Watches and Wonders

Romain Gauthier: a first ladies’ watch

SIHH 2018

January 2018

Romain Gauthier: a first ladies' watch

The Vallée de Joux artisan watchmaker unveils his first creation for ladies at the occasion of SIHH 2018. Baptized Insight Micro-Rotor-Lady, it contains a powerful mechanism for a model that “seeks at avoiding clichés”.

“Increasingly, female collectors are looking to own truly exceptional mechanical timepieces,” says discreet artisan Romain Gauthier. “While aesthetics still play a role, these women want the real deal in terms of innovative mechanisms and fine hand-finishing.”

Insight Micro-Rotor Lady’s hour-minute subdial and small seconds are crafted from mother of pearl, indications powered by an in-house calibre that boasts a bidirectional micro-rotor made from 22k gold. The front of this oscillating weight is decorated with brilliant-cut diamonds of varying sizes.

Mechanical watches for ladies

A micro-rotor for 80 hours of power

Framed by a cut-out in the mainplate – also adorned with mother of pearl – the micro-rotor turns fluidly and noiselessly between two bridges, each fitted with a friction-minimising, wear-resistant ruby bearing. However subtly and in whichever direction the micro-rotor swings, it efficiently winds a serially operating double mainspring barrel that, when fully wound, provides a generous 80 hours of power.

The case’s 39.5mm diameter ensures a comfortable fit on slim wrists. Impressive design details include a lip in the caseband that flares out to meet the bezel; the crown placed at 2 o’clock to free up space for wrist movement; and the bombé sapphire crystal which gradually rises so its highest point is over the hour-minute display – the true centre of the dial in Romain Gauthier’s eyes.

Mechanical watches for ladies

There are more beguiling views of the movement through the display back. Here the micro-rotor can be see setting the visible train of gears in motion, starting with the reversing gear that lends the mechanism its bidirectionality. The gears and ratchets stand out for their circular arms that feature eye-catching bevels.

Meanwhile, the golden bridges are decorated with hand-made, hand polished bevels and jewel countersinks and are fixed in place using Romain Gauthier’s signature screws with aesthetic S-slot. The sinuosity of the bridges is nicely juxtaposed by the linearity of the straight-grained finishing and four plaquettes.

Mechanical watches for ladies

“Avoiding clichés”

“With Insight Micro-Rotor Lady, I wanted to create something that is feminine, but which avoids clichés of femininity, and something that is technical but where the showpiece complication provides a simplicity of use,” says Gauthier. “A few turns of the crown get the movement going, you set the time, put the watch on and let the micro-rotor do its work. You can then just enjoy it as an elegant and reliable daily companion.”

Mechanical watches for ladies

Insight Micro-Rotor Lady is available in two 10-piece limited editions in red gold: with Tahitian black mother-of-pearl dial and anthracite strap, and with Australian extra white mother-of-pearl dial with white strap.