Since it was founded in 2004, Hautlence has been trying to disrupt Swiss watchmaking with some unique concepts. A big part of that effect has been the infusion of colour into their timepieces.
For the Vortex Gamma Tron, for example, the Neuchâtel-based brand has chosen a unique composite material, HLLightColor, which has been used in the automotive and aerospace industries.
The first time I came across this material was when the luxury watchmaker applied it to the Vortex Gamma last year. It was used to add a splash of colour to the line, through the application of charged ceramic nanotube particles. It also made the watches lighter, since the material is several times lighter than titanium.
Another feature of HLLightColor is that it can also be made phosphorescent, something which has been applied to great affect to accentuate the architectural lines of the new watch.
The case itself is also something special, composed of six 3D sapphire crystals. White is used for the case and blue for its edges, complemented with the blue light that outlines the edges and glows in the dark.
This effect also underlines the strong influence of the science-fiction film Tron, which has inspired the Vortex Gamma Tron. Just turn off the lights and observe the watch - the the reference becomes all too obvious.
In another interesting effect, the brand’s Möbius symbol, which can be found glowing at the centre of the dial, turns on itself with each new hour.
The retrograde minute dial offers a large window onto the HL2.0 self-winding calibre which powers the timepiece. The 12 articulated links in the jumping hour chain feature one of 12 white numerals.
At the heart of the movement is a chain that turns every 60 minutes, taking 3-4 seconds to move. The movement is equipped with two barrels, one of which is dedicated only to driving the complication. Its job is to ensure that the optimal level of energy is available each time the hour changes.
As demonstrated with this new addition, the unique HLLightColor concept can be used to create personalized timepieces with colour combinations chosen by customers. That is, so long as those customers have 170,000 Swiss francs to spend to get their hands on one of these futuristic-looking timepieces.