The Art of Watchmaking – an exclusive interview with Christophe Claret

In an exclusive interview with CPP-LUXURY.COM, luxury watchmaker visionary Christophe Claret shares his insights on the latest industry updates.

How would you define luxury nowadays?

Luxury is first of all for me to be able to spend time with my wife and my children.

However, if we go back to watchmaking, I also consider luxury as being able to realize my creative dreams and to satisfy collectors.

Creativity and innovation are an integral part of the DNA of your brand. How do you manage to stay relevant and desirable to your customers?

I think that human creativity has no limit. As long as I can satisfy my customers, I think I will remain relevant and desirable to them.

How have you been able to maintain exclusivity?

I think that when you are very creative and come up with new projects, other brands may copy your ideas. It’s all about being the first and gaining the maximum amount of customers before the competition comes.

What is the profile of your consumer?

It is very varied, but I would say that a good majority is customers who are looking for very innovative or very creative Haute Horlogerie watches and who are passionate about the artistic side of what we do.

What is the inspiration behind the story of each timepiece you create?

I find my inspiration everywhere except in watchmaking: nature, poetry, magic, antiquities, aerospace, automotive, mechanics, etc.

I recently visited the new Bugatti Veyron production factory and was extremely surprised to see the extreme similarity between their company and mine vehicle design and assembly and the similarity of our end customers’ profile.

To what extent your creations are about emotions and about the surprise factor?

When I create a new watch, it is extremely important that there is a coherence between technical and aesthetics. This is why I am personally involved in the development but also in the aesthetics of each component of the watch. Another important element, in order to transmit the emotion of the watches, is that we realize our own movies in our info-graphic department. These movies allow to discover our new creations but first of all to transmit emotion and to understand through these images the various complications without any technical explanation.

To do this, 5 months of work are needed to create two minutes of a movie for which I am personally involved.

Is there a timeless factor when it comes to design? Tell us more.

I have been working in high complications movements for more than 30 years. I created high complication movements for a total of 65 major Swiss watch brands. I have always tried to anticipate the needs of the watchmaking customers; sometimes I was too much ahead of the market. Of course, the design evolves, whether in terms of size, thickness and style. It is important to always be very attentive to these evolutions but especially to anticipate them.

Which do you still consider as unsurpassed challenges in mechanical watchmaking?

I often say “In watchmaking everything is done, everything remains to be done”. I think it answers that question well.

What are the most efficient marketing tools for a brand such as yours today?

I think that for a brand such as Christophe Claret, the most effective marketing tools to date are the social networks, but also the movies we make for each of our new calibers and of course our personal presence on the markets with the collectors.

What should we expect from your launches at SIHH 2018?

Emotion, surprise and beauty.