Watches

MCT Dōdekal One

MCT Dodekal One

Most watchmakers prefer to forget the digital watches of the 70s; the time period was labelled the ‘quartz crisis’ for good reason. Design classics as those cheap timekeepers were they weren’t exactly a good sign for watchmaking as a whole. Indeed it took decades for the industry to recover fully and there are still maisons bereft of their former glory because of it.

MCT are far too young to have gone through all that. In fact the haute horologist is only just celebrating their tenth birthday – many happy returns. Yet rather than just issuing a limited edition of their flagship Sequential One they’ve opted for something a little more retro – the Dōdekal One.

Harking back to those oft-maligned digital watches of the 70s there’s thankfully no hint of a battery here. Quite the opposite; the in-house calibre D1 movement is a stunning piece of engineering, an intricate maze of cams, cogs and carriages.

MCT Dodekal One

It’s a pretty long-winded way to achieve a look that an LCD display could have achieved with nothing but a battery at a minute fraction of the price, but then what would the point be? There’s something unendingly appealing about that kind of pointlessly wonderful engineering, especially if it involves a pure gold micro-rotor.

A 50-hour power reserve isn’t quite as impressive that of a battery but for a mechanical watch of this type it’s not bad at all. It’s not at the extreme end of the spectrum but it’s not bad. It also means that, with regular servicing it should last forever – a far cry from the disposable plastic watches of the 70s.

MCT Dodekal One

While the digital hours take up the centre of the dial the minutes are instead displayed with a more traditionally horological flying hand rotating around the outer edge of the remaining dial. Between this and the elegant cushion-shaped case in the same vein as the Sequential One there really is no mistaking the Dōdekal One for anything but a piece of pure haute horology.

Available in titanium, black DLC or 5N pink gold, the Dōdekal One works hard to emulate the cheap watches MCT should be far too young to remember. Fortunately it misses the mark in all the best ways.

Price: SFr 55,000 (titanium) and SFr 61,000 (titanium and pink gold); www.mctwatches.com

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.