Flipping Cool: Rotating prisms tell time in the MCT Sequential Two S200

by Ariel Adams

5AA Sequential Two

The pinnacle of watchmaking isn’t about precious metal or rare stones, but rather mechanics. High-end horology is where creative engineers and watchmakers strive to dazzle and delight niche collectors with timepieces that blend exotic designs with novel mechanical means of displaying the time, and frequently days, months, moonphases, power reserves and other handy bits of information as well. 

Despite containing a mechanical engine produced from 507 individual parts, the Sequential Two S200 watch by Switzerland-based MTC displays only the time with hours and minutes. The concept also defies what most watchmakers see as their primary mission: to produce a watch that is as functional as possible, with the least amount of parts. In fact, most any engineer will tell you that the less parts you use in a machine, the better. Ultra-high-end watchmaking, however, is more concerned with complexity, craftsmanship and exclusivity.

When MCT’s movement designer Denis Giguet developed the Sequential One timepiece, his goal was to create a way of reading the time that was simple, legible, and most importantly novel. One of the marks of the high-end timepiece world is the use of discs, tank treads and even liquid to tell time—the more obscure and fantastical the better.

Five years in development Giguet’s Sequential Two utilizes a traditional minute hand with a “prism indicator” for the hours. A horseshoe-style segment rotates around the dial, framing the prism which displays the hours. At the end of each hour the horseshoe moves 45 degrees to the next set of prisms, which quickly flip to display the correct hour. Each of the four sets of prisms offer three numerals, and together can display all 12 hours throughout the day. Simply adjusting the time in a Sequential Two S200 timepiece is a delight for those who appreciate precision mechanics—especially because just enough of the mechanism is visible through the dial of the watch it work.

With a 44mm case (available in either 18k rose and white gold with elements of titanium), the Sequential Two S200 is remarkably wearable for such a complex instrument. Deciding to invest the $98,500 USD in an MCT Sequential Two S200 isn’t about buying a piece of history or displaying flamboyant wealth, but rather about having the ability to make a statement on your wrist that you value the ultimate combination of mechanics and design in a useful tool.