Scary for Halloween!
Who’s afraid of the venomous Green Mamba?
Master Watchmaker Christophe Claret has tamed this dangerous beauty and made it the hero of his latest Maestro collection as the Maestro Mamba in a 28-piece limited edition. The sinuous, expertly hand-engraved body of the African snake coils around the movement. For those lucky 28 mortals, it is simply irresistible.
Christophe Claret is a born provocateur; can you see the twinkle in his eyes?
How audacious to use one of the world’s most dangerous snakes at the heart of the Maestro watch? Agile, swift and incomparably aggressive, the green Mamba appears ready to strike anyone who comes within reach of its toxic venom. It is the most feared reptile on the African continent.
Wrapped around the movement, its tangy green body creates a powerful contrast against the matt black shade of the movement. Entwined around the intricate movement, between the hours and minutes hands, the MEMO function indicator and the sprung balance, the Mamba flashes its haughty look with piercing eyes. The perfect threat for Halloween.
It is no surprise that Christophe chose authentic green Mamba skin for the strap and matched it with the eerily green tsavorite gemstone sourced from the largest mine in Mozambique, where they also hunt the Green Mamba.
The Maestro watch was a natural choice to accommodate the rippling coils of the Mamba snake. The original Maestro model was launched in 2017 within the Traditional Collection. The Maestro Mamba has a 42 mm black PVD-treated titanium case topped by an impressive sapphire crystal dome that allows a deep view of the movement and the snake’s sinuous body.
It is the signature feature of all Christophe Claret timepieces to have a multi-dimensional architecture to showcase a wealth of details both technical and aesthetic. The famous Charles X stepped and skeletonized bridges – with 26 interior angles – are a signature of the Brand.
The movement is skeletonised to provide great views of the inner workings and also a contemporary edge to the design. You can even check on the state of the seven-day power reserve by the contours of the mainspring. The hand-wound movement provides approximately 168 hours (7-day) power reserve.
A return to fundamentals
The unconventional date display is effected by two cones at 5 o’clock – one for the tens on the upper part and the second for the units – and performing a semi-instantaneous jump between midnight and twenty past twelve.
The Maestro’s characteristic MEMO function appears between 3 and 4 o’clock. Inspired by the expression “tie a knot in your handkerchief” to help one remember something important, the MEMO is an ingenious mechanical reminder intended for absent-minded users as well as fans of technical gadgets. Whatever daily objective that you have set yourself, the MEMO is there to remind you of it.
In the initial position, meaning when you must do something, a tsavorite appears at 6 o’clock on the side face of the MEMO, like the gem set at its top. The illustration above features blue gemstones instead.
Once the objective has been met, a simple press on the pusher at 2 o’clock pivots the MEMO function, which will display a diamond on its side face at 6 o’clock, instead of the tsavorite. The MEMO will return to its initial position each night in a twenty-minute process driven by a semi-instantaneous jump system.
The latest Maestro watches come in two new black PVD-treated titanium variants respectively fitted with green Mamba or orange Pantherophis snakeskin straps.
These two 28-piece limited editions each retail at CHF 96,000.
When asked what made his watches special, Christophe Claret replied that each of his watches must do more than merely tell the time. They have to do so in imaginative and innovative ways and with additional fun features. The Maestro Mamba certainly ticks all the boxes in this respect!
At this level of haute horlogerie, one often buys into the maker as well as the watch. When it comes down to it, I like Christophe and his cheeky take on the highest plays in mechanical watchmaking.
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine and former CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).