Master watchmaker shows piece inspired by astronomical motion - with a price to match

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 September, 2010, 12:00am

With some Christian philosophers having compared the universe to a watch mechanism, it seems appropriate that master-watchmaker Christophe Claret should find inspiration from celestial motion. The Frenchman, from his castle, has observed planetary movements, and translated them into his timepieces.

Last week he was in Hong Kong for the first time to introduce the DualTow single-pusher planetary-gear chronograph, which he designed to mark the 20th anniversary of his eponymous company, based in Switzerland. (He is pictured second from left at Elegant Watch & Jewellery on Friday, with, left to right, Samuel Lee, chief executive of the retailer, actress Rabee'a Yeung Lok-ting, and Phil Ogle, commercial director of Christophe Claret.)

Claret walked his guests through a presentation of the inner workings of his design. Some people found a lot of this over their heads, but the DualTow's self-contained motions, expanding and contracting as if driven by mysterious gravitational forces, were mesmerising. Nine chronographic levers move around a single column, 'like the blossoming of a mechanical flower', Claret said.

An edition of 68 commemorative DualTow watches are available at a correspondingly astronomical 500,000 Swiss francs (HK$3.8 million) each.