Five years after unveiling the X-TREM-1 timepiece, the watchmaker joins forces with StingHD in launching a daring mechanical “memento mori”, issued in an 8-piece limited edition. While technical strength remains a key asset of this timepiece combining an inclined flying tourbillon with a retrograde hours and minutes display system based on magnetic fields, its aesthetic has evolved. Endowed with a black PVD-treated titanium case, a skull on the tourbillon carriage, and a stingray leather or personalized strap, the new X-TREM-1 – StingHD asserts anti-conformism as a deliberate lifestyle choice. In an additional spirited touch, breathing on the sapphire crystal reveals a skull motif. This somber and radical watch is fatally attractive!
Christophe Claret moves to the dark side of the force with this original variation of the X-TREM-1. Unveiled in 2012 and since interpreted through a variety of limited editions, this bestseller associates the creative horological strike power of Christophe Claret with the trendy signature of the American brand StingHD. A trendsetter specializing in the production of accessories and high-end jewelry in leather and other materials, StingHD has been epitomizing luxury and finely tailored workmanship out of New York for more than 50 years. Mingling unbridled aesthetic power with avant-garde mechanics, the X-TREM-1 – StingHD plays the natural-born rebel. A sophisticated, excessive and extreme watch intended for bad boys, for movers and shakers, for rockers with a penchant for mechanical excellence and contemporary trends.
The X-TREM-1 has always been an anti-conformist by nature, starting with the innovative technical refinement of its retrograde hours and minutes display. 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 six years of operation. The spheres have no mechanical connection with the movement, with each one floating inside the two tubes and creating outstanding horological magic. This technology was developed with the School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD) in Yverdon-les-Bains, and a team headed by Professor Besson.
The entire construction and finishing of this timepiece meets the extreme demands systematically imposed by Christophe Claret. Ultra-light titanium was used for the three-dimensional curvex mainplate and the bridges. The flying tourbillon is fitted with double ceramic bearings to enhance its shock-resistance. It is inclined at a 30-degree angle in order to make it even more clearly visible to the wearer. The hand-wound watch draws its energy from two barrels enabling the use of a sophisticated display without disturbing the rate of the tourbillon, and thus the accuracy of the watch. The first barrel is reserved for the tourbillon, the second for the hours and minutes.
While it has always sought to push the limits of technology, Christophe Claret has systematically sought to explore new aesthetic territory. The most immediately striking aspect of this new model is the entrancing – and almost terrifying – presence of the large inclined tourbillon, majestically placed at 6 o’clock and adorned with a black chrome-plated aluminum skull designed by StingHD. To create this hypnotically fascinating sight by incorporating the ruby-eyed skull within the tourbillon required the creation of a new tourbillon cage – a technical development accentuated by the colossal case of the X-TREM-1 – StingHD. Like a high-powered machine perched on the wrist, the imposing titanium rectangle exudes a particularly potent appeal thanks to a remarkable black PVD treatment. The pure sapphire tubes previously framing the case of the X-TREM-1 and housing the steel hours and minutes spheres have been replaced by black PVD-treated stainless steel ring-bound tubes – thereby creating a resolutely technical look echoed by red lacquered numerals.
A rebel to its last breath
The X-TREM-1 – StingHD conveys its rebellious nature through every last detail. Never one to skimp on daring features, Christophe Claret has endowed the sapphire crystal with a special treatment that reveals a toothy skull when breathed upon. Another element that is bound to delight on-trend bad boys is the fact that the X-TREM-1 – StingHD radiates elegance right through to the manner in which it wraps itself around the wrist. This model comes with two straps designed by StingHD: one in black stingray leather, and the other which can be personalized by its owner. In addition, the presentation box also includes a matching, handcrafted bracelet adorned with a black diamond encrusted skull with ruby eyes. This is an elegant way of reminding the wearer of this watch that time is ticking and that one must remain firmly attached to life. What if there were only a few hours separating the ephemeral from eternity? The answer will be in the hands of the eight lucky owners of the X-TREM-1 – StingHD.