Founder Steven Holtzman has worked with the likes of Peter Speake-Marin, Daniel Roth. Kari Voutilainen, Andreas Strehler and Christophe Claret. As Steven Holtzman said, “In assembling our teams of masters, we travelled throughout Switzerland and Europe, meeting amazingly talented craftsmen. Each master brings a new perspective and his own strengths, so by teaming up these gifted individuals, we can create something very special.”
One such watch is Chapter One Tonneau Transparence Titanium, a limited edition watch presented at Baselworld. It is obviously unusual, with a dial that is rectangular and arched, with four pushers, a crown with another pusher, and two cylinders at top and bottom, indicating moon phases and day of the week respectively.
This is a complicated piece, with 558 components, and a whole set of functions: tourbillon, mono-pusher column wheel chronograph, retrograde date, retrograde second time zone, phase of the moon, and days of the week. The cylindrical indicators for the latter two functions are an extra engineering challenge because they are at 90° with respect to the movement plane.
Though complex, the pushers make it easy to use. The crown is used to wind the movement, and to set the time; the pusher in the crown is used to start, stop and reset the chronograph. The other four pushes are used to adjust date, day of week, moon phase, and second time zone.
It is intriguing to watch, with the titanium case giving it a motor-sport feel, enhanced by the different finish, polished, satin or sanded, and the tourbillon that creates the engine feel. The ‘Transparence’ in the name of this piece refers to the dial, in sapphire, which opens up the movement. The tourbillon cage is secured to this sapphire dial, as are the hour indices. The dial indications are logically arranged, a satisfying cluster of interlocking circles, with time indications and chronograph seconds on the centre pivot, tourbillon at 6 o’clock, retrograde second time zone at 9 o’clock, and 60 minutes chronograph counter at 12 o’clock. The view through the octagonal sapphire caseback is also interesting, with the chronograph bridge in view, finished by plating with four different metals, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium and palladium. Each is engraved ‘One of 11.’ At 62 x 45 millimetres, it’s not small, and it’s very different.
Maîtres du Temps
Rue Daniel Jeanrichard 18
CH-2301 La Chaux-de-Fonds
Tel. +41 (0) 32 9111 717
Fax +41 (0) 32 9111 718
Maîtres du Temps
100 North Wilkes-Barre Blvd.
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702