An outstanding, technically advanced timepiece, which defines contemporary Independent Haute Horlogerie watchmaking, the Hautlence Vortex Gamma 03 watch combines space-age construction materials with mechanical prowess. Exuding a powerful presence on the wrist, the architecture of its impressive, sculpted profile is enhanced by unique colour tones.
Within their small-series portfolio, the Hautlence Concepts d’Exception Collection is characterised by unusual time indications, enabled by complex mechanisms. Forming part of this acclaimed series, the Vortex Gamma 03 model features a substantial sapphire crystal which envelopes the case, enabling a full exposé of the minutiae, offering its wearer a visual lesson in horological anatomy.
The watch has been equipped with six three-dimensional sapphire crystal sections which are held within a minimalist framework constructed from HLLightColour, a high-tech composite which is also used in the automotive and aerospace industries. This extraordinary housing has been engineered to reveal a fascinating panorama of the time indications and the components of the in-house calibre.
Despite its substantial size of 52mm x 50mm, this highly resilient yet extremely light material is four times lighter than titanium ensuring an ergonomic experience while on the wrist.
The superbly contrasting red and black colour tones which define this unique Gamma 03 model are not simply a coating. The HLLightColour is charged with ceramic nanotube particles so that the body of the material is supersaturated throughout with colour. In unity with the vibrant red accents on the case, the indications have been enhanced with the same tone, adding to the high-spirited character of this exclusive edition.
Dominating the centre of the dial, a generous arc for the retrograde minutes takes up position. As the arrow-headed minutes hand makes a gentle transition along the arc, the logo-inscribed hub at its centre appears to be an entirely innocent brand representation. However, when the hand has reached the 60-minute mark the central hub spins, for an astounding 48 high-speed revolutions.
An utterly compelling feature, the vigorous motion of the diminutive hub is also entirely functional. While spinning seemingly uncontrollably, it serves to regulate the pace of the signature Hautlence half-trailing hour display.
Positioned on the left of the dial and comprising of red-enhanced digits placed on individual pallets on a twelve-link track, the hour display offers a poetic view of the passing of the hours.
As the digits progress along the chain driven mechanism, they do so at a satisfyingly moderate pace. As each new hour replaces the old, the mechanisms which enable the 3-4 seconds transition of the change-over can be viewed through the side sapphire section.
On their own, these extraordinary time indications would be enough to captivate even the most discerning wristwatch enthusiast, however, in addition to this impressive façade, the entire balance and escapement assembly is mounted on a mobile bridge. Rotating in sync with the half-trailing hour mechanism it passes through 60° each time, rotating four times every 24 hours.
Beating at 18,000vph the in-house Hautlence Calibre, contained within this vitreous housing utilises two barrels - a primary barrel which is fed directly from the automatic winding system which then distributes power to a secondary barrel keeping it fully wound, so that the optimal level of energy is available to enable the hour change. The wearer can keep check on the impressive 45 hour power reserve via a graduated indicator with a red varnished hand, to the right of the retrograde minutes display.
On turning the piece over, the reverse perspective of the hour pallets and the mobile bridge is revealed. Here one can also appreciate the meticulous satin-brushed, hand-bevelling and mirror-polished elements of the calibre components.
An exclusive release of just 8 pieces, the Hautlence Vortex Gamma 03 watch comes with strap options of black, padded Louisiana alligator leather with large square scales and red topstitching and a black rubber example.