Maitres du Temps has released a new version of its first ever timepiece adequately named Chapter One. The brand’s new version is equipped with a very thin sapphire dial that this time allows the wearer to observe the movement’s function from the front side too. This is especially cool when you consider all the complexity of the watch’s in-house caliber SHC 02.1 whose extensive and to say the least impressive list of complications includes complications such as a tourbillon, a mono-pusher column-wheel chronograph, retrograde indications for date and GMT, as well as displays for moon phases and days of the week which are shown on special rollers that sit above and under the case, between the lugs. With such a host of features, it is not that surprising that the watch’s pink gold round case has the monstrous dimensions and possesses the width of 59 mm and the length of 62 mm. The brand new version of Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence will be issued in a scarce limited edition of 11 pieces which will be sold at the steep price of $540,000.
Chapter One was the first watch made by Maitres du Temps (French for “Masters of Time”) when the brand was founded in the mid naughties. For the initial piece, the brand from Le Chaux-de-Fonds needed something extraordinary, so it assigned famed watchmakers, Christopher Claret and Peter Speake-Marin. The renowned horologists helped the new brand make the watch with numerous complications and of astonishing intricacy. The mere complexity of the timepiece can be illustrated with the fact that its movement includes 558 parts. At the outset, Chapter One piece was placed into a humongous tonneau shaped case and was available in six different versions. The next step in the evolution of the model was fitting its enormous movement into a round shaped housing which was achieved three years ago with a launch of the model that was, just like the latest one, made with a red gold body.
Thin Laser-Etched Sapphire Dial
This brings us to the new “naked” version of the timekeeper which finally reveals its movement from the front side. Made from high precision laser-etched sapphire, its dial is just 0.4 mm thick and consisted of five components. The dial includes circular grained appliqués and white Super-LumiNova indice. Furthermore, the transparent face of the watch by Maitres du Temps is made with a red chrono hand with a counterweight and sporty-styled diamond hands, while its hour and minute hands are likewise luminous.
Just like all Chapter One watches, the latest version dubbed Round Transparence has six indications on the dial and two more on rollers placed above and beneath the dial. The most notable of them is a superbly executed one-minute tourbillon at the bottom, as well as retrograde indications for date and GMT time zone that stand at the opposite sides of the dial. A really exciting feature is likewise the presence of rollers, situated between the lugs, which are used for two additional displays. The top barrel which shows the phases of the moon is made from anodized anticorodal aluminum (the same thing was used for the lower days of the week display) and coupled with painted moon and stars which are matte finished and laser-pierced. It should be said that this kind of moon phase display is the brand’s pattern.
A Massive Movement inside a Massive Case
The main reason for the extreme size of Chapter One timekeeper are the dimensions of its hand-wound tourbillon Caliber SHC 02.1 which is 51 mm long and 31 mm wide. The movement has 58 jewels, operates at the frequency of 21,600 vph and provides a power reserve of 60 hours when fully wound. True watch aficionados with a soft spot for traditional technical solutions will be pleased with the fact that the caliber is a column-wheel mono-pusher chronograph. As for the decorations, the caliber involves hand-beveled cut-out bridges, as well as black precious metal finish for its chronograph bridge.
The massive movement of Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparency timekeeper required a case of the same kind. Its circular housing, which is quite complex itself and made from 96 parts, is 62 mm long, 59 mm wide and 22 mm thick. As for the material, the Swiss watchmaker used 18K red gold with highly polished finish and satin finished on its compound-curve segments. The front crystal of the watch is made from sapphire with a double glare-proofed coating, while the rear one has a single coating of this kind. Each of 11 models from this restricted series bears the engraving which states “One in 11” thus not quite revealing the place of the specific watch in the edition. The final segment of this astonishing piece with an exaggerated size and a flattering number of complications, as well as with the price of over a half million dollars, is its hand-sewn black alligator leather strap which fastens with an 18K gold deployant buckle.
If this intricate piece got your attention, we recommend you to check out the newest watch by Maitres du Temps, Chapter Three Revival, which was on the shortlist for the GPHG Best Men’s Timepiece accolade last year.