The Neuchâtel-based watchmaker introduces a new vibrant case material that can take on any color, adding another level of personalization to its collection.
Since Hautlence was set up 2004, it has made it a mission to revise the codes of traditional watchmaking. By in large, the brand has been able to do that in the relatively short period of time it has been in operation.
The more recent example of its innovative approach to timekeeping is the Vortex Gamma. Once again we see something unique from the Swiss brand, specifically in the use of composite materials. Borrowed from the automotive and aerospace industries, the material is charged with ceramic nanotube particles. This so-called “HLLightColor” is several times lighter than titanium.
The HLLightColor is body tinted and it has enabled the designers to play with the entire colour spectrum. What that means for customers is that they can order custom colour variants of this watch, and indeed any other future model that uses the same material.
The case design of the Vortex Gamma is also very modernist. It is composed of six three-dimensional sapphire crystals and is inspired by the 1982 movie Tron. This stylistic choice enhances the architectural lines of the case through contrasting effects.
The minute dial is made of sapphire that is almost completely transparent. As a result it offers a broad view of the in-house HL2.0 caliber, with its oscillating weight in 18-carat white gold. Its twin-barrel system makes it possible to power complex mechanisms independently and without influencing the timekeeping precision of the watch.
The impressive automatic calibre is protected by three patents: the first concerns the half-trailing hours chain, the second relates to the regulating organ integrated into the mobile bridge movement, and the third relates to the contribution of the movement’s two barrels.
Hautlence also promotes itself as a company subscribing to the “purest” form of Swiss watchmaking. As a result, this timepiece carries the “Horlogerie Suisse” label, rather than the more familiar “Swiss made”. It indicates that the components used are all sourced from the Neuchâtel and Jura regions of Switzerland. That is definitely one way to increase market segmentation.
When it’s all said and done, Hautlence has delivered a high-tech, highly colourful watch with the Vortex Gamma. Only 8 examples of this model will be made – which is notable because the company has an annual output of only about 200 watches. It is also notable because it means the watch will come with a hefty price of 170,000 Swiss francs.