What is it with haute horlogerie brands and professional poker? Parmigiani sponsors Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, a French poker superstar, and Christophe Claret put their money behind top-ranked No-Limit poker player Badih “Bob” Bounahra, gracing their wrists with some major coinage. Bounahra has the 21 Blackjack, a watch that can actually play blackjack, roulette and dice, while Grospellier chose a custom steel Kalpagraph with a hand painted dagger and lily on the dial, his lucky symbols.
Parmigiani and Christophe Claret are two independent brands working at the apex of the field, producing tourbillons and minute repeaters. You might associate them more with opera and polo than the much more rag-tag game of poker. Even bridge might seem a more appropriate and sophisticated choice, a bit more nose in the air. But bridge doesn’t harness the allure of the world’s attention with its bigger than life characters—and even bigger pots to match.
Originating in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1829, according to English actor Joseph Crowell, poker was played with four players betting which player’s hand was more valuable using a deck of 20 cards. [Read more...]