Christophe Claret knows no limit. He masters any kind of complication, and he is especially known for being a huge fan of Sonnerie watches. For all these reasons, no one can predict what will be Claret’s next project. Still, rumours told that he had in mind a trilogy of game watches. And we already had the 21 Blackjack and the Baccara. So it’s no big surprise that Claret now unveils the Poker. Apart from the fact that it goes over any complication created so far in the world of fine timepieces ! Christophe Claret’s imagination has managed to devise the mechanism for this card game and enclose it within a case just 45mm in diameter, for up to three players and the house.
Christophe Claret Poker – First conceived, last unveiled
Poker was actually to be the first of the gaming timepieces launched by Manufacture Claret. While the game seems simple to organize on a table, its watchmaking version is an extreme test and no technical solution had been found until Mr Christophe Claret himself came up with the answer. While the first prototype was working in 2011, it required two years to perfect the intricate complication. Devising the gearing and bringing it all together in a mechanical movement – in other words, orchestrating a complete 52-card game following the rules of poker – is a real feat. In total, Poker packs in 32,768 different combinations, i.e. 98,304 combinations for three players !
Users can immerse themselves in real three-player games of the most popular variant of poker: Texas Hold’em. A game of Texas Hold’em starts with two closed cards being dealt to each player, i.e. visible only to the player. Five other open cards are dealt out in stages: three, known as the flop, after the first betting round; an additional card, the turn, after another betting round; and finally a last, the river. To have the best hand in Texas Hold’em poker, the player must have the best possible combination of five cards from the seven in their hand.
This is how the PCK05 movement came into being. This automatic-winding in-house caliber comprises 655 components, and features two mainspring barrels that provide approximately 72 hours of power.
Poker is the very first timepiece that manages to replicate the game in an automaton watch. Up to three players face each other around the watch. The first hand is dealt by means of a pusher at 9 o’clock. This winds up a spring, which simultaneously spins four concentric discs on which the cards are printed. After a few moments the discs are immobilized at random by dampers. All the discs are mounted on ceramic or ruby bearings so they turn as freely as possible.
Christophe Claret Poker – Can you beat the house ?
Once the push-piece at 9 o’clock has been pressed, the shuffled cards are dealt in windows at 6 o’clock, 10:30 and 2:30. A mechanism of angled shutters makes them invisible to the other players. After this first betting round, the pusher at 10 o’clock reveals the flop. Another push-piece at 8 o’clock then reveals the turn. Finally, the same push-piece deals out the river. Christophe Claret equipped Poker with a cathedral gong, which sounds whenever the flop and turn/river pushers are pressed.
What about the hour display ? The ruby and titanium hands – among the most expensive to make because of the complexity of machining these precious materials – are enhanced by a luminescent coating. The hour indexes are on the bezel so as not to crowd the stage. And, in a final detail that aficionados may appreciate, a breath of air forming condensation on the watch sapphire reveals a pin-up girl… Welcome to the world of the casino !
Christophe Claret Poker – Poker upside, roulette downside
This world of the casino continues through to the back of the watch. The transparent case-back provides a view of the oscillating winding rotor in the form of a roulette wheel. Once activated by one or two shaking motions, the oscillating weight turns for a few moments before stopping: no more bets please! An arrow points to one of the 37 numbers on an inner ring. Did the wearer’s number come up by chance? If so, it may have been thanks to a special key opposite a green emerald set on the case-back. This personalization is much appreciated by those who believe in their lucky number.
Only happy fews will enjoy Claret’s new crazy creation : the Poker will be edited in 4 finishing, with only 20 units in each of them. Price will be between $175,000 – $190,000 depending on the version.