There are so many high-end luxury watch brands that it’s impossible to know them all, but one would think that if a watch cost half a million dollars, you would have heard of the brand before, but (most likely) not in this case. It’s not a Cartier, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Ulysee Nardin, Hublot, etc.
It’s a Christophe Claret Dual Tow watch. You may not recognize his name but he’s been in the luxury watchmaking business for a long time, usually producing watches for others. The Swiss watch maker has been referred to as a genius and is the mastermind behind pieces like Harry Winston’s Opus 4 and Jean Dunand Tourbillon Orbital.
This is the first time in 40 years of watchmaking that a watch bears his own name: the Christophe Claret Dual Tow.
In an interview with Elite Traveler, Claret was asked about the technology and thought process behind his collection. This is what he answered:
“We are using very, very sophisticated computers for the design. In fact the software programs we are using are the same that movie studios use. It enables us to take the design of watches to a level that just would not have been possible before, but we still use the imagination and skill of the human being to create an innovation.”
He also uses a “super fast camera”, which “enables the watchmaker to see the watch operating in intervals of two-tenths of a second or a little bit less. We are one of only two or three companies in Switzerland that has an Ultrasonic Linear machine.” Claret has also invested in environmentally friendly machines and this costs money too.
He goes on to explain that millions of dollars are spent on the development of a watch and that really the only way to make a profit is to make about 50- 60 pieces at the prices that he charges.
The Dual Tow was released in a limited edition of 63 pieces. Each watch can be customized by the buyer through the designer’s website. Starting at $300,000, the price goes up depending on which options you choose. The entire case of the watch is available in either white or rose gold, platinum or PVD coated titanium. The watch itself is large; 42.75mm wide by 48.2mm tall. The lugs move to wrap around your wrist, while large sapphire crystals cover both the front and back of the watch, while smaller crystals allow for side view into the movement. The movement is an ultra complex tourbillon with mono-pusher chronograph consisting of 582 parts alone, and 73 jewels.