A keen student of history, Christophe Claret felt it would be an interesting exercise to craft the case of the X-TREM-1 – the most innovative and contemporary model in his collection – from damascened steel produced using ancestral methods.
Damascened steel is traditionally produced by layer-assembling two types of stainless steel. Several successive forging and folding steps result in a piece of metal that may comprise several hundreds of layers. This extremely technical high-end alloy boasts excellent properties: a homogenous structure, pure material, as well as extreme resistance to corrosion and shocks. For this X-TREM-1 model, the grades of steel used are 316L and 304L. The difficulty lay in introducing gold or lacquer into damascened steel for the time indication, and the second challenge involved actually machining the case from the extremely resistant damascened steel.
X-TREM-1, the first of a generation of exceptional timepieces, represents a major technical and aesthetic accomplishment: a flying tourbillon inclined at a 30° angle, mounted on a three-dimensional curvex titanium mainplate, equipped with a retrograde hours and minutes display system that is radically different from existing watchmaking conventions. Two tiny hollowed steel spheres, isolated within sapphire tubes on the left and right sides of the caseband, magically move with no mechanical connection thanks to magnetic fields.