Every time we think we’ve seen the limits of what a designer can do in the way of mechanical watch complications, someone comes up with something radically new. Granted, these new complications aren’t always necessary; in fact, they rarely are.
One doesn’t really need to know the phases of the moon, or the tide schedule, but watchmakers enjoy figuring out ways to put these things into their timepieces and collectors love them.
That’s why there’s a bit of excitement over the new casino series of watches from Christophe Claret. These three timepieces are fully functional mechanical watches in gold cases, so from the word go, they’re going to be exceptionally nice wristwatches.
But the models in this series also have unique complications, and we mean unique as in the literal “no other watches do this.”
The three watches in the Christophe Claret casino series allow you to play casino games, as each one features a unique, fully functional game on its face, along with a fully functional roulette wheel on the back.
The three games are Baccara (Baccarat,) Blackjack (21,) and Poker (Texas Hold ‘Em.)
The Baccara watch has three small windows near 12 o’clock that show the banker’s cards and three small windows near 6 o’clock that show the player’s cards. A button at the 9 o’clock position shuffles the cards and a button at 8 o’clock distributes cards to the players while a third button at 10 o’clock organizes distribution to the bank.
The Blackjack watch has three windows at the top of the face that display the dealer’s cards and six windows at the bottom of the fact that display the player’s cards. In addition, this watch (as do the other two) has a fully functional roulette wheel on the back.
The Texas Hold ‘Em Poker watch allows three players to play Texas Hold ‘Em, ad the watch includes a full 52 card deck and all 98,304 possible card combinations for a truly randomb game.
These watches are attractive and astonishingly complicated, and it took the company three years to bring them to market after introducing the prototypes due to additional problems in fine tuning the complications.
Each watch is available in four slightly different configurations and all are limited in production to 20 pieces per case style. As you might expect, pricing is not modest; these watches are all priced at close to $200,000 each.
On the other hand, if you happen to own one, you’re unlikely to ever encounter another owner. They’re rare and exotic and truly amazing pieces of art.