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Baselworld Daily News | March 19, 2016 - Christophe Claret / Ressence / HYT

44 WATCHES DA ILY N E W S SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2016 EXTREMELY DAMASCUS T HE LO OK OF CHRIS T OPHE CL A RE T’S NE W X-T REME-1 IS M AGNE T IC T H ANKS T O DA M A SCUS S T EEL RE SSENCE CRE AT E S T HE F IRS T MECH ANICAL WAT CH T H AT IS PERF EC T LY LEGIBLE UNDER WAT ER F ROM AN Y ANGLE by Ian Skellern DESIGNER DIVER by Elizabeth Doerr T he Type 5 by Ressence features the same main objective as all of the watches created by founder Benoît Mintiens: to express the time immediately and legibly. The catch on Ressence watches is that it is achieved via a handless time display housed inside a “bubble” crafted in anti-reflective sap- phire crystal. The new Type 5 takes this thought even deeper – underwater, in fact: Ressence presents its first diver’s watch, a timepiece that can be read off Palace 3E X-Trem-1, Christophe Claret. T here is something attrac- tive about contrasts like denim and lace and fire and ice, and now, thanks to the new X-Trem-1, we can add gold and steel to that list. Ever since launching his eponymous brand in 2009 with the revolutionary DualTow, Christophe Claret has contin- ued to amaze with both micro-mechanical ingenuity and artistic sensibility in equal measure. And perhaps no Christophe Claret timepiece reflects this more than the X-Trem-1, which first launched in 2012. While thoroughly grounded in the skills and techniques of traditional haute horlogerie from his years working in restoration, Claret has used his knowledge as a springboard from which to advance watchmaking well into the 21st century. And nothing motivates Claret’s creativity more than creating a timepiece that the rest of the industry believes to be impossible. Beginning with the rubber belt indications on the DualTow, this continued with the casi- no-inspired Blackjack (you can actually play cards on the watch with other peo- ple) and the high precision detent escapement in the Maestoso. Overcom- ing the challenges involved in creating those timepieces appears relatively rea- sonable compared to the X-Trem-1, which incorporates something that every watch- maker and savvy watch collector usually tries to avoid at all costs: magnetism. Magnetic fields are usually detri- mental to mechanical watches because the metal hairspring in the balance, which is ultimately responsible for pre- cision, can become magnetised. This causes its coils to stick instead of freely breathing in and out. Assuming that it hasn’t been dropped or shocked, if a watch suddenly starts gaining (or losing) a lot of time each day, then it has likely become magnetised. Luckily, demag- netising is a quick fix, but, still, it’s better to avoid problems rather than fix them afterwards. Small magnets in Claret’s X-Trem-1 pull tiny steel balls along sapphire crys- tal tubes on either side of the curvex case. There is absolutely no mechanical connection between the movement and the time displays, and the magnetic fields are precisely focused so as not to affect the hairspring. The ball on the left indicates minutes, that on the right hours. But that’s not all: the X-Trem-1 also features a 60-second tourbillon, and just to make things more interesting it’s an inclined flying tourbillon. The hour and minute ball indications are both retrograde, and there is also a quick-set pusher for the hours. But as interesting as the X-Trem-1 movement is all by itself, the case is worth a close look as well. Claret calls it a “curvex” case because it comfortably wraps around the wrist (as does the movement inside). There is little ques- tion that the form and architecture of the X-Trem-1 case looks great, but this new blend of Damascus steel with either white or red gold (each limited to eight pieces) really adds a new dimen- sion to this groundbreaking timepiece. The true art of making Damascus steel, which was used for fine swords and prized for the plasticity of the metal and it’s distinctive “flowing water” pat- terns, was largely lost over the centuries. Today, Damascus steel is created by painstakingly blending layers of differ- ent metals and fusing them together at high heat. And while the traditional look of Damascus steel is very attractive all by itself, it is even more alluring when jux- taposed with precious gold in the futur- istic Christophe Claret X-Trem-1. Palace 1B Specialising in complicated movements, Christophe Claret is one of the most talented watchmakers of our time. H Y T’S RE VOLU T ION A R Y F LUID DISPL AY T ECHNOLO GY E VOLV E S F ROM ENGINEERING T O A R T IN A “BA D” WAY F our short years. That’s how long it’s been since HYT first burst onto the scene at Baselworld 2012 with the incredible H1 featuring revolutionary time displays created by fluids in capillary tubes. But HYT hasn’t relaxed on its liquid laurels: in 2013, H1 was followed by the even more complex H2, then 2015 saw the launch of both the imposing H3 and something a bit more − in fact, quite a bit more − unu- sual: a Skull watch with liquid display. Baselworld 2016 sees HYT present the Skull Bad Boy and H1 Full Gold, both timepieces offering much more than first meets the eye. The H1 Full Gold features a case in 18k red gold (so no surprise there), but it’s the small details regarding the liquid display that intrigue: the capil- lary tube is set into the bezel and the liq- uid is black, both firsts for HYT. And because the black fluid cannot be easily seen at night, the capillary trough is lined with SuperLuminova so in the dark it sil- houettes the fluid display in green light. The Skull Bad Boy is even more unu- sual and that’s not counting the massive BAD BOY by Ian Skellern skull itself! Hours are indicated by black fluid circumnavigating the perimeter of the skull, the power reserve indicator is the right eye socket, which gets darker as the 65-hour power reserve winds down, and the seconds turn in the left eye sock- et. And the minutes? There aren’t any. You can estimate the time to the nearest ten- minute-interval marking using the hour display. HYT is trying to blow our minds! Palace 3A Skull Bad Boy, HYT. under the sea from any angle, unlike conventional diver’s watches, which need to be viewed straight on in order to see the displays. This is achieved by cancelling out what is known as “Total Internal Reflec- tion”, which makes the sapphire crystal a mirror underwater. To achieve this, the entirety of Ressence’s automatic Calibre ROCS 5 (Ressence Orbital Convex System) is completely immersed in 37.5 millilitres of oil. The oil compensates for underwater pressure since it cannot be compressed and also ensures that the movement’s components are constantly lubricated. The titanium case – available in natural colour or DLC-coated for a stealth look – ensures maximum water resistance with its Compression Lock System, which locks and compresses the gasket. It has two positions: lock and set. Extra-strong blue and green Super- Luminova-coated indications make an optimal read-off possible both day and night, while the purity of the design is accentuated by the absence of a conven- tional crown. Type 5, Ressence.

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