellipsis (…)
 
Case:
Round
Dimensions: 42.50 X 50.15 X 14.52 mm
Water resistance: 3 ATM / 30 m / 100 ft
Material 5N red gold, baguette-set
68 diamonds in total, 5.20 carats
Top lugs with feature hexagonal diamond Hands in steel with 4N pink gold tips
Dial
Pink mother of pearl 4N pink gold prong set with pear-shaped diamonds
Christophe Claret logo in 4N pink gold
Crown 5N red gold
Strap White alligator leather
5N red gold prong set with pear-shaped diamond
Clasp 5N red gold
 
Limited edition of 20 pieces

Who's who

Both arrived in watchmaking at about the same time, both tend to take the roads less travelled, both take care to cultivate their distinctiveness – and yet they had never worked together. It has taken Christophe Claret and Laurent Picciotto, unrepentant outsiders in the new wave of watchmaking, twenty years to find each other.

I'd already noticed his creations when he was still working for other brands, all powered by Claret movements,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “His name would keep cropping up – and always in conjunction with top-level grandes complications.” Gradually, the Claret name established itself and high-flying watches arrived in quick succession, until the Claret name finally became a brand in its own right.

The two brands now complement one another perfectly. Chronopassion is just the right match for the watchmaker, whose creations are as extravagant as he himself is discreet, providing its unrivalled experience in unconventional watches and worldwide renown. The arrival of Christophe Claret at rue Saint-Honoré marks the logical outcome for two independents; champions whose paths meet at the summit. “Claret is so outstanding that collaboration was inevitable,” explains Laurent Picciotto.

From the first sapphire bridges by Claret (“twenty years ahead of their time,” notes Picciotto) to the recent X-Trem-1 and Margot, the master watchmaker from Le Locle has woven a path that successfully combines fun with technical skill and creativity to produce pure poetry. “For me, the Margot is a best-seller: a watch which makes you want to play and that’s also redolent with emotion,” explains Laurent Picciotto. “When you place it on the table, it generates the same reaction as the X-Trem-1: a ‘wow’ effect; the thrill of discovering an outstanding object, so perfected that it’s irresistible.”

Little wonder, then, that Claret’s place at Chronopassion is so natural. It’s that of a coherent brand which has reached full maturity. The watchmaker’s creations can’t even really be termed “complicated” any more; they go much further than that. They explore unknown territory, pushing back the technical and creative boundaries of watchmaking – as do all those selected by Chronopassion. 

Journalist : Olivier Müller

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