One of the watches that I was most eager to get my hands on at Baselworld 2011 was Christophe Claret’s new 21 Blackjack masterpiece.
Having previewed the 21 Blackjack watch and understanding all of its three gambling game functions, I was eager to see the master watchmaker’s work in real life.
For the first time, a single watch could play blackjack, dice, and roulette – not to mention that this is the first watch ever that could play blackjack.
The design of the watch is polarising, however, some felt that the design left a bit to be desired given Claret’s usual intense attention to refinement. It is true that the 21 Blackjack watch is a very different Claret timepiece but I think it satisfies its mission well. That mission of being a showpiece, a plaything, and a casino floor toy. A watch like this isn’t meant to look elegant and timeless, it is meant to draw attention – just as casino games do – for better or worse.
I like the watch, especially the hands. I eagerly wanted to see those synthetic ruby lined hands. There are actually two options, the hands seen here in red, and onyx hands on the gold version. Christophe Claret took the same type of synthetic ruby material used in mechanical watch movements and made it into parts of the hands. The results are broad, determined looking hands with a bright red edging. I love them. The rest of the dial is all dedicated to the Blackjack game. The face is smoked sapphire crystal with windows showing the cards. The only semi-cheesy part is how it wants very much to be a blackjack table and the (slightly unnecessary to be constantly seen) “Dealer must draw on 16 and stand on all 17” plaque prominently placed on the face.
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