Positively underwhelming: Christophe Claret’s Maestro

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January 2017

The independent watchmaker has kept things relatively simple with it’s latest timepiece, opting for design and finishing instead of overwhelming complexity.

Positively underwhelming: Christophe Claret's Maestro

Christophe Claret has just informed us of it’s latest timepieces, simply called the Maestro. The sleek watch is inspired by the excellence of the Master-watchmaker, and at first sight it does look very impressive.

The watch is well designed, sporting a very technical and architectural look which includes the brand’s famous Charles X skeletonized bridges. The watch also has a very distinctive 3-D look thanks to the structure of the dial and the dome shaped sapphire. In effect, the glass dome serves as the bezel and provides a novel look at the movement.

Positively underwhelming: Christophe Claret's Maestro

The brand has also made a name for itself with its unique and complicated watches, and this hand-finished model is no different.

One complication is the MEMO function, a mechanical reminder intended for those of us prone to absent-mindedness. Whatever the daily objective the owner has set himself, the function – which is also adorned with a sapphire or ruby and a diamond - can be set to provide a reminder via the corresponding crown. Another press on the pusher pivots the MEMO function, which returns it to its initial position.

Positively underwhelming: Christophe Claret's Maestro

In another design twist, the watch has a unique date function at 5 o’clock. The patented display is composed of two cone-shaped aluminum disks, one for the tens on the upper part and the second for the units. As an added bonus, it is also set with a natural ruby or a natural sapphire on top.

These functions are possible thanks to a hand-wound movement that promises up to 7 days of power reserve. But despite their novelty, this still remains one of the brand’s less complicated watches.

Positively underwhelming: Christophe Claret's Maestro

Indeed, the Maestro can be said to be somewhat underwhelming. But in this case I mean underwhelming in the positive sense. Let me explain.

The price, for one, is underwhelming in the good way. The independent watchmaker has rarely put out a men’s watch that costs less than six digits. But the price for the titanium model of the Maestro is 68,000 Swiss francs. The 5N pink gold model, on the other hand, is about 10% more expensive, at 76,000 Swiss francs. Both versions are issued in 88-piece limited editions.

Positively underwhelming: Christophe Claret's Maestro

In terms of size, the Maestro is also a bit less than what you might expect from today’s watches. With a diameter of only 42mm, this is actually the smallest watch currently in the Christophe Claret collections.

In short - it packs a big punch both aesthetically and mechanically - in a relatively small package. And all that at a positively underwhelming price.