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BaselWorld 2014: Belles of the Fair: MCT Sequential Two – S200

by Peter Chong on June 6, 2014

Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps appeared with the Sequential One in 2010, it caused quite a stir in the industry. Here was an upstart company, with an innovative way to show time. A huge digital hour display made up of prism slats which flip to reveal the time. Visually arresting!

 

MCT Sequential Two S200. Automatic winding watch, with a unique, wandering digital hour display with rotating flaps.

MCT Sequential Two S200. Automatic winding watch, with a unique, wandering digital hour display with rotating flaps.

 

The company went into some difficulty, after the unveiling of Sequential One, and faltered…the public, in the meantime lapped up the wonderful product. In October 2012, Cage Holding bought the company, and put François Candolfi in charge as CEO. François is a veteran in the industry, having worked in Audemars Piguet and started his own independent watchmaking company is a firm helm at the new MCT, and went about the business of re-building the brand. The first of the interesting new products with the new owners, and new CEO is the Sequential Two – S200.

 

The dial of the S200 is visually arresting. The huge digital display for the hour is easy to read, and iconic of the brand. The design elements are very well done, and gel together in a most appealing way.

The dial of the S200 is visually arresting. The huge digital display for the hour is easy to read, and iconic of the brand. The design elements are very well done, and gel together in a most appealing way.

 

The design concept is unique. On each dial, 4 numerals are displayed, each on one of the sides of the square. A minute disc, with a cutout to show the correct hour rotates to block 3 of the numerals and allowing only one to show the correct hour. The original Sequential One, being a square shaped case, was particularly suited to this concept. So it was particularly rewarding that when the Sequential Two was revealed, it proved to be as visually arresting, if not even more interesting.

 

The digital hour display.

The digital hour display.
Note that each of the prism slats rotate on a set of jewels, making 10 jewels for each set. Each prism slat is driven by a tiny cog wheel which is visible.

 

The rotating minute disc of the Sequential One now carries the engraving “Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps”. As with the Sequential One, this disc is interrupted on a 90° sector to show one of the 4 hour digits. The disc jumps a quarter of a revolution every hour to discover the actual time.

As can be seen in the photograph above, each of the hour digits is made up of 5 slats of the faces of a 3 sided prism. Each prism slat is set on two jewels (accounting for a grand total of 85 jewels in the movement), and individually driven by its own cog wheel. As the minute hand reaches the top of the hour, the movement flips the prism assembly to show a new hour digit. At the same time the opposing prisms directly across the dial also change, but this is partially hidden by the logo disc.

 

Caliber MCT-S2.

Caliber MCT-S2.

 

The mechanical movement, conceptualized and manufactured in house in Switzerland is also quite interesting. Measuring some 37.4mm diameter and 10.75mm thick, the movement has 507 parts, and is now self winding (the Sequential is manually wound), wit a power reserve of 40 hours at 18,000 bph.

 

Finishing is well addressed.

Finishing is well addressed. Of note, the skeletonized balance cock, though the design is just a square fillet skeletonized off the cock, this is a technically difficult execution, the inside edges are nicely polished. However, we would have preferred the inward points of the filleted square to be sharp where the edges meet. That would have created an even more virtuoso finishing impact on the movement.

 

Movement finishing is quite good. The micro rotor in gold providing the winding force for the mainspring takes center stage. All the traditional finnisage are well addressed. Fausse côtes decoration are applied to the movement, and the anglage is done quite well, with the polished chamfers gleaming in the light. The design of the bridges are also very nice, with smooth sweeping curves of the bridge edges, ending in sharp points which are also well executed.

 

We find the curved bridges which execute a sharp point at the inflexion to particularly beautiful. Note also the fillet on the bridge holding the barrel. Of note as well is the counter sinking for the screws and the chamfering ont he openings on the bridge on the right.

We find the curved bridges which execute a sharp point at the inflexion to particularly beautiful. Note also the fillet on the bridge holding the barrel. Of note as well is the counter sinking for the screws and the chamfering ont he openings on the bridge on the right.

 

Overall, we are very impressed with the watch. Especially as the company was only re-started in autumn of 2012, and as a totally in house designed and produced movement is an excellent start. We hope for more interesting and innovative products from MCT soon. If you haven’t seen it yet, Deployant organized our first ever Event for MCT watches to re-introduce the watches to the Singapore collectors. The event report is found here, and we are looking forward to more events in the region.

 

The S200 wears beautifully on the wrist. The time display is especially easy to read, and visually a beautiful aesthetic.

The S200 wears beautifully on the wrist. The time display is especially easy to read, and visually a beautiful aesthetic.

 

 

Apologies for the gritty condition of the watch. This was a travelling prototype, and the Deployant photographer had only an hour to photograph the watch before it disappeared into its travels once again. Note also, this particular unit was not working in proper condition. This is not unusual in travelling prototypes.

 

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