Short before Baselworld I contacted MCT Watches and asked if it was possible to meet them in Basel. Luckily the answer was yes, so I finally got to see the MCT Sequential One in the metal.
Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps or MCT Watches was started by Denis Gigaut in 2007. I can still remember reading the press release in June 2008 and seeing the first drawing of what became the Sequential One.
With MCT Watches he wanted to create exciting and innovative timepieces, always with an in-house mechanical movement. And he wanted a watch that’s easy to read. I think he succeeded with the Sequential One.
Since this is not the average watch, I will try to describe it, starting from the outside… the case. The almost square case measures 45mm and the thickest point is only 15mm thick. The sapphire crystals (front and back) are treated with anti-reflective coating. One of the really nice elements of the case, is a slice of sapphire crystal between the 18 carat white or pink gold front and back case elements. This crystal allows light into the and on the movement.
Now let’s move on to the dial and how to read the time. When it’s 12 o’clock the 12 is show at the standard 12 position. 3 o’clock is displayed at the usual 3 position, 6 o’clock at the 6 position and 9 o’clock at the 9 position. The other hours are displayed alternately at one of these positions. This means the hours are displayed at 4 different positions on the dial.
The minutes are displayed on a sapphire rotating 3/4 ring and the minute hand will indicate the actual time. What is really clever is that the minute hand can maintain it’s course around the dial and the minute ring and hour display change accordingly. Look at this video to see how it works.
At the changing of the hour, the minute ring jumps 90 degrees to reveal the next hour. Because the minute ring jumps counter clockwise the advance of the hours also goes counter clockwise. The minutes have only 3/4 of a circle to indicate the minutes, so it more or less can be compared to a retrograde hand, although it’s absolutely no retrograde hand.
The hour is displayed on 5 triangular prisms. When the minute hand approaches 30 on the sapphire dial, the prisms directly under the 30 start to rotate and slowly display a new hour. This new hour will be revealed when the sapphire minute ring makes it’s jump.
I already mentioned MCT uses an in-house movement. When looking at the complications, the turning the prisms that display the hours and the rotation of the minute ring, you just know this can’t be done with just any movement. I can only imagine the enormous power required to drive these moving parts.
The hand-winding movement is build of 471 parts (81 rubies) and has a power reserve of 40 hours. An anchor clutch prevents over-winding. And… it features a Straumann Double Hairspring Balance which regulates the escapement and ensures the elimination of gravitational error.
The small manufacture makes no more than 300 pieces a year and all after-sales, including servicing will be conducted in-house at MCT. The price of this extraordinary beauty is CHF 92.500,- . It’s available in 18 carat white or pink gold.