Using the blackest man-made material on earth, the new MCT Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps Sequential One S110 Evo Vantablack Limited Edition is one of those watches that can't be fully appreciated until seen in person. With Vantablack serving as the backdrop for its very unique way of telling time via mechanical prisms, the new MCT Evo Vantablack is the result of a collaboration with artist Anish Kapoor —the only licensed artist to use Vantablack.
Product of a casual encounter between Anish Kapoor and MCT's CEO Pierre Jacques, this new watch is now utilizing this revolutionary material in the watchmaking industry. While Panerai presented the LAB-ID utilizing also a very black material —not explained by Panerai if its Vantablack or not— on its dial as we reported here, we can tell you that the black areas on this MCT are as black as it gets, almost to the point where an optical illusion is created and the dial appears to be fully suspended in mid-air inside the case —see the pictures below and see for yourselves.
But What is Vantablack?
Vantablack is not a black paint, pigment or fabric, but is instead a functionalized ‘forest’ of millions upon millions of incredibly small tubes made of carbon or carbon nanotubes. Vantablack has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the World’s Darkest Man-made Substance. It is the darkest material ever measured by the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, UK, reflecting only 0.036% of the light that strikes it, which means that the light absorption rate is 99.964%. As light strikes the Vantablack surface, it enters the space between the nanotubes and is rapidly absorbed as it ‘bounces’ from tube to tube and simply cannot escape as the tubes are so long in relation to their diameter and the space between them.
Each nanotube used in Vantablack has a diameter of around 20 nanometers —that’s about 3,500 times smaller than the diameter of the average human hair— and are typically from around 14 microns to 50 microns long. A surface area of one square centimeter would contain around 1,000 million nanotubes. Vantablack was developed by Surrey NanoSystems in the U.K. and presented in 2014.
Fitted with a large square cushion shaped case in DLC Blackened Titanium that measures 45mm wide, 45mm long and 15.5mm in thickness, the new MCT Sequential One S110 Evo Vantablack is available in a limited edition of only 10 pieces. The dial on the MCT Sequential One S110 Evo Vantablack follows the same construction as all other Sequential One watches with a skeletonized 270 degree sector rotating/jumping disc with retrograde minutes at the center and four modules placed on each side of the case to display the hours. Each module is composed of 5 triangular prisms that flip every hour —just like the train schedule boards in European train stations— and each of them displays three different hours.
For several months, the teams at MCT Watches and Kapoor Studios in the U.K. worked hand in hand with the artist in order to give shape to a mysterious and fascinating watch. Used on the back dial as well as on one end of the minutes hand, shaped like a small moon —so black that you can see the difference against the regular black paint on the rest of the hand and almost invisible on the picture below—, Vantablack reveals its incredible properties with the movement appearing to be suspended in mid-air, while the small moon appears and disappears as if by magic during its rotation around the dial.
Initially developed for the military and aerospace industry, Vantablack caught the interest of Anish Kapoor. After a casual encounter with Pierre Jacques, CEO of MCT —known to be quite a charmer and an expert at networking at any level— they decided to work together.
In the words of Kapoor: “it’s the blackest material in the universe, after a black hole; a physical object that is impossible to see”. In the words of Pierre Jacques: “We are constantly looking for new materials and new technologies. When we found out about Vantablack a year ago, we were instantly spellbound by the unreal beauty, the depth and the dizzying power of the effect it creates.” And there you have it, the rest is history.
Derived from the Sequential One, the MCT Sequential One S110 Evo Vantablack Limited Edition is powered by the same manual wound MCT in-house movement composed of 471 parts, 81 jewels and a patented energy conservation system. The movement includes four modules with five prisms each, that rotate to indicate the hours. The hand-finished movement with Côtes de Genève throughout is fully visible via the display case back. The movement beats at a frequency of 18,000vph and provides a power reserve of 50 hours when fully wound.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the MCT Sequential One S110 Evo Vantablack Limited Edition Sequential One wears very comfortably but slightly large on a 7-7.25" wrist. The watch is delivered on a handmade double-stitched alligator leather strap that is very supple and comfortable. Additionally, the strap is lined with an anti-allergenic material and is fitted with a double deployant clasp that is easy to use and very nicely finished with MCT's logo. Lastly, each watch is signed by Anish Kapoor. For sure one of the most fascinating timepieces at the SIHH 2017 and a watch as black as it gets.
Sticker Price CHF 95,000 Swiss Francs —approximately $95,000 USD. For more info on MCT Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps click here.