With fiery colour tones, the appropriately named Hautlence Vortex Gamma Magma watch instantly comes alive on the wrist evoking a visually thrilling reaction. In every sense a contemporary timepiece, the watch captures the imagination and mechanical prowess of this youthful Independent Watchmaking company.
The Vortex Gamma Magma which forms part of the acclaimed Hautlence Concept d’Exception Collection, carries a watchcase comprising of six three-dimensional sapphire sections. Beneath this sculpted housing, an almost uninterrupted view of the complex components which bring life to this impressive piece is revealed.
Surrounding this sapphire is a minimalist frame of unparalleled intensity. Created from HLLightColour in a supremely volatile shade of orange, combined with jet-black, the sculpted profile of the watch is instantly accentuated and its angular architecture is defined.
This exceptional material, which is used in the automatic and aerospace industries, is four times lighter than titanium yet highly resilient. Thus, despite its generous 52mm x 50mm size, the wearer is ensured an ergonomic wristwatch experience. Not simply a coating, the vibrant colour tones are saturated throughout the body of the material enabled by its ceramic nanotube particle-charged properties. Complementing the unique styling codes of the sculptured case, the piece features an exceptional dial arrangement defined by further vivid colour accents and unique indications.
At the dial centre, a generous arc for the retrograde minutes dominates. The instant the arrow-headed minutes hand has reached the 60-minute mark the central logo-inscribed hub spins, for an astounding 48 high-speed revolutions.
Even though the vigorous movement of the hub is a compelling feature, it is also a functional component. While spinning seemingly uncontrollably, the diminutive hub is, in fact, regulating the pace of the signature Hautlence half-trailing hour display. Positioned on the left of the dial and comprising of 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 sapphire panel on the case side.
Adding 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.
The unusual layout of the calibre and the reverse aspect of the hour pallets can be appreciated through the sapphire caseback. On closer inspection the Haute Horlogerie credentials of the piece are revealed through the skilful satin-brushed, hand-bevelling and mirror-polished components.
The Hautlence Vortex Gamma Magma watch comes presented on a black rolled-edge and hand-sewn, rubber-lined, domed Louisiana alligator leather with large square scales and orange topstitching, secured to the wrist by a titanium folding clasp. The piece is a reassuringly exclusive release of just 8 pieces.