When it comes to ‘wow’ watches, the HL2.0 from Hautlence is definitely up there, which is why this is the second time we’re featuring it on Wow Watch Wednesday – this time with an updated video! Visually the timepiece is breathtaking, defying convention with its unusual design and the bold use of sapphire that lays bare the inner workings of this complex machine. And yet complex seems to be an understatement, not nearly doing justice to the groundbreaking movement that takes center stage every time the hour changes. Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it, check out the amazing video from Hautlence after the jump and you can judge for yourself.
Like all Hautlence pieces, the HL2.0 at first glance appears more focused on unusual design and complex mechanics, as opposed to legibility and wearability but nothing could be further from the truth. Like another brand we greatly admire – URWERK – Hautlence does not compromise when it comes to its timepieces fulfilling their most basic function; i.e. telling the time. Yes, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, and yes it is completely mesmerizing but tear your eyes away from the suspended escapement for just a few seconds and you will notice an incredibly legible time-display right next door.
Let’s face it though; the real star of the show here is the incredible automatic, double-barrel calibre, made completely in-house by Hautlence. In a ground-breaking development (meaning a genuine first in watchmaking, and not simply a rehash of an old concept) the complete escapement system, including the plate, bridges, and wheels move to a new position each time the hour jumps, making four complete 60° rotations every single day.
According to the brand this has been done to counter balance the effects of gravity on precision, much like a tourbillon supposedly does. Whether this makes any real difference to accuracy I will leave up to you to decide, what I can tell you though (having been fortunate enough to see one in person when the movement was still in the final stages of development) is that it looks amazing. There is a saying that goes something along the lines of “don’t wish your life away” but trust me, you will literally be hanging out for each new hour to pass.
Production is limited to just 28 pieces each in white gold and rose gold, and you can expect to pay at least US$200,000, making it an inaccessible dream for most. Of course if you are playing in that ballpark already then this is definitely a piece worthy of your consideration, not least because it brings a highly unusual artistic beauty to watchmaking. Plus you’ll never get tired of looking at it!
The Final Word
For me Hautlence is one of those small brands still finding its way in the world of haute horology, although I have every confidence that they will make it. I have been fortunate enough to visit their facilities in Switzerland and speak with founder Guillaume Tetu and I can tell you first-hand that there is a genuine passion within the company to make beautiful timepieces that will become known and cherished for their unique blend of distinctive design and incredible complexity. The HL2.0 is a stunning example of this and I believe there is much more to come from this still emerging young brand.
Please be sure to visit their official website for more information: www.hautlence.com.
Category: Wow Watch Wednesday