A remarkable watch which confounds many of the fundamental philosophies of classical horology, the Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 is groundbreaking, ingenious and utterly spectacular in every way. In harnessing the forbidden forces of magnetism within its elaborate confines, to display time in a unique and fascinating way, it redefines what is possible in modern day watchmaking.
Its name an acronym, derived from Experimental Time Research Engineering Mechanism, the X-TREM-1 is encased in a highly technical rectangular case of 18Kt red gold, black PVD titanium and sapphire crystal, and with glass tubes mounted on either side it has the appearance of a cool futuristic sculpture, and has a dramatic presence on the wrist.
Inside each of the sapphire tubes, a hollow steel sphere quite literally floats in the air. Without making any physical contact with any other part of the watch, each polished sphere rises and then falls, displaying the retrograde hours and minutes, which are marked in vertical gold numerals, on the left and right respectively. They are propelled by two pairs of magnets, which travel on little rails inside the case, and adjacent to the sapphire tubes. The magnets are carefully positioned to point directly towards the spheres, and away from the sensitive mechanism, so although a taboo in conventional watchmaking, they are used to create this extraordinary reimagining of the time display.
With no conventional dial, the face of the X-TREM-1 case features a large sapphire panel revealing the movement and wheels on a black plate, and in its round sapphire domed cavity at the six o’clock position, the superb flying tourbillon which is inclined at a 30º angle rotates every sixty seconds.
Powering this incredible piece, the manufacture hand winding movement is a technical masterpiece. Its 419 components are entirely crafted in house, and its two barrels provide a minimum of fifty hours of energy for two independent transmissions; one for the mechanism’s gear train, the other to drive the time display. Winding and setting are done via two hidden crowns, which are set flush into the underside of the case, with pull-out tabs for operation.
With only eight pieces in red gold and black titanium, the Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 is an exclusive and outstanding watch from one of independent watchmaking’s most inventive companies. It is presented on a black alligator leather strap with folding clasp.