“He loves me… He loves me not.” The elusive answer wafts in on a delicate petal, announced by a Tinker Bell-like chime. Behind the game, an enchantingly innovative complication specifically developed for women. Christophe Claret’s Margot ‘picks petals’ with the simple press of a button.
The story goes that the Île Saint-Louis in the center of Paris during the Middle Ages was a meadow lined with willows and poplars. It was an idyllic place for sweethearts to stroll and ‘learn’ the depth of each other’s love by picking petals off a daisy while reciting: “Il m’aime… il ne m’aime pas du tout”. Translation: He loves me… he loves me not (at all).
Note that while the English version is all or nothing – i.e. loves me, loves me not – the French has a wider range of possibilities: loves me a little, loves me lots, loves me passionately, loves me madly, or doesn’t love me at all.
The tradition has since transcended time and is the perfect allegory for Christophe Claret’s desire to create a watch that is both charming and complex, the ultimate embodiment of women. As a beautiful expression of true love, Margot takes watchmaking savoir-faire and transforms it into an amorous declaration.
Margot is Christophe Claret’s first ladies’ watch complication. It features an ingenious mechanism that helps to ‘predict’ – or at least tries to – one of nature’s paramount questions: “Does he love me?” A simple press of the pusher at 2 o’clock brings the watch to life. With each press, a petal – sometimes a pair of petals, it is impossible to foresee – subtly disappears under the dial in a smooth action, perfectly depicting the delicate undressing of the flower. The eagerly-awaited answer appears at random in calligraphic letters (in French) on the dial at 4 o’clock: Un peu (a little) – beaucoup (a lot) – passionnément (passionately) – à la folie (madly) – pas du tout (not at all)?
At each press of the pusher, a distinct, crystalline chime resonates, aurally signaling the pace of the game. The striking mechanism is one of Manufacture Claret’s signature complications, blending technical mastery with sublime esthetics, and here its hammer is adorned with a prong-set ruby. A caseband window at 8 o’clock allows clear views of it vertically striking the cathedral gong above.
Such an original technique called for ingenious design. The dial exudes romantic femininity: At the whim of its iridescent reflections, the natural mother of pearl dial reveals delicately engraved verses penned by Victor Hugo, one of the standard-bearers of the 19th century French Romantic movement. These excerpts are taken from the writer’s classic poem Unité, which features in his compendium Les Contemplations.
On the dial, three pear-shaped diamonds at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock poetically punctuate the scene. A pair of gold-tipped, steel hands – each delicately rounded by hand – glides over the 12 white, satin-lacquered titanium petals that tightly embrace the central citrine pistil, its multi-level corolla intensifying the three-dimensionality of the dial’s landscape.