The phrase for today is haut de gamme. Meaning upmarket and exclusive, it goes some way towards describing the Maîtres du Temps ethos; a watch brand that brings together some of the most prodigious independent watchmaking talents to conceive and produce watches that delight with their imagination and intricacy.
Maîtres du Temps like you to ‘picture the world’s most exclusive atelier with watchmaking’s finest artisans working together to concoct unprecedented horological alchemy.’ When a watch brand tells you this what it really means is it is out to develop complicated models in strictly limited editions for the 0.01% of the watch buying public that can afford them. In the case of Chapter Two the watch was created by two of today’s most talented contemporary watchmakers Daniel Roth and Peter Speake-Marin.
Chapter Two, nicknamed TCR, for Triple Calendar Round, is powered by a movement from Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, the exclusive Swiss manufacturer that also makes calibres for Parmigiani and also for French lifestyle brand Hermès. Steven Holtzman, Maîtres du Temps founder, describes the Chapter Two TCR as “the world’s most legible triple calendar wristwatch.” So it’s definitely a watch that is designed to be worn every day rather than cylindrically rolled out only for extra special occasions.
Speaking of cylindrical rollers, Maîtres du Temps is rather fond of them. They included them in the original Chapter Two and now in the sporty looking TCR version they revolve to reveal the day of the week and the month, places them at the top and bottom of the dial.
The grade 5 titanium case incorporates them seamlessly into the overall design, and there’s a choice of a high polish finish or black PVD coating. The numerals that adorn the piece are what Rolex might describe as a California dial, with oversized Roman numerals on the top half, and indices on the lower half, both placed upon a striking matte-black dial.
It certainly makes for great legibility by day or night as the numerals are all filled with a white Super-LumiNova that glows green in the dark. The chapter ring’s five-minute intervals are marked by Arabic numerals with bright red used for the hand of the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock and for the chapter ring’s 15-minute markers. The oversized date window at 12 o’clock, and the month and day-of-the-week indications on the rollers, are set in the graphically powerful Serpentine font.
The dial and the cylindrical rollers each have their own non-reflective sapphire crystals, one over the main dial and two curved crystals over the rollers. Adjusting the day and month rollers is achieved with paddle-shaped pushers, conveniently engraved with their respective functions and located on the caseback. The date pusher is positioned on the case at 2 o’clock.
Turn the watch over and you can view the calibre SHC0. Peter Speake-Marin and Daniel Roth worked closely with Vaucher to refine and decorate the movement to their precise requirements. The large rotor of the movement’s automatic winding system is engraved and features intricate panier guilloché finishing. The text reveals Maîtres du Temps’ motto: Masters and Their Craft —A Lifelong Pursuit of Excellence.
The movement is also embellished with a number of ornate finishes including sun-ray côtes de Genève on the polished hand-beveled bridges, helical spirals, perlage on the mainplate, and mirror-polished screw heads. The natural rubber strap with a titanium folding buckle is designed to look casual and sporty and is embossed on the shoulder with the Maîtres du Temps logo.
Released at the start of 2013, the watch comes in three models: titanium, PVD, and two-tone. If you want one you are likely to have a battle on your hands because each was limited to just 50 pieces and that’s worldwide. Well, with talents such as Peter Speake-Marin, Christophe Claret, Daniel Roth, Kari Voutilainen and Andreas Strehler behind the venture, they were never going to be mass produced pieces, now were they.
Below you’ll find a video about the whole “Chapter Two” collection (so not focus on the TCR model):
More resources about the Maîtres du Temps Chapter Two TCR on the Official Maîtres du Temps Website.