Bronze is not just a trend, it’s a mega trend. Along with blue dials, it’s one of the most transversal developments in contemporary watches, at all levels of price. The Sequential Two S220 Bronze by Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps has the classic rotating-prisms architecture to show the hours on very large numerals, with a conventional minute hand, but the watch combines this modern architecture with the antique, steampunk feel of bronze.
Bronze develops a patina over time that ends up making each watch different, reflecting the user’s lifestyle. In this case the bronze has been given a surface treatment to stabilize the oxidation, so that the typical bronze colour remains for longer. It coordinates with the hour numbers on the prisms. The strap continues the vintage, ocean-going theme, in patinated calfskin with visible stitching. Another feature of the piece is the narrow sapphire ring around the caseband. The case is 44-6 mm in diameter, 14.5 mm thick, with a white gold crown. Water resistance is the standard 3 bar (30 metres, no swimming or showering).
How the hour display operates is shown in the video below. See how on the hour, the C-shaped disc at the centre rotates anti-clockwise to reveal the next number that has already been prepared. It’s powered by a complex self-winding movement with 507 parts, and 50 hours’ power reserve.
Reference and price
The MCT Sequential Two S220 Bronze is reference RD 45 S220 VB 01, a 10-piece limited edition. Price is 80,000 Swiss francs, US $ 80,000. Read more at the MCT website.
Like the look, want to spend less?
The rotating prisms architecture is fiendishly complex and can only be found on MCT watches, and a few other pieces. For example, the Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon uses three six-sided rollers to compose random three-part messges (“I want to / explore / your nipples”), but it’s not exactly a cheaper alternative, at US $750,000. More of this sort of this risqué stuff here; and at the Richard Mille website.
The Jacob & Co. Epic SF 24 uses a different type of roller system for a GMT display. Prices start at around US $ 66,000. More at the Jacob & Co. website.
Budget alternative from SevenFriday
If these watches are a bit over your budget, you could take a look at SevenFriday. Their Q-series Q2/01 has the same bronzey look as the MCT Sequential Two S220 Bronze, and the large central minutes hand also evokes that of the MCT piece. In the Q2/01, hours are shown on the 24-hour subdial on the left, seconds on the 20-second scale to the right, and there is a date window. The case is larger than the MCT at 48.7 mm, in stainless steel. Dial details are in a bronze-like colour. The watch is powered by a Japanese-made Miyota 8219 movement, self-winding, and it’s principally this factor – along with assembly in China – that enables price to be kept down to €1,350. The strap is in calfskin with contrasting stitching. The case has pushers on the left-hand side to release the strap for quick strap changing. More at the SevenFriday website.