A Look at the Christophe Claret Magicafiore Watch

Only Watch 2017, the biennial sale of one-of-a-kind timepieces to support a muscular dystrophy charity, is just days away.  Off the heels of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona setting a new world record sale price of ~$17.8 million, the high end watch market looks strong and Only Watch 2017 will surely not disappoint.  Particularly special pieces from the usual suspects like Patek and FP Journe which will no doubt garner the lion’s share of the headlines.  However, when it comes to truly unique and one-of-a-kind, how about this watch here.  When I saw this Magicafiore (“magic flower” in Italian) made by Christophe Claret my jaw really dropped. This piece certainly won’t be the top seller, but boy is it a special looking piece.  So beautiful and intricate and miniature and delicate.  Have a look for yourself!

For the third consecutive year, Christophe Claret is proudly taking its place alongside the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy (AMM) and donating a timepiece to Only Watch for its 7th edition: Magicafiore, an exceptional and one-of-a-kind ladies’ watch.

The Christophe Claret Magicafiore Watch is inspired by the Marguerite watch and is a unique floral marvel stemming from a blend of fine craftsmanship and aesthetic creativity.  At the heart the watch is a delicate 3D depiction of a cherry blossom.  Each petal is first manually sculpted and coated with white lacquer. The blue enameled center of the flower features a pistil topped with a blue sapphire and stamens represented by 28 emeralds, each topped with a white gold rod bent and adjusted by hand.

Christophe Claret then adds invites two hand-engraved and green lacquered dragonflies, featuring wings enhanced by sky blue SuperLumiNova, to mark the passing of time. One is perched on a flower petal that rotates every hour.   The other one, fitted at the end of a stem attached to the center of the flower, literally flutters around the white mother-of-pearl dial, thereby playing the role of minutes hand.

The white gold case is adorned with 59 blue sapphires and 15 marquise-cut green emeralds which symbolize the leaves of the cherry tree.

The visual enchantment continues via second dial display.  One need only press on the pusher at 2 o’clock to make the 3/6/9 Arabic numbers disappear to reveal the phrase specially created for Only Watch: “Pour l’amour de la vie” (For the love of life).  The watch can actually display any message requested by the owner, in the desired language, with a limited number of characters.  In developing this optical illusion game, Christophe Claret drew inspiration from the famous “Wow!!” magic trick, which has never before been incorporated into a watch. The changeover of the two dials is achieved by superimposing two disks: the metallized transparent sapphire upper disk bearing a mosaic of transparent squares rotates over the fixed mother-of-pearl lower disk overlaid with another pad-printed blue varnished mosaic incorporating the text and the numerals. Releasing the pusher makes the hour display reappear instantly.

But wait, yes, there is more!  The sapphire caseback provides an opportunity to admire the movement’s oscillating weight sculpted like a flower and set with eight precious stones (4 emeralds and 4 blue sapphires).  At will, the owner can indulge in the “He loves me… he loves me not” game, the simplified English version of daisy petals, by nudging the oscillating weight to spin for a few seconds prior to standing still. The stone closest to the red-lacquered heart provides the response : an emerald with the indication “yes” or a blue sapphire with the indication “no” in the center.