The World’s Most Legible Calendar WristwatchMaîtres du Temps: Chapter Two – Big Date Triple Calendar
In teaming several of the world’s greatest living watchmakers with one of the world’s most prestigious state-of-the-art movement manufactures, a very special timepiece is assured. With Chapter Two, renowned talent such as Master Watchmakers Daniel Roth and Peter Speake-Marin went beyond “very special”—they pushed the boundaries of haute horlogerie.
The resulting timepiece features an instantaneous big date triple calendar that, thanks to innovative roller indications and the unparalleled experience of the master watchmakers involved, is the world’s most legible calendar mechanical wristwatch, as well as the world’s first unabbreviated triple calendar mechanical wristwatch!
Chapter Two features central hours and minutes indicated by elegant diamond-cut, solid gold hands, sub-seconds at 6 o’clock, big date at 12 o’clock, and the day and month spelled out in full on their respective rollers. The combination of a big date and full text for the days and months confers upon Chapter Two a legibility unprecedented in a triple calendar wristwatch.
Chapter Two: The result of working together
“Chapter Two is the fruit of a collaboration of very experienced and professional master watchmakers. It is totally unlike anything that any of us would have done alone but is the result of us working together,” explains Daniel Roth.
The long flowing lines of the distinctive tonneau case belie its complex architecture and sophisticated design. Myriad thoughtful details and sagacious finishes catch the light. Every aspect of the timepiece has been meticulously refined: the inside curves of the lugs match the flow of the case, ensuring absolute harmony, while the day, date, and month correctors are engraved with their functions for ease of operation. A total of six shaped, anti-reflective sapphire crystals—three on the front and three on the caseback—ensure unmatched visual access to both the indications and movement.
Chapter Two’s technically groundbreaking movement was developed in close collaboration by its highly experienced master watchmakers and was extensively tested, refined, and decorated until Chapter Two satisfied their most exigent standards. In particular, the mechanism for driving the rollers demanded significant technical and inventive reflection to obtain the most efficient and reliable system possible. The fact that the big date and both rollers change instantaneously bears testament to the success of their innovative design and high-precision manufacture.
“To ensure sufficient force in the construction of the calendar, the transmission of power through the movement had to be very efficient, consuming minimum power turning the large rollers, so we had to master the horological challenge and use the latest technology. One aspect which was crucial in the design was the fabrication of the rollers in ultralight material,” says Peter Speake-Marin.
Turning Chapter Two over reveals a caseback unlike anything that has gone before. Two ergonomic, paddle-shaped pushers to adjust the day and month are engraved with their respective functions, and the displayed month or day on the dial side is cleverly indicated on the back through geometrically complex sapphire crystals. This is a detail that eliminates the need to turn the watch over while adjusting the roller functions and is typical of the deep level of thought Chapter Two’s experienced masters have devoted to its development and design. The date corrector, seamlessly blending with the lines to the crown, also has its function engraved on the back. As you might expect of the superstar lineup that developed Chapter Two, every single detail has been carefully considered.
Looking through the octagon-shaped sapphire crystal of the display back into the beautifully decorated movement within, the eye is immediately drawn to the richly engraved symbolically goblet-shaped rotor of the automatic winding system. The intricate panier guilloche decorating the rotor’s center provides a noble counterpoint to the text around the rotor’s periphery that reads Masters and Their Craft—A Lifelong Pursuit of Excellence.
“The goblet symbolizes the spirit of collaboration. It is the vessel where each watchmaker’s contribution is combined into a superb blend of talents and passions for all to take pleasure in,” says Steven Holtzman, founder of Maîtres du Temps.
The richly hand-decorated movement features a veritable melody of harmonious fine finishing, from the sun-ray Côtes de Genève on the bridges with their perfectly beveled edges, to the helical spirals and perlage on the mainplate, to the mirror-polished screw heads. With its distinctive tonneau case shape, signature roller indications, octagon display back, and the superlative quality of its finish and construction, Chapter Two exhibits the essential DNA that has propelled Maîtres du Temps to the forefront of horological design and innovation.
Master Watchmaker Daniel Roth
You can appreciate just how much Daniel Roth must have loved horology when you consider that, as a young man recently graduated from the watchmaking school in Nice, he relocated from the sunny south of France to the frozen-for-months Vallée de Joux in Switzerland. Even then, the young Roth knew he wanted more from horology than was to be found beside the warm beaches, and while the Vallée de Joux might be cold, it was also the epicenter of haute horlogerie.
It says much for Roth’s confidence that, after learning traditional watchmaking techniques at Audemars Piguet, but not yet thirty years old, he precociously applied for the position of Master Watchmaker at Breguet. The year was 1970, and the Chaumet brothers had bought Breguet, at the time virtually dormant, with the intention of reviving the brand and restoring it to its former glory. They decided that Roth had the talent and drive required to accomplish this massive task and thus offered him the job.
In 1989, he then embarked on yet another adventure that again proved him to be both a pioneer and an inspiration to others: he launched his own brand. After more than a decade of crafting interesting and innovative complications housed in his now-iconic case shape, Roth left his company when it was bought out, and then, after a lifetime of sharing his traditional craft with larger brands, he went back to his roots and started crafting watches by hand. Tradition had come home to roost.
“Watchmaking in the traditional sense can be a solitary endeavor. Working with Maîtres du Temps allows me to learn from the other master watchmakers and to pass on some of my own knowledge to them,” says Roth.
Master Watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin
For English watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin, the preferred route has always been the road less traveled. From the outset, his iconoclastic personality has expressed itself not only in his chosen profession and passion for horology, but also in the way he has pursued that path.
Speake-Marin followed his talent to study horology in the mid-1980s. His skills were rapidly recognized, and he was soon given an opportunity by a prominent London antique watch dealer to establish his watch repair and restoration department. This was an invaluable experience that afforded Speake-Marin exposure to many different brands of vintage complications of the highest caliber. “There I fell in love with watchmaking,” he has said of his years working with these exquisite examples of the watchmaker’s art.
To satisfy his desire for adventure and to broaden his experience, Speake-Marin left England for Switzerland, where he had earlier studied. His first stop was the workshop of renowned complications specialists Renaud & Papi. He then dedicated himself to mastering the methods through which today’s increasingly audacious new horological complications are conceived. At the same time, he began work on his own masterpiece—a unique tourbillon pocket watch designed, constructed, and assembled entirely by hand.
Speake-Marin believes that in order for horological artistry to flourish, watchmakers must be aware of the past and conscious of the wealth of new possibilities offered by the future. “New design and manufacturing technologies allow fresh scope for different forms that were unimaginable only ten years ago,” he says. For Speake-Marin, Maîtres du Temps is the perfect medium through which to express his experience of the historical tradition of fine watchmaking and to convey his belief in its future.
About Maîtres du Temps
Maîtres du Temps is based on an entirely new horological concept. Founded by Steven Holtzman, Maîtres du Temps brings together teams of the world’s most talented master watchmakers to develop exclusive, technically exciting timepieces.
Maîtres du Temps is a pantheon in which today's greatest master watchmakers collaborate on the most innovative horological projects imaginable. Maîtres du Temps promotes, brings to the fore, and celebrates the watchmakers at the very pinnacle of haute horlogerie, those who develop and craft the timepieces, those whose influences, strengths, and accomplishments shape the watchmaking of today and tomorrow.
“Maîtres du Temps has embraced the philosophy Masters and Their Craft—A Lifelong Pursuit of Excellence. It is the spirit of the brand and the driving force behind our commitment to the art of watchmaking. Our goal is to anchor and align ourselves with some of the most celebrated independent watchmakers of our time. The intent is to create classic watches that will be appreciated not only today but for many years to come,” says Holtzman.
Each master watchmaker brings to the table his own ideas, his own style, and his own approach, and by providing the opportunity for them to work together, Maîtres du Temps harnesses and maximizes their incredible talent.
“By bringing together these important independent watchmakers and respecting the essential aspects of their craft, with Maîtres du Temps we hope to balance tradition and innovation in the development of our timepieces. My plan for Maîtres du Temps is to be actively involved in passing the craft and skills of more experienced master watchmakers to the next generation of masters. I believe there will be an interest in the art of fine watchmaking for many years to come,” says Holtzman.