Maîtres du Temps BaselWorld 2014

Collection Chapter One: elegance and complexity

Ch1 Tonneau Transparence Titanium 3-4 leftThe Chapter One collection is a real masterpiece of horology. The long and flowing curves that shape the case give it an air of nobility and power that embodies the outstanding complexity of the original movement.

The ease of reading and setting the numerous display indications of Chapter One would almost make the user forget that we are facing a world’s premiere in terms of combinations of complications with 558 components.

A world’s premiere: combinations of six complications

No wristwatch before Chapter One has ever featured a tourbillon movement incorporating a mono-pusher column wheel chronograph, retrograde date, retrograde GMT, and phase of the moon and day of the week indications displayed on their own distinctive high-precision cylinders .

Indication through high-precision cylinders: time display is not flat any longer 

Ch1 Tonneau Transparence Titanium case backEfficiently transmitting power 90° to the two high-precision cylinders  and ensuring that they work simultaneously with the time, date, GMT, and chronograph was an immense technical challenge. That the challenge was met and surpassed is further testament to the immense talent of the teams of the Maîtres du Temps Atelier of Horology.

The harmoniously integrated cylinders , for example, had to be both large enough to be easily read and small enough to be ultralight and homogeneous with the case. Scintillating, laser-pierced moon and stars on the outer cylinder  of the moon phase indication add to the stellar elegance of Chapter One.

The high-precision cylinders  are made of anodized aluminum offering solidity while being  lightweight. The painting adorning the cylinders  is applied by hand based on a traditional process.

Titanium case: strength and lightness

It is not surprising that the three-dimensional, arched and bold design of the Chapter One evokes more a sports car than a wristwatch.

The different finishes obtained through successive brushings on the titanium material strengthen this appeal. Polished, satin or sanded finish, all the case surfaces benefit from a specific surface treatment. This feat is even more outstanding as the hardness of the material makes any surface treatment a challenge. As a comparison, the decoration of this titanium case requires twice the time of a similar gold version.

The curves of the four correctors integrating a locking system follow a curved line ending in an imaginary spot in order to perfectly marry the elegant design of the case. Manufactured in 18K gold, they incorporate 14 different components and were developed exclusively for Chapter One.

The case back screws are also manufactured of 18K gold.

Ch1 Tonneau Transparence Titanium profile view

The Transparence of the sapphire dial

The sapphire dial designed for Transparence is a work of art and an example of the highest level precision engineering. The 0.40 mm, ultrathin high-tech sapphire dial is cut and precisely laser-pierced more than twenty times to provide holes for the anchors to securely fasten the appliqués that mark the passage of time. The fastidious process of machining the multi-beveled minute track, which includes hand-painted Super-LumiNova indices, illustrates that the level of detail in Chapter One Tonneau Transparence Titanium is not just limited to the movement. While the meticulous process of fitting the tourbillon cage to the fine, nearly invisible dial is reserved for only the most accomplished of watchmakers who dare to take on such a complicated assembly, the result is an extremely legible timepiece with a breathtaking view into mechanical mastery.

A  look at the dial shows in the center; the hour, minute and chronograph 60 second hand, the retrograde date at 3h, the tourbillon and the day of the week cylinder  at 6h, the retrograde second time zone (GMT) at 9h, the 60 minutes chronograph counter and the moon phase cylinder  at 12h.

The opening at 6h allows a unique view onto the superb finish of the tourbillon cage with its finely decorated M shaped cage bridge standing for Maîtres du Temps. The tourbillon cage makes one rotation in sixty seconds showing the motion of the elapsing time

The Chronograph Bridge in precious metal finish

Equally notable is the addition of the precious metal finish chronograph bridge visible through the octagonal sapphire display back. Through a patented plating process, four precious metals belonging to the platinum family—platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, and palladium—combine to give the chronograph bridge the darkened appearance unique to the Chapter One Transparence collection.

The Chapter One collection is an enduring beacon of ingenuity and architectural form. As sublime as it is complex, the original tonneau case put the industry on notice to a new standard of excellence. The Chapter One Tonneau Transparence Titanium – C1-3T – in a very contemporary design proudly reveals the technical prowess of the collection.

“Maîtres du Temps continues to diversify the Chapter One collection by offering timepieces with sophisticated design and technical mastery. This latest titanium tonneau-case version offers a sculptured structural feel with distinguished technical features,” says Steven Holtzman, founder of Maîtres du Temps.

The One of 11 elegantly engraved at the back of each timepiece highlights the limitation of this exclusive series.

And the story of Chapter One continues . . .

Maîtres du Temps, Atelier d’Horlogerie

Picture the world’s most exclusive atelier which would create the most unparalleled masterpieces that will synthesize the traditional crafts of haute horlogerie with the artistry of today’s foremost horological visions.

The driving force behind Maîtres du Temps is Steven Holtzman, a man with nearly three decades of experience in the watch industry. Holtzman is the catalyst bringing together the know-how of the finest master artisans and melting it with his own team in this unique atelier.

Each chapter in the Maîtres du Temps story is a symbiosis of experience, influence, art, craft, and technique, all harmoniously encapsulated in a single watch.

The symbol chosen for Maîtres du Temps—a tree with innumerable branches—reflects the fertile nature of the brand’s creative process. The image of the tree represents the evolution of Maîtres du Temps through the passage of time, with each branch representing a new collaboration, a new meeting of hearts and minds, and bearing astonishing timepieces.

The level of technical and design sophistication achieved by Maîtres du Temps has rarely been seen in watchmaking. It is the result of the right combination of people sharing a bold vision. “We do it by not accepting second best and by constantly designing and re-designing,” says Holtzman. “We are continually faced with different choices, and the decision each time is to not compromise on quality, finish, or design. In this way, Maîtres du Temps is able to offer remarkable timepieces crafted by remarkable people.

What we’re looking for is creativity, ingenuity, and craftsmanship,” Holtzman explains. “In assembling our teams of masters, we traveled throughout Switzerland and Europe, meeting amazingly talented craftsmen. Each master brings a new perspective and his own strengths, so by teaming up these gifted individuals, we can create something very special.

When I see someone wearing a Maîtres du Temps watch, I feel proud and happy. This is ultimately the only genuine sign that everything we do actually has a purpose.

Limited Edition of 11 pieces in Titanium with a transparent sapphire crystal dial

Laser-etched sapphire dial revealing a manual-wind mechanical movement with hand-beveled cut-out bridges and a precious metal finish Chronograph Bridge.

Movement SHC02.1: one-minute tourbillon, mono-pusher column-wheel chronograph, retrograde date indicator, retrograde GMT indicator, day of the week indication on high-precision cylinder, patented precise moon phase indication on high-precision cylinder.


Central hands indicating hours and minutes

Central chronograph counterpoised second hand

60-minute counter at 12 o’clock

Retrograde date at 3 o’clock

Retrograde GMT at 9 o’clock

One-minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock

Day of the week indication on cylinder  at 6 o’clock

Patented precise moon phase indication on cylinder  at 12 o’clock


Two-position winding crown: pushed in to wind the watch; pulled out to set the time

Chronograph: start/stop/return-to-zero function activated by single pusher in the crown


Date corrector at 2 o’clock

Day of the week corrector at 4 o’clock

Moon phase corrector at 8 o’clock

GMT corrector at 10 o’clock

Caliber SHC02.1

Hand-beveled cut-out bridges

Black precious metal finishes Chronograph Bridge

Dimensions: 51 mm x 32 mm

Number of components: 558

Number of jewels: 58

Power reserve: 60 hours

Tourbillon rotation: 60 seconds

Balance frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)


Limited edition of 11 pieces in Titanium, each engraved One of 11

Crown, back case correctors and screws in 18K white gold

Number of components:  104

Dimensions: 62.60 mm x 45.90 mm x 18 mm

Sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective coating

Display back: sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating

High polish and satin finishes on compound-curve surfaces

Correctors with integrated locking system


High-precision, laser-etched sapphire

Number of components: 5

Circular grained appliqués

White Super-LumiNova indices


Red counterpoised chronograph hand

Sporty faceted diamond-cut hands

Luminescent hour and minute hands

High-Precision Cylinders:  

Day barrel: matte finish anodized Anticorodal aluminum

Moon phase barrel: anodized Anticorodal aluminum with painted moon and stars inside a matte finish anodized cover with laser-pierced moon and stars.

Strap and buckle 

Hand-sewn alligator strap with 18K white gold deployant buckle

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