Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence
The Maîtres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence is the latest timepiece from the brand founded by Steven Holtzman. The first version of the Chapter One was the result of Christophe Claret and Peter Speake-Marin working together. This latest version employs an unusual sapphire crystal dial to openly dislose various details often hidden from view.
This detailed review of the Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence includes live images and specification details.
A few weeks ago, I was once again invited to meet Steven Holtzman, founder of haute horlogerie brand, Maîtres du Temps. I have met Steven on previous occasions and, as he always provides a fascinating insight into the world of watchmaking, I was eager to accept his offer to meet.
Steven Holtzman has accumulated a vast amount of knowledge regarding watchmaking and, through his company, he has brought together some of the finest watchmaking talent. Such collaborations have led to the creation of some unusual, high-end timepieces.
By encouraging two individual artisans to collaborate, he exploits synergies which culminate in some remarkable outcomes. Illustrious names such as Christophe Claret, Peter Speake-Marin, Daniel Roth, Kari Voutilainen and Andreas Strehler have all contributed to the success of this Swiss brand.
Previously on ESCAPEMENT, I have discussed the incredible collaboration of Kari Voutilainen and Andreas Strehler which brought the Maîtres du Temps Chapter Three Reveal to fruition in 2012. It continues to be a watch I hold in high esteem.
A new variant of the Chapter One model
The Chapter One was the result of Messrs Claret and Speake-Marin working together. Initially, it was available in a tonneau-shaped case but, subsequently, a more rounded case was also released.
The latest timepiece, the Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence, is a new variant of the brand’s existing Chapter One series, produced in a limited number of 11 pieces.
Holtzman is keen not to render his former masterpieces as obsolete, but rather, release limited editions of models that share common design elements. This is the antithesis to the approach employed by many mainstream brands, where every year new models are released, rendering former versions redundant. Maîtres du Temps occupies a very elevated position in the market place where watches are acquired to be cherished for generations to come.
An ultra-thin sapphire crystal dial
The Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence provides a fascinating insight into the world of haute horlogerie, courtesy of its unusual sapphire crystal dial. The laser-etched sapphire is a mere 0.40 mm in height. It is pierced with in excess of 20 holes which provide the mounting points for the circular grained appliqués on the dial.
Rather than being incorporated into the movement, the tourbillon cage is affixed to the sapphire crystal dial. This, according to Maîtres du Temps, necessitates much skill on the part of the watchmaker.
Another aspect of the dial construction is the minute track. It is multi-beveled, hand-painted with Super-Luminova indices and accords a three dimensional appearance. Indeed, it is this accomplished exploitation of depth that is a fundamental attribute of the Chapter One Round Transparence.
A compendium of complications
The Chapter One Round Transparence, has a compendium of complications. A mono-pusher chronograph, retrograde date, retrograde GMT and a tourbillon proffer a staggering ensemble of functions. However, the list continues, with two rollers located on the upper and lower edges of the case, displaying the moon phase and date, respectively. It is these latter elements which have become part of the Maîtres du Temps design DNA.
The movement consists of 558 components, all honed to an exacting standard. The hand-bevelled bridges stand testament to the skill of the maison’s artisans and is just one example of the matchless finishing.
An unusual feature is the chronograph bridge, visible via the octagonal-shaped sapphire crystal, gracing the caseback. It is plated with a combination of platinum, rhodium, ruthenium and palladium. The result is a black hue, providing an intriguing contrast with the circular-grained mainplate.
I listened to Steven discuss the specification of the Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence and could readily comprehend its profound engineering and incredible craftsmanship. However, I must confess that, as Steven talked, at times I was distracted by the sheer size of the timepiece he held in his hands.
As a rule, I am not a huge fan of large timepieces and often favour watches around 40 – 43 mm in diameter. At first glance, the dimensions of 62 mm x 59 mm x 22 mm seemed simply too large and did not appeal to me. Surprisingly though, once placed upon my wrist, it looked perfectly at home. I would recommend wearing the watch below the shirt cuff rather than underneath it, allowing the shirt cuff to sit flat and neatly on the arm.
Previous experience with some oversized watches has resulted in annoying marks to my wrist caused by bulky crowns and push pieces, but this was not a problem on this occasion.
Whenever I have met Steven Holtzman he has freely imparted his knowledge of haute horlogerie. The Maitres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence shares this generosity, openly revealing the distilled craft of the artisans who brought it to life.
- Model: Maîtres du Temps Chapter One Round Transparence
- Case: Red gold; dimensions 62mm x 59mm; height 22 mm; sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; chronograph; date; GMT; day, moon phase indication; tourbillon.
- Movement: Caliber SHC02.1, hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3Hz), 58 jewels; power reserve 60 hours
- Strap: Hand-sewn alligator leather strap with 18K gold deployant buckle
- Limited Edition: 11 pieces in total