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Hi all, this is my first real article about Baselworld 2012. My busy schedule, daytime work and family life have kept me from finding the right time to clear my mind and focus on what I saw and experienced at Baselworld.

First of all, I must say that every year I look forward to Baselworld, not only to see new brands, new models, etcetera, but also to catch up with friends and make new ones. We must not forget all the people behind the brands, the people that make things happen and take the time to get to know you.

Ok, this year I promised myself NOT to have the tight schedule I had in the last couple of years. I therefore did NOT schedule any meetings around lunch time, and I did NOT schedule any meetings before 10AM. This is because my hotel is 35 km from Basel and traffic at the border is simply crazy. There is always a cue, no matter what EU agreement has been made with the Swiss. It's almost as if they want you to buy as much Swiss watches as you like, but they don't want you to come into the country :)

Long story short ... I did not succeed with keeping my appointment list as small as possible. While walking around I met with so many people, I HAD to meet. New shoes are already ordered, because the ones I was wearing were totally worn out at the end of the show (kidding, but it is quite an achievement to walk that many miles during the days I attended the show. You can ask anyone else and they will all tell you the same story :))

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My first day at Baselworld was on Wednesday, March 7th, press day. It's the most relaxing and convenient time to walk around, get the pre-registered press card and meet with people. Like every year there are already lots of press conferences to chose from. I chose Christophe Claret's launch of the X-TREM-1.

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Mr. Christophe Claret first presented the history of the brand and told about his fascinations, like the one he has for gambling. Not fascinated by the games himself, he is not a gambler, but fascinated by the excitement of gambling, brought him to create the BACCARA:


The crystal of the BACCARA shows the symbol of luck, which will appear if you blow over the crystal. The symbol can be customized for the customer, in case you would like to have a different symbol shown up. Christophe announced a new watch next year with a new card game on the dial. He would not tell us what card game that will be, but it will again be an amazing piece of art and technology.

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Then he showed all the guests the new creation for this year: the X-TREM-1:


It took 3 people to work for 4 months to make the video shown above. It took 2 years to create the watch! The extremely sophisticated watch not only houses a flying tourbillon, it also holds a sapphire tube system to tell the time. The "hand" for the minutes is held by a magnetic field which was developed in a collaboration with a technology company. One of the challenges was to, being a magnetic field, it should not influence the working of the movement. they obviously succeeded. The tubes the "balls" are in, are made from sapphire tubes. Another achievement beyond imagination.

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Christophe Claret (left) shows the X-TREM-1 to Olivier Muller (right)
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The X-TREM-1 is limited to 8 pieces and costs CHF 260,000 in yellow gold and CHF 268,000 in white gold.

Related link: Christophe Claret. Manufacture d'horlogerie. Mouvements à grandes complications.
 

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Fascinating haute hologerie. Really interesting piece that I would happily wear - more that I can say about a lot of uber high-end brands. Great conversation pieces too (though probably best not to disclose the RRPs :) )

Thanks for sharing!
 
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