12 unique pocket watches, each representing a sign of the Chinese zodiac.
Maîtres du Temps continues its cultural approach to the conception of superlative timepieces with a merging of fine watchmaking and artistic expression. The next stage in the journey of Maîtres du Temps is the creation of a series of pocket watches, each a unique piece representing one of 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac.
Handing painting the white onyx dial.
By manufacturing wristwatches embodying the aspirations and talents of the world’s finest watchmakers, Maîtres du Temps demonstrated its commitment to technical excellence. In the Fine Arts Chapter, the collaboration embraces the aesthetic elements, looking to the Far East and using the Chinese decorative arts to complement a decidedly Swiss entity, realizing the essence of an objet d’art.
Blending the two cultures, the Asian and the European, demanded a second, simultaneous blend, that of art and mechanics. The pocket watches embody the notions of both “Maîtres des Arts” and “Maîtres du Temps,” while also voicing a tenet close to the heart of Maîtres du Temps founder, Steven Holtzman: “Culture is like a bridge, one that connects the disparate elements of a civilization.”
The clear caseback reveals the tourbillon and power reserve indicator.
For Fan Zeng, the artist undertaking this challenge, the occasion to work with Maîtres du Temps calls on his myriad talents as a renowned author, humanitarian, poet, and painter. According to the Chinese Concept of Masters, this polymath is regarded as “a perfect master.” As a champion of “returning to the classics and nature,” Zeng recognizes in Maîtres du Temps a like-minded facilitator. Holtzman says, “It is an honor and privilege for Maîtres du Temps to work with Mr. Fan Zeng, as he is the epitome of everything our brand represents.”
Twelve original paintings have been produced by Zeng to adorn the white onyx dials of watches that complement his technical specifications. It is yet another blend, one of simplicity and complexity. The watch devised for this project shows only the hours and the minutes, yet its back reveals a power reserve indicator and a one-minute tourbillon.
The dial depicting the zodiac sign of the dragon.
Each dial highlights both the animal and the personality traits of the zodiac sign it represents. Zeng also includes human beings in the design, to better convey the spirit of each sign, from the delightful Year of The Pig and Year of the Rabbit, to the majesty of the Year of the Dragon.
Holtzman says, “By collaborating with Mr. Fan Zeng, Maîtres du Temps has been able to bring about the perfect mixture of art, mechanics, and history on a grand level.” Zeng adds, “I believe that this watch will be a very important part of horological history.”