Approximately six years ago I visited Essen in Germany with my wife and young child. We were visiting friends for a very special seventies’ inspired house warming party. The occasion was absolutely fantastic and celebrations continued well until the early hours. The next day we visited the Red Dot Museum and were pretty blown away at the quality of the exhibition. In fact we have now bought several Red Dot Award products and still talk about it today. Recently MB & F and Apple netted ‘The Best of the Best’ prize for two phenomenal timepieces. This got me thinking about all the other amazing watches on the market that would also be worthy recipients. Certainly I could envisage any of Christophe Claret’s creations winning this award.
Early this year I visited Basel and descended on Christophe Claret’s booth without an appointment. I was hoping to introduce myself to Alexandra Beurier (head of Marketing and Communications) but unfortunately she had already left the show. Nevertheless I was treated with the upmost courtesy and allowed the opportunity of trying on some absolutely exquisite timepieces. One of these amazing watches was the phenomenal new Allegro.
For a long time I have been a huge admirer of the brand and the immense skills of the owner. Previously I had only seen images of their watches so it was a treat to actually wear some of their timepieces. The Allegro is certainly a great starting point and is everything you would expect from a luxury watchmaker like Christophe Claret. Dimensionally the watch is well proportioned and measures 45mm x 14.11. Generally I found the timepiece was comfortable and lightweight to wear. Ultimately this is down to the elegant case design and choice of materials used in production. The model I tested was constructed from high performance Grade 5 titanium and opulent 18-karat white gold. However there are other versions available in luxurious 18-karat red and pink gold.
Visually the Allegro has a really refined and distinctive appearance. I absolutely love skeleton watches and so I truly appreciate the intricacy of this design. The smoked sapphire crystal open worked dial is a revelation and perfectly showcases the brilliant mechanical elements of this watch. Other features include defined rhodium treated brass indexes and sapphire crystal open worked hour/minute hands. Clearly the composition has been well thought out and the finishing as always is first class.
Beneath the striking façade lies a highly complicated hand winding movement. The Caliber ALG89 comprises 39-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Each of the mechanisms 520 individual components has been meticulously assembled, finished and decorated by hand. Functionally the Allegro features hours, minutes, seconds, Repeater chimes (hours, quarters, minutes) on demand, date facility and GMT indication. The timepiece also has a power reserve of 60 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The Allegro is limited to only 20 pieces (each model) and has a hand stitched black alligator strap. Priced for the watch aficionado at: 268,000 CHF (approximately $271,323).
For more information about Christophe Claret visit the company’s website: http://www.christopheclaret.com