Baselworld Day 2-Maitres du Temps & Andreas Strehler...

We had a meeting with Maitre du Temps, which I was eagerly anticipating owing to the two Independent Watchmakers involved in the Chapter 3, Kari Voutilainen and Andreas Strehler.  Having followed closely the progress of this brand, knowing the owner Steven Holtzman quite well and knowing the watchmakers involved in the previous Chapters, amongst others Peter Speake-Marin and Daniel Roth.

So to the new watch, Chapter 3 Reveal:

The Chapter 3 Reveal in it's non-revealing position! One can see the strong KV influence on the guilloche dial design!

Here it is in the open position, with the two ingenious windows at 12 and 6 that drop down and slide over to reveal the lovely engraved and painted roller day-night indicator at 12 o'clock and then the roller second timezone at 6 o'clock. The use of rollers has become a bit of a signature for MDT, and the technology involved is not for the faint of heart. The roller second timezone is comprised of two rollers with 1-6 on one and 7-12 on the other in order to use bigger numbers for ease of reading. A brilliant use of micro mechanics, as the watch initially appears quite classic and uncluttered for a two time zone watch, the push of the button on the crown operates the "Reveal" mechanism.

Another view of the RG blue dialed piece.

The beautifully finished caliber of the Chapter 3.

At 42mm it is not a huge watch, which was a bit of a complaint levied against Chapters One & Two, and wears perfectly on my medium sized wrist.

In the closed position.

And in the open or "Reveal" position.

As I very much appreciate what Maitre du Temps is doing, here are a couple of pictures of the mighty Chapter One, here cased in RG with a black dial, to me one of the most stunning combinations. As only 50 movements will ever be made, these grand complication watches are quite rare.

A superb Tourbillon mono pusher column wheel chronograph with retrograde date and second timezone & roller moonphase and roller day of the week!

Who should be here in the suite, but of course Mr. Andreas Strehler, as one of the watchmakers responsible for the Chapter 3 Reveal, he also had his watches on display. Probably most famous for his collaboration with Harry Winston Fine Timepieces as the designer of the OPUS 7 and then his behind the scenes work for H. Moser where he developed a series of calibers for them. He has also developed 2 chronograph movements for big brands, the Chronoswiss Chronoscope and one of my favorites, the Maurice Lacroix Le Manufacture Chronograph. It was an enormous pleasure and honor to finally meet the man behind such fantastic creations. He is, as so often with great minds, quite humble and quiet. Maybe the only exterior tell-tale sign of a non-conformist is a diamond stud earring!

Well to his watches he had to show, the Papillon, which is designed with longevity and efficiency in mind, is much more interesting in real life than pictures I had seen over the years. Then having Andreas explain what I was looking at and why made all the more sense.

A platinum cased Papillon.

The caliber.

His latest watch is a more classic looking watch, and continues with the Papillon theme but is named Cocon, which is French for cocoon, as the butterfly motif is now hidden from the front by being the bridges of the caliber. This piece will appeal to a wider audience I suspect and has the option of differing finishes and even diamonds on the dial around the second hand sub dial and the opening showing off the balance bridge and balance wheel.

Cased in RG, the Cocon is a good looking watch, a neat little feature is the sapphire bridge for the minute chapter from 46 through 54 minutes as it overlaps the second hand dial.

Same watch, a little different light.

The caliber of the Cocon.

On the wrist of the designer himself.

This next watch pictures is quite interesting for me, as I saw a previous version, which apparently never came to fruition. Well Andreas was the man to make it work. A fellow has spent 10 years trying to find a watchmaker who could translate his idea of a watch that would remind him of his family birthdays and keep track of the ages as time goes forward. This is the first working prototype and although not finished to Andreas' typical high standard yet, he happily it showed me. Quite a neat and difficult project.

A great time spent with Andreas and I am thrilled we had the opportunity to meet finally. On to the next meetings...