“He loves me… He loves me not,” or the Daisy Oracle is a game of pulling petals off a flower, usually a daisy, while intoning the formula that dates back to at least the 15th century as a way of finding out if someone’s love is true. In a fusing of the 21st and the 18th centuries, Christophe Claret takes a page out of the golden age of automata and turns the game into a miniature automaton version that fits into a lady’s wristwatch. Called the Margot, we had a look at it at Baselworld 2014 and its mechanism that “predicts” true love based on the old game of plucking daisies.
The first Christophe Claret complication specifically developed for women, the Margot is the company’s answer to the question of whether the Daisy Oracle is “a game of luck, or a game of love?” Actually, it’s a game of mathematics and a bit of a cheat where love conquers all nine times out of ten. That’s because of Fibonacci numbers; a mathematical progression that flowers and other living things tend to follow. These numbers are mostly odd rather than even, and since common daisies have 55 petals, “He loves me,” will always come up if the flower is whole and plucked properly.
With the Margot, Christophe Claret went for a feminine design decorated with three pear-shaped diamonds at the cardinal points, and a mother-of-pearl disk engraved with snatches of verse by Victor Hugo. Around the bezel are baguette or snow-white diamonds, and even the steel hands are tipped with gold. To soften the profile, the crown is hidden in the reverse of the watch, where there’s a rosette window set with precious stones revealing the automatic winding mechanism for the EMT17 95-jewel movement, water resistant to three atmospheres.
To supposedly find the path of true love, a press of a button takes the place of the pluck of a petal. Press the button at 2 o’clock and one or two of the 12 white, satin-lacquered titanium petals fold away at random by means of a patented movement, while the signature Christophe Claret chime complication, which can be seen in a window complete with ruby-set hammer at 8 o'clock, sounds.
The interesting thing about the Margot is that in the French version of the game, there are more gradations than a yes or no answer, and the Margot reflects this. The French version allows for un peu (a little), beaucoup (a lot), passionnément (passionately), à la folie (madly), and pas du tout (not at all). These are displayed around 6 o’clock. Pressing the stud at 4 o’clock resets the mechanism and the message window reverts to an ellipsis.
The Margot is available in four limited editions based on choice of case and precious stones with a run of 20 pieces each. Unfortunately, the price of true love isn’t cheap at CHF 198,000 (US$223,000) to CHF 278,000 (US$313,000). Source: Christophe Claret