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Best of the Best 2013: Men’s Watches: Complication: Christophe Claret Soprano

After more than two decades of making acoustic watches largely for other brands, Christophe Claret may have struck his highest note yet with the new Soprano model ($520,000), which bears his own moniker. The Soprano overcomes one of the most difficult challenges in the design of minute repeaters by sounding the time with a Westminster chime, the familiar church-bell progression of four pitches, each of which requires a separate hammer and gong. To enhance resonance, Claret utilized extra-long cathedral gongs—a complex arrangement that requires a special system to prevent the individual gongs from making contact with one another as they wrap around the inside of the case. Claret also added a silent regulation system, so that the deep and resonant sound of the gongs—aided by carefully selected case materials—is unimpeded by any additional noise from the mechanism. (954.610.2234, www.manufactureclaret.com)

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