3 Things To Know About the Maîtres du Temps Chapter One Transparence

Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence - AngleMaîtres du Temps — the haute horlogerie brand that brings together all-star teams of talented watchmakers to produce original, collaborative pieces, has added to its small but growing collection with the release of the Chapter One Round Transparence, a new version of its flagship Chapter One watch. Here are three things you should know about this extremely limited timepiece.


1. The dial may be nearly as complicated as the movement.

The most notable feature of the Maîtres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence is its laser-etched, see-through sapphire dial, which shows off the workings of the watch’s movement, Caliber SHC02.1. It is remarkably thin (just .4 mm) and has more than 20 precision-cut, laser-pierced openings for the anchors that fasten the circular-grained appliqué indices. The minute track, which boasts hand-painted white Super-LumiNova indices, has been multi-beveled in a precise, laborious process. Furthermore, the tourbillon cage, normally incorporated only into the watch’s movement, is here connected to the sapphire dial, a technical feat, Maîtres du Temps says, that only the most accomplished of watchmakers can accomplish. Of course, the movement itself — composed of 558 pieces and visible through an octagonal sapphire crystal in the caseback — also boasts meticulous work. Its visual highlight is the blackened chronograph bridge that achieves its look through a patented plating process that combines four precious metals belonging to the platinum family: platinum, rhodium, ruthenium and palladium. The movement also has a 60-hour power reserve.

Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence - dial
The tourbillon is connected to the sapphire dial.
Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence - front-back
The blackened chronograph bridge (lower right) uses a patented plating process.

2. The watch represents a world’s-first combination of complications.

Like its predecessor, which came in a tonneau-shaped case and announced the arrival of the Maîtres du Temps brand (there have since been two other models added, Chapter Two and Chapter Three), the Chapter One Round Transparence combines the following complications and/or horological devices: a one-minute tourbillon (positioned at 6 o’clock); a monopusher chronograph (with a 60-minute counter at 12 o’clock and center-mounted chronograph hand); a retrograde date (at 3 o’clock); a retrograde GMT function (at 9 o’clock); and the timekeeping invention that defines the Maîtres du Temps brand DNA: two rolling bars at the top and bottom of the dial, the bottom one displaying the day and the top one indicating the moon-phase. (More on the rollers below.) The two-position winding crown can be pushed in to wind the watch and pulled out to set the time. The monopusher that activates the chronograph’s start, stop and return-to-zero functions is incorporated into the crown. The big case (62 mm x 59 mm, 22 mm thick) has push-button correctors at 2 o’clock (for the date), 4 o’clock (day), 8 o’clock (moon-phase) and 10 o’clock (GMT).

Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence - Side
The chronograph monopusher is embedded in the crown.

3. The watch’s signature complication comes from a European table clock.

Maîtres du Temps founder Steven Holtzman — who conceived the Chapter One watch and executed it with master watchmakers Christophe Claret, Peter-Speake Marin, and Roger Dubuis — has stated that the idea for the cylindrical rollers, which have played a part in every “Chapter” of Maîtres du Temps thus far, came from a mechanism that he’d seen in a table clock his father had bought for him during a trip to Europe when Holtzman was a child. The rollers on that clock reminded him of the rotation of the Earth, which, of course, plays an important role in timekeeping. From that, he devised the notion of expressing time in a way that was not “flat.” The challenge in using such devices (aside from the difficulty in creating them) is that they needed to be large enough to be easily read yet small enough to not add too much weight to the watch or destroy the harmony of the case’s curves. Both the day-of-the-week roller and moon-phase roller are made of ultralight anodized Anticorodal aluminum. The former has a matte finish, while the latter has two layers: a matte-finished anodized covering with laser-pierced moon and stars over the roller’s painted moon and stars. The moon-phase roller is a patented invention.

The Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence is limited to eight pieces in 18k rose gold cases, each on a hand-sewn alligator strap with 18k gold deployant buckle. The U.S. retail price is $540,000.

Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence - angle

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