Baselworld 2012 is ready to welcome you with open arms X-TREM-1 – one of the most stunning creations of Haute Horlogerie never signed by Christophe Claret. The manufacture of Le Locle where conceived was going directly into the DREAM FACTORY (note: a special corner of the fair where for several years – as well as Claret – also expose MB & F, Speake-Marin and Urwerk), where, I can not wait ‘ forward to seeing him with my eyes!
It is a flying tourbillon 30° tube mounted on a titanium plate and three-dimensional features of the hour and minute retrograde conceptually different than what you have been accustomed to seeing so far. Two small hollow spheres made of steel, placed in glass tubes sapphire at the left and right of the case middle, move without mechanical connections, thanks to magnetic fields. It seems incredible.
Because X-TREM? What is “extreme” you will see it soon. But it is actually an acronym for: X eXperimental – Time T – R Research – E Engineering – M Mechanism.
In fact – I say a commonplace – not exactly the first thing that comes to mind to a watchmaker, put into a mechanical motion of the magnetic fields, indeed, he usually looks good by protecting it from just one of the major causes that affect isochronism.
With a system composed of two small spheres (pointers) of steel – internally empty for greater lightness – which, isolated in two sapphire glass tubes placed on the right and left of the case middle, move thanks to magnetic fields generated by two small magnets connected in the leads, Christophe Claret has emerged victorious from a “nonsense watch.”
In fact, it is a very thin wire and durable braided silk, similar to that used for surgical sutures. The manufacture said they were tested for resistance by simulating 6 years of trouble-free.
In practice the hands – free from any mechanical connection with the movement, appear to float inside the two tubes. “We developed this technology in collaboration with the Haute Ecole de Gestion d’Ingenierie du canton de Vaud (HEIG-VD) in Yverdon-les-Bains, and the team of Professor Besson. The system is perfect. The magnetic fields were oriented so that they can not in any way affect the mechanism, except the function for which they were provided “explains Christophe Claret.
But there’s more. The initial project, very different from that presented today, was proposed by two master watchmakers Christophe Claret Neuchatel: Frederic Richard and Olivier Randin. Considering the original basic idea, so it has decided to acquire the rights and require the patent.
The system of timekeeping by means of floating spheres, however, is not the only treat the X-TREM-1.
The three-dimensional plate and bridges are both lightweight titanium. Caliber a very complex, in addition, made of titanium. His chest, can be gray or pink gold and titanium, or platinum. It’s produced in a limited series of 8 pieces per model.
The flying tourbillon, provided with a double ball bearing ceramic in order to increase the impact resistance is inclined by 30 degrees, the choice made to be even more visible to the wearer. The movement, manual winding, is fed by two barrels. We have chosen this option because of the magnetic system of timekeeping requires so much energy, as already happens for a normal tourbillon is necessary to use sources of energy constant.
Explanation and technical details (by manufacturing Christophe Claret)
The first barrel is reserved to the tourbillon, while the second is devoted to setting out the hours and minutes. The gear train of the time (first barrel) is governed by the tourbillon, while the one for the indication of hours and minutes is regulated by a special exhaust system, connected to the gear train of the time to research the time information.
The latter is provided with an anchor that every 25 seconds, frees a tooth of the escapement wheel of the system of timekeeping. The anchor itself is driven by a cam attached to the gear train of the time.
At the moment when one of the two gearings exhausts the power reserve of the respective barrel, the escapement stops the operation of nearby. This structure is particularly interesting from the point of view of energy, in fact, the gearings of the tourbillon and the system Timekeeping are independent, thus allowing to avoid any disturbances, optimize the power reserve and guarantee the maximum precision clock.
The Manufacture Christophe Claret, in fact, is used to test and approve any technical innovation. For this reason, all the movements are assembled by hand by the same watchmaker that ensures the technical and aesthetic qualities. Hereinafter, are subjected to a rigorous series of tests at the atelier THF (Test Homologation Fiabilite), in order to obtain a certificate that assures accuracy.
The quality standards of Haute Horlogerie, behind all the activities of manufacturing, also affect the finish and appearance of the timepiece: chamfering of parts built in hand-drawn flanks, polished groove of solid wheels, arms angled wheel skeleton and polished, polished screw heads with the technique of pole-Bloque; cam, bridges, and sinker tourbillon cage with polished technique of poly-Bloque on the visible side.
Christophe Claret run with great care and attention to the finish of every component, designed respecting the harmony and coherence of the whole aesthetic.