Never say never: Hautlence introduces its first tourbillon model

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October 2015

The Jura-based horlogerie has opened a new chapter in its history by introducing the Tourbillon 01 model, which nevertheless remains true to the core design aesthetic of the brand.

Hautlence Co-Founder and CEO Guillaume Tetu will be the first to admit that he never planned on releasing a wristwatch with a tourbillon. The engineering feat is meant to counter the effects of gravity on a movement and thus make it more accurate. But it is increasingly being employed by brands trying to make a statement and demonstrate their watchmaking prowess.

So we might understand why the company was hesitant to offer a tourbillon in the first place: rather than following the crowd, Hautlence has made a name for itself by exploring different dial designs, which has come to be its comparative advantage on the market.

But never say never, as he brand’s CEO explains:

“I always said that we would never offer a tourbillon and that we preferred to push the limits of watchmaking with innovative dials that link mechanics and architecture... But never say never! For, as soon as we paired our emblematic sapphire crystal dial with the Calibre Tourbillon HMC 802 from H. Moser & Cie., I knew it was a perfect match.”

And here we have it, Hautlence enlarging its Atelier collection with the addition of the new Tourbillon 01. An elegant timepiece, it is housed in a 44mm two-tone case crafted out of rose gold and black PVD-coated titanium. It features a dual-time function, one-minute tourbillon, three-day power reserve and an automatic winding system.

Never say never: Hautlence introduces its first tourbillon model

Importantly, the watch follows the brand’s original aesthetic, notably the construction of the three-dimensional dial. Built on several levels, the dial highlights a black enamelled base which is embellished by the Côtes de Genève decoration. Thanks to the addition of an intermediate sapphire crystal dial, the rose gold numerals and hour markers appear to be floating above the base on the Tourbillon 01.

And speaking of that famed tourbillon, it comes by the way of H. Moser & Cie.’s exclusive Calibre Tourbillon HMC 802. The Calibre is manufactured in-house by H. Moser & Cie. with a regulating organ produced by escapement component specialists PEAG, both of which are owned by MELB Holding. In fact, Hautlence has had the support of MELB Holding since 2012, which has opened its network and tried to developed synergies across the group as a whole.

Never say never: Hautlence introduces its first tourbillon model

From a design perspective, this new model does encapsulate Hautlence’s DNA, specifically in terms of dial design. The addition of a tourbillon continues to be highly esteemed in the industry, and represents a more modern take on traditional horology. But in many ways, the offering of a tourbillon by Hautlence makes a good bit of sense.

As we know, Hautlence - whose name is an anagram of its hometown of Neuchâtel – prides itself on turning things upside down. With the introduction of its new Tourbillon 01 timepiece, the company has also turned Guillaume Tetu’s earlier declaration of not releasing a tourbillon upside down. Never say never, indeed.

Technical information

  • Display: Hours, minutes, dual-time indication, 1-minute tourbillon.
  • Calibre: Power reserve 3+ days; 21,600 vibrations/hour; 29 jewels; Double Côtes de Genève motif and hand-chamfered bridges.
  • Case: Horizontal satin-finish black PVD-coated grade 5 titanium; Dolished 18-carat pink gold bezel and crown; Extra-hard bevelled sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment; PVD-coated grade 5 titanium case back; Dimensions: 44 mm x 12.4 mm.
  • Dial: Black enamel with Côtes de Genève motif and applied hours, indexes and red gold-plated Hautlence logo; Hours and minutes hands in red gold and white Super-LumiNova.
  • Strap: Black hand-sewn rolled-edge, rubberised padded Louisiana alligator leather, large square scales; Graphic black padded carbon-pattern leather; Interchangeability spring bar; Folding clasp: grade 2 titanium with satin-finish 18-carat pink gold plate.
  • Water-resistance: 3 ATM