Reevaluation And Regrouping: MCT Sequential S210
Transition, consolidation, focus: these are processes many companies go through at some time or another. It is actually fairly common for a company to begin with a specific goal in mind and then, as the market changes or a discovery is made, to completely change focus.
Often, a shift in direction forges a completely new path.
A great example is the Nintendo Corporation. Nintendo began as a playing card company in 1889, producing playing cards as the core business well into the 1960s. After a fortuitous meeting in 1963, Nintendo’s direction shifted in search of new markets as the outlook looked limited. It dabbled with a taxi service, instant rice, a TV network, vacuum cleaners, and even a hotel chain before stumbling upon toys and interactive games such as the Laser Clay Shooting System in 1973.
This led to focusing on family entertainment and electronic game consoles for color television, the precursors to modern video game systems. The rest, as they say, is a matter of public record regarding the development of the most successful video game company in the world.
No, that’s not it. And the rest, as they say, is history. Yeah, that sounds better.
Nintendo still produces playing cards, but clearly the focus shifted to a new and much more defined path with huge potential for growth: home entertainment systems. Many companies have undergone this type of shift over the course of years, and for many it has proven to make all the difference.
And yet other companies never make a dramatic shift but instead pause to regroup, reevaluate, and redefine the original goals they hoped to accomplish. This saves some struggling companies from the oblivion of being dismantled and forgotten. And when those companies return, they burst forth with a cohesive goal and clear direction, launching them further ahead than they ever predicted.
The new Sequential S210 is a combination of both previous and new design cues, and it represents the base concept for future development. While MCT has been around since the mid-naughties, the last two or three years have been the most transformative.
The metamorphosis began when MCT purchased Digitale SA, the watchmaking and engineering lab that worked on the development of the previous MCT calibers. With that acquisition, development can continue in-house and allow for much better control over quality as well as speeding up development time.
That fact led to the reworked and redesigned MCT S2.0 caliber in the Sequential S210. Not only does it feature reduced friction and a slightly increased power reserve, it is slightly larger (owing to the display design) and features 50 more components.
The reason for the increased complexity comes back to the projected plans for the future. The new movement has been developed and evolved to allow the integration of new mechanical advantages and a variety of classic and innovative complications moving forward.
The MCT S2.0 caliber is a building block for the future expansion of the product line, and the architecture has been carefully considered so that adding to it in the future requires less work down the road thanks to well thought-out efforts put in today.
The biggest visual differences can be noticed in the dial design.
In the previous S100, S200, and F110 models, the minute ring has either been placed on the rotating hour indicator ring (first method for the S100 and S110), or on a raised platform that skirts the edge of the dial area (second method in the S200 and F110).
The change from the first method to the second provided a much easier way to track the minutes, as they didn’t move as the time progressed every hour.
However, it also made the dial feel a bit more filled in and reduced the visibility of the mechanism beneath.
The S210 figured out how to combat this and in doing so returned the prism hours to their exalted position, all while maintaining legibility. The minute indications have been moved down onto the main plate and split up allowing the architecture of the complication to shine.
This move visually lifts the prism hour mechanisms out of the movement for the first time since the S110, and makes the minutes less visually overpowering.
This change also resulted in the increase in movement size and case diameter. Moving the minute ring down required widening its area, but this also allowed for more room during the redevelopment of the base mechanism.
Taking design cues from the S110, the S210 utilizes hour pointers on the rotating three-quarter ring and minute ring. This creates an implied line through the current hour, further emphasizing where to look (as if the big empty area of the rotating ring wasn’t enough).
While the cues were borrowed from the S110, the application and construction in the S210 seems much more refined and advanced from the previous models. It seems, with the regrouping, redevelopment of the caliber, and the refocusing on new goals, that the S210 shows a maturation of the original prism hour display concept and an understanding of tweaking things in an effort to provide the best beginning to future growth.
A great example of this type of effort can be seen in automotive engines. The development of engines is a monumental task and as such, many motor designs end up being scrapped or heavily changed within a few years of their introduction. However, if the concept is sound further refinement can create something as perfected as possible.
The best example of this is the GM LS small block V8 engine that began life in 1997. This motor benefited from almost 50 years of design and engineering tweaks to the original 1954 GM small block design. When the full redesign occurred, GM took everything it had learned and effectively built a perfect power plant for that class of engine upon which countless varieties have since been based.
It has become as legendary as it is today because of the evolution of the design and the regrouping of goals. I see the investment in the new MCT-S2.0 caliber to be along that line of thinking. The goals are to make the movement robust and reliable – and be able to take heavy modification and still perform up to its intended reliability.
The future of MCT and the Sequential S100, S200, and the Frequential F110 is set to provide a solid platform onto which all future developments can be based. A mix of avant-garde style and classical complications (think MB&F Legacy Machines) are what we can expect moving forward.
Classical complications such as tourbillons, multiple time zones, calendars, moon phases, and chronographs have all been proposed as avenues to explore.
I personally love when a new spin is put on something old because it shows reverence to where you came from, and yet a desire to move forward and be yourself.
MCT clearly has unique ideas when it comes to movement architecture and design, so it has an excellent starting point for really shaking things up in the horological world. It has already done so, but with the new investment in movement design and a more cohesive goal for the company’s direction, the future seems much less open to chance and speculation.
Hopefully, this means that we will be on the receiving end of many awesome MCT designs for years to come. When we look back we will undoubtedly see that the Sequential S210 was a vital turning point in the success of the MCT idea.
The MCT prism hour concept is on my shortlist of best time displays of the last decade, and it looks like it shouldn’t get bumped off anytime soon. I hope that you are as excited about the future of MCT as I am!
Let’s break it down like a prism display!
- Wowza Factor * 9.62 An already incredible design made better through careful and deliberate adjustments, that truly has a huge wowza factor!
- Late Night Lust Appeal * 96.3 » 944.380 m/s2 The G-force on the want-center in your brain will be feeling the pull of this one all through the midnight hours.
- M.G.R. * 71.1 This movement has always been super cool, and knowing that it has been thoroughly gone over to create something even better is officially geektastic!
- Added-Functionitis * N/A Like many of the most awesome timepieces, the focus here is on time and nothing else. I won’t complain because I can skip the Gotta-HAVE-That cream and just love the darn thing!
- Ouch Outline * 11.9 – Sitting on a pile of metal shavings accidentally! It doesn’t happen all that often, and with a good rugged pair of jeans it may not be an issue. But sometimes that one shaving sneaks past your defenses and embeds itself right in your supple derriere. Ouch. But I’d do it again to get one of these things on my wrist!
- Mermaid Moment * One hour, because yeah!! Every hour the movement jumps in a most enjoyable way, and knowing it’s coming makes the joy even better. I think I might as well sign up for the gift registry and pick out china patterns at this point!
- Awesome Total * 756.4 Add the total number of components in the movement (increased to 654) by the number of components in the incredible case (56) and for good touch add in the slightly larger diameter of the whole package (46.4mm) and that adds up to one awesome total!
For more information, please visit www.mctwatches.com/sequential-two-s210.
Case: 46.4 x 15.1 mm, titanium or DLC-coated titanium with sapphire crystal ring
Movement: automatic Caliber MCT-S2.0
Functions: jumping hours, minutes
Also published on Medium.