Steven Holtzman began his career nearly thirty years ago when he joined the family business The Gruen Watch Company .The company dates back to 1894 and is one of America’s oldest watchmakers. In 1997 he established the highly successful Helvetia Time Corporation specializing in the distribution of high quality Swiss timepieces. Subsequently this led to the formation of the exceptionally prestigious Maîtres du Temps in 2008.
Steven’s vision for the company is to form alliances with renowned watchmakers to create beautiful and original timepieces. This is similar to the way Maximilian Büsser operates his brand MB & F. Essentially this type of collaboration encourages more creative freedom and in my opinion achieves optimum results. For the sublime Chapter One Round Transparence Maîtres du Temps have employed the immense talents of Christophe Claret and Peter Speake-Marin.
With dimensions measuring a staggering 62 mm x 59 mm x 22 mm this watch will definitely court attention. Realistically a timepiece of these proportions is only going to appeal to a small demographic . Fortunately I am in this minority and love large watches that make a really bold statement. Even though the Chapter One Round Transparence is a sizable piece I feel it would still be fairly comfortable to wear. Primarily this is down to the innovative design and use of luxurious 18K 5N red-gold in manufacture. Due to the exclusive nature of this watch I suspect this model will attract the attention of serious collectors.
Visually this is my favourite version of the highly acclaimed Chapter One series of watches. The skeletonised façade is eye catching and perfectly showcases the intricate mechanical complication. It also gives this the timepiece a whole new and exciting dynamic. The layout is effectively the same as previous models with the 60-minute counter (at 12 o’clock), retrograde date (at 3 o’clock) and retrograde GMT (at 9 o’clock). I love the majestic tourbillon clearly visible through a large aperture positioned at 6 0’clock. Other incredible features include two rollers displaying the days of the week and a magnificent (patented moon phase indication). Overall the aesthetics of the Chapter One Round Transparence is absolutely mesmerising.
Beneath the elegant exterior lies a mechanical masterpiece devised by Christophe Claret and Peter Speake-Marin. The Caliber SHC02.1 is a 58-jewel hand winding movement that oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz). Amazingly this complex mechanism comprises 558 hand finished and decorated components. Functionally the Chapter One Round Transparence is equipped with hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, day, date and a moon phase indicator. The timepiece also has an impressive power reserve of 60-hours.
The Chapter One Round Transparence has a Hand-sewn alligator strap with 18K gold deployment buckle and is limited to only 11 pieces. This wonderful watch has a suggested retail price of: CFH 540,000 (approximately $593,000).