Christophe Claret Poker & Extreme Watches

Poker is yet another demonstration of Christophe Claret's daring know-how. The Poker is equipped with an extremely sophisticated mechanism to reproduce the randomness of the game.

We have already had the Blackjack and Baccara, now comes Poker, the latest addition to Christophe Claret's trilogy of gaming watches. Christophe Claret's fertile imagination has managed to devise the mechanism for this sophisticated card game and enclose it within a case just 45mm in diameter. For up to three players, there are an incredible number of gameplay possibilities. While he revels in taking on the most improbable challenges, Christophe Claret also likes to combine grace with utility.

Poker was actually to be the first of the gaming timepieces launched by Manufacture Claret. While the game seems simple to organize on a table, its watchmaking version is an extreme test and no technical solution had been found until Mr Christophe Claret himself came up with the answer. While the first prototype was working in 2011, it required two years to perfect the intricate complication. Devising the gearing and bringing it all together in a mechanical movement – in other words, orchestrating a complete 52-card game following the rules of poker – is a real feat, one which offers Haute Horlogerie exciting new technical prospects. In total, Poker packs in 32,768 different combinations, i.e. 98,304 combinations for three players. The probabilities have been calculated so that everyone has approximately the same chances of winning.

Users can immerse themselves in real three-player games of the most popular variant of poker: Texas Hold’em. As a recap of the rules, a game of Texas Hold’em starts with two closed cards being dealt to each player, i.e. visible only to the player. Five other open cards are dealt out in stages: three, known as the flop, after the first betting round; an additional card, the turn, after another betting round; and finally a last, the river. To have the best hand in Texas Hold’em poker, the player must have the best possible combination of five cards from the seven in their hand.

This is how the PCK05 movement came into being. This completely original automatic- winding in-house caliber comprises no fewer than 655 components, and features two mainspring barrels that provide approximately 72 hours of power. There are bound to be some late nights! But no need to worry, as well as its gaming functions, Poker has not abandoned its time display role, with two central hands providing excellent legibility.

Four years after unveiling the X-TREM-1 timepiece, the watchmaker from Le Locle reveals two new versions in blue 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.

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 60 years of operation.

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