March 15, 2011
by Ariel Adams
A new video just released by Christophe Claret finally shows the entire upcoming 21 Blackjack watch – and it is in full action. So I should probably take this opportunity to debut the watch to you. You are gonna love this one. This latest wild wonder watch by master watch maker Christophe Claret is imbued with three different casino games, and you can play blackjack with it, as the watch as the dealer. It also lets you play roulette and dice.
I first wrote about the Christophe Claret 21 Blackjack watch here with more information on just how excited you should be (and why you can’t likely afford it). Now for the full scoop. Once I get my hands on it I will get your minds dirty with Christophe Claret watch porn. The 21 Blackjack is the third watch to bear the Christophe Claret name – as his past involved being the “inside guy,” making movement for other brands. First was the Dual Tow from 2010, then the Adagio from 2011, and now the 21 Blackjack also for 2011. The spectacular “gamer’s” watch will be part of a limited edition of 21 per version set, and have a six figure price (that specifically is below).
When Claret does something, he does it his way. You can also hear Casino voice favorite Frank Sinatra singing in the background as you watch this timepiece operate and image Claret at the watch makers desk. This watch is a toy, a game for big boys, and a masterpiece among Claret’s micro mechanical and manufacturing achievements. How cool are those hands edged in synthetic ruby?
First the case and housing. The watch is 45mm wide and available in a few material combinations. All models have titanium that is mixed with either more titanium, 18k white or pink gold, or platinum. I believe there are five total combinations, which means that Claret will build a maximum of 105 of these timepieces (to be made over the years). By the way, on the PVD black titanium and 18k rose gold mode, the hands on the dial are not ruby edged, but black ceramic edged (with gold in the center). The case is fascinating, but not Claret’s most unique. It is however a very proper design to go with the theme. There are four sapphire crystals on the case. One over the dial, another over the caseback, and two on the side for the dice and the hammer and gongs window. 30 meters of water resistance too!
The most basic of the three casino games is dice. The lower right side window has two 1.5mm wide die that have been perfectly miniaturized. Just shake the watch and see whether they land. Perfect for craps or some seedy back alley dice toss game (just don’t bet your watch). For me, I am gonna use em to roll a saving throw for my 10th level Fighter Mage. I am interested to know exactly how these tiny dice were made.
On the back of the watch is a roulette wheel. It is actually part of the automatic winding mechanism in the in-house made and designed Christophe Claret Calibre BLJ08 (which co-host John Biggs and I made famous in episode 58 of the HourTime Show podcast). The automatic movement has a frequency of 28,800 bph and a power reserve of 72 hours. It is made of 501 components and the discs for the blackjack game are done in solid gold on ceramic ball bearings (for low friction). Don’t forget, it tells the time too.
The roulette wheel spins as it is the automatic rotor, but here is a little different. The rotor has a minor stop mechanism to stop to a halt in one of the fixed positions when it loses momentum. This causes the little arrow (versus a ball) to stop at a specific spot on the roulette wheel scale. Don’t miss the set green emerald on the rear of the case above 17 between the engraved “Lucky Number” statement. I guess 17 is someone’s lucky number. I think the roulette wheel detailing is gorgeous, and Claret’s integration of it with the automatic winding system is not only efficient, but also clever.
It is however the game of blackjack that will really get people excited about the 21 Blackjack watch. The system offers a total of 884,736 game play combinations. Or as Christophe Claret puts it, “884,736 ways to win or lose.” The basic rules of the house are displayed in the dial of the watch. The dealer must hit on 16 and stay on 17. All of the “cards” are located on a series of printed solid gold discs under the smoked sapphire dial.
Playing blackjack is done via a few simple pushers on the left of the case. There are pushers to deal, and hit for either the player or the dealer (the watch). Each time you “hit,” a chiming mechanism (similar to that on a minute repeater) using a hammer and gong sounds like you are starting a boxing match. As I said before, the hammer (that is labeled with “Hit”) is visible through a window on the side of the case. All Christophe Claret watches involve some manner of chiming element to them as hammer and gongs are one of his signature complications. The watch is really incredible and I can’t wait to play with it. No matter how many times you play blackjack on the 21 Blackjack watch – you are only out the 178,000 to 210,000 Swiss Francs the watch cost to own in the first place.
21 Blackjack tech specs from Christophe Claret:
Movement Mechanical self-winding movement, Calibre BLJ08, twin barrel, 50 components, 40 jewels and 7 double sets of ceramic ball bearings, frequency 28,800 v/h (4 Hz), power reserve of about 72 hours
Functions Hour, minute, three games: blackjack with bell, roulette and dice
Case White gold and grade 5 black PVD titanium; pink gold and grade 5 black PVD titanium; platinum and grade 5 black PVD titanium; grade 5 black PVD titanium, or grade 5 grey titanium. Diameter: 45 mm
Two side windows, one revealing the striking mechanism hammer and bell, the other a pair of dice
Titanium or titanium/gold crowns
Watertight to 3 atm
Dial Titanium and grey sapphire with a plaque decorated with casino-related motifs (card games, Las Vegas or Joker), or black onyx
Black PVD/ruby or gold/ceramic hands
Back: 3D roulette wheel that rotates as the watch rotor moves
Strap Black alligator with a two-screw attachment system that avoids damaging the case
Limited Edition Each version will be limited to a maximum of 21 pieces
Suggested retail price in Swiss Francs: CHF. 178,000 to CHF. 210,000 (Swiss francs) depending on version and case material