First let me say that timepieces such as this are in league all their own. Rolex, Omega, Breitling, and other “household” luxury watch names don’t even begin to think about occupying the rare air that guys like this do. So…you remember Chapter One which wowed the world a couple years ago, then came Chapter Two (see the both below). Now, Maitre du Temps presents the Chapter Three. Like Harry Winston’s Opus series, of MB&F’s “Friends”, Maitre du Temps takes a partnership type approach for each of its pieces — credit for the Chapter Three goes to independent master watchmakers Kari Voutilainen and Andreas Strehler, who have created a stunningly elegant timepiece that displays hours, minutes, seconds, date, and phase of the moon, all set on a sumptuous blue guilloche dial. But that’s not all…Voutilainen and Strehler have also kept a couple of intimate secrets in reserve, to be revealed, and perhaps even shared, at the owner’s pleasure. A pusher set into the crown lowers two invisible panels in the dial to reveal two more hitherto hidden indications: a second time zone indicator (also known as a GMT) and a day/night indicator, both displayed on Maîtres du Temps’ signature rollers. There’s a lot to this watch, so please enjoy the photos and the detailed information of the Chapter Three’s workings, all below.
standard view (“closed”)
With the secret panels closed, the central hours and minutes are complemented on the dial by a small seconds sub-dial at 8 o’clock that is esthetically balanced by the date sub-dial at 2 o’clock and a moon phase indicator at 4 o’clock. Both the small seconds and date sub-dials are subtly distinguished from the main dial by Clous de Paris guilloche and are clearly marked with neat little nameplates. There is also a photo-realistic moon phase indicator. Now we move on to “the reveal”…using the pusher set into the crown:
Opening the invisible panels reveals the day/night indicator at 12 o’clock and the second time zone indicator at 6 o’clock. The day/night roller rotates in 24 hours and features engraved, polished, printed, and hand-painted icons: the sun to symbolize day and the night sky to represent night. This indication is of particular benefit when using the second time zone, which is why it is revealed at the same time, as it enables the user to keep track of the hour at home and to know at a glance if it is day or night there.
revealed view (“open”) —
The second time zone is adjusted by means of the ergonomic quick-set pusher at 9 o’clock, which esthetically follows the form of the case. Each push advances the second time zone roller by one hour. These time zone and day/night rollers are permanently synchronized with each other and can adjust both forwards and backwards in time through the crown.
To maximize legibility, the second time zone at the bottom of the dial is displayed on two separate rollers: hours 1–6 on one and 7–12 on the other. When transitioning (forwards or backwards) between 6 and 7 or 12 and 1, the superseded roller slides horizontally out of the way and the new roller moves into place. This innovative mechanism has been awarded a patent. Using two rollers instead of one means that only six numbers have to be displayed around the circumference of each roller, enabling them to be twice as large, so twice as easy to read.
Developing the movement from scratch enabled the rollers to be integrated to the caliber rather than added as a more space-consuming module. High-efficiency conical gearing—a Strehler specialty—contributes to both the efficacy of the power distribution and reliability of the mechanisms. The bespoke movement architecture also incorporates the mechanism for opening and closing the reveal panels in the dial. Building this functionality into the movement rather than adding to the complexity of the case maximizes both reliability and use of space. The panel open/close mechanism is a movement complication in itself. With the dial closed, pushing the button in the crown lowers the panels below the dial, and releasing the button causes them to rotate out of view so that the second time zone and day/night rollers are revealed. Pushing the button again rotates the panels into position and, releasing the button causes them to elevate and sit flush with the dial.
THE MASTERS of CHAPTER THREE
Voutilainen and Strehler
Widely-respected independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen developed Chapter Three Reveal’s complete movement architecture, designed the bridges and plates, specified the decoration, and was responsible for the superlative finishing of the movement, the first original calibre he has developed for another brand.
Highly-acclaimed watchmaker/constructor Andreas Strehler developed Chapter Three Reveal’s technical interface between movement, complication and case, including the ingenious ‘reveal’ opening/closing mechanism, in addition to devising innovative production methods and technical solutions.