It has been quite a while since we’ve heard from MCT Watches. Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps created the Sequential One of which 4 different production models have been released to this date. There have been some one-offs and limited editions in the past few years, but MCT seems revived and will be exposing at Baselworld!
MCT posted two pièce unique of the new Main de Maître (hand of the master) collection on their Facebook page – Koi Carp and Sparkle. These two are based on the Sequential One and show how the Sequential One’s large cushion case and square face offers a perfect stage for bespoke engravings. Like on the Koi Carp, and I can imagine many variants, for example inspired on Chinese zodiac signs.
For a more detailed description of the Sequential One and to see how it indicates time, please read this articles that I wrote after meeting with MCT at Baselworld 2010.
Most Asian art enthusiasts are familiar with carp paintings and ukiyo-e woodblock prints, as well as the artwork it has inspired around the world. The “Koi Carp” is created by artistic master engraver Sylvain Bettex, renowned throughout the Swiss watch industry for his delicate hand engraving skills.
The bridges were treated with anthracite ruthenium before the amazingly detailed and stunning red gold “Koi Carp” were applied to them. The movement is a piece of art with defined hand engravings giving a remarkable fish scale aspect to it. It is visible on the back of the watch through the sapphire crystal and the scales appear to move in the light.
The significance of the carp to the Chinese and Japanese cultures is strength and endurance, luck and good fortune. To this day there exists a saying in China: “lǐ yú tiào lóng mén” (“鲤鱼跳龙门”), or “The carp has leaped through the dragon’s gate.” This saying is for people who work hard at a task and succeed beyond their wildest expectations. It is based on an ancient Chinese legend about carp swimming upstream in the Yellow River toward the mythical Dragon’s Gate at the top of a giant legendary mountain. Those few carps, who swim up the waterfall and through the gate are changed into dragons. Maybe you remember the Cornelius & Cie Dragon Gate Legend, made by master engraver Kees Engelbarts, that we showed you some years ago.
The other pièce unique based on the Sequential One is “Sparkle”. Just like the two unique pieces that MCT did for Les Airelles, it features a diamond set bezel. The 18 carat white gold case is covered in 88 white diamonds (1.35 carat), which are hand-set.
Then to really make it “sparkle” MCT sought a very special extra exclusive touch and found that making the dial out of silicon was the perfect approach.
Silicon is extremely difficult to cut as it is hugely sensitive and can disintegrate into pieces at the smallest blow during assembly – yes, that is just one of the tricky aspects of silicon that is usually not mentioned when we talk about new silicon escapements. But MCT managed to get it done and once fixed in position it is stable and beautiful. The diamonds and silicon dial make “Sparkle” a unique timepiece with a very special reflective appeal. The sapphire minutes dial, the large numerals on the prisms and the alligator leather bracelet are red. The bright red color contributes to the overall sparkle effect of the watch.
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.