Maîtres du Temps - a new brand like no other

May 2008

At Europa Star there isn’t a week that goes by without me getting news of a new watch brand somewhere in the world. In fact there have been so many new brands these last few years that new brand news rarely gets me excited. Well, that is, until the above photo landed on my desk.


For those of you who don’t recognise the faces of the gentlemen above, let me introduce you. From left to right: Peter-Speake Marin, master watchmaker and owner of the brand of the same name, Roger Dubuis, master watchmaker, and yes, the Roger Dubuis from the Manufacture Roger Dubuis, Christophe Claret, master watchmaker of the specialist complications manufacturer Christophe Claret S.A. and Steven Holtzman, the master behind the masters.
In a day and age where watchmakers are in painfully short supply, Steven Holtzman managed to get not one, but three watchmakers together. And not just any old watchmakers either, these three gentlemen are what the Swiss venerably call MaÎtres Horlogers which leads us to the name of this exciting new brand: Maîtres du Temps, or in English, Masters of Time. “It has been my dream and desire to start my own brand for a long time” explains Holtzman. “I have been in the watch industry for almost 25 years, working with different brands and hand-ling different markets. After seeing so many successes and so many failures, hopefully I’ve learned a thing or two.” His idea was to bring a small group of some of the world’s top watchmakers together and let them work on the same watch. No easy task, but Holtzman is one of those charismatic gentlemen whose energy is contagious and, don’t ask me how, but he managed to convince three of the most respectable and inaccessible watchmakers in the industry to work with him.
This first timepiece is being presented during the spring shows in Geneva and is surely going to cause as much curiosity as the concept behind it. A world-first combination of complications with a tourbillon, mono-pusher chronograph, retrograde date, retrograde GMT, and two rolling bars at 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock, indicating the days of the week and phases of the moon, respectively. The two rollers are inspired by the desk calendars of the past and work simultaneously with the time, date, GMT and chronograph. The brand explains that the greatest challenge was to efficiently transmit the power to the two rollers at 90 degrees and make them large enough for the names of the days of the week. The rollers also needed to be as light as possible while maintaining a robust appearance in order to fit in with the strong case design.
The collection has been baptized Chapter One – the first chapter in a book that seems to have everything needed to be a bestseller.

Source: Europa Star April-May 2008 Magazine Issue