Maitres du Temps was formed in 2005, becoming famous for being an independent brand that produces highly complicated watches that incorporated rollers into their mechanisms. Made in extremely low quantities, it is what MB & F are doing today, as each model they produced was always in collaboration with important independent watchmakers.
The Maitre Du Temps Chapter 3 Reveal was developed in conjunction with Kari Voutilainen and Andreas Strehler. As many independent enthusiasts will know, today Kari Voutilainen is one of the most well known independent brands out there with a loyal following, producing watches that are both technically and aesthetically beautiful. Andreas Strehler, is a watchmaker and designer of watch movements, producing complicated movements for H. Moser & Cie and Harry Winston and owns his own manufacture. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest watchmakers in Switzerland and is known for producing complicated and unique mechanisms.
In simple terms, this Chapter Three Reveal is a two-time zone watch with a day/night indicator, calendar and moon phase. It certainly sounds simple enough as most brands have watches that feature these complications but where the Maitre Du Temps is insanely complicated, is how these are displayed.
Beginning with the basics first, the Chapter 3 is housed in a 42mm case made of 18k white gold.
It has a beautiful deep blue dial with guilloche patterns in the centre and on the subdials. This guilloche work has Kari’s DNA in it and is reminiscent of the Voutilainen watch dials you see today. It has applied Roman numerals and arrow hands in white gold and features 2 main subdials. At 8 o’clock lies the running seconds of the watch, at 2 o’clock you have a subdial that houses the calendar function and beneath that you have a small circular aperture that features the moon phase indicator.
With the straightforward aspects through, pressing the button set in the winding crown reveals that there are actually two apertures at 12 and 6 o’clock that open- and this is where the fun begins. As mentioned, rollers are a very important part of the Maitre du Temps design language and at the 12 o’clock aperture reveals a roller that acts as a day/night indicator and 6 o’clock reveals another roller that acts as the second time zone indicator.
Opening the panels is a very tactile experience, as the panels that cover the apertures actually sit flush on the dial. Only when you depress the button, it slightly drops beneath the dial and opens up. The rollers are made of gold and have been relief engraved and hand painted.
At the 6 o’clock aperture, the home time is displayed and interestingly the movement uses two rollers despite only one being displayed at a time. Each roller holds 6 numbers and once again, when the first roller shifts and spins to the second one, you can feel the mechanism’s movement making for a very immersive, tactile experience.
As it is a GMT Watch, there is a pusher at 9 o’clock that allows for the mechanism to uncouple and set each timezone independently. Furthermore, the crown has two settings. At its first setting, rotating clockwise sets the moon phase while rotating it anti-clockwise sets the calendar followed by the second setting which sets the time.
While this is a special watch in its own right with only 50 pieces produced in white gold, this example is an even more special as it is a one-off piece unique made specially for a client. While it is mostly the same, the rollers contain a unique graphic in the day/night indicator as you will be able to see in the photography. The standard Chapter 3 Reveal features an ordinary moon and sun for the day/night indicator.
While all of the watches Maitres du Temps has produced are technically impressive and innovative, this is perhaps my favourite of the three ‘Chapters’ so far. It is much more restrained and understated, making for a perfect dress watch that is both beautifully elegant and highly complicated.
This watch is powered by the manually wound calibre SHC03. It has a power reserve of 36 hours.