Luxury watches that are pushing watchmaking innovation
1 May 2019
The Haute in Hautlence
Hautlence: Always Reinventing Time
SIHH 2019 saw the unveiling of new HL Kinetic table clock, a precursor to an all new, highly innovative time display complication which will headline the brand’s expertise at Baselworld.
Displaying the hours and minutes, in 5-minute increments, Hautlence unveiled a new, revolutionary vision of time display with the HL Kinetic Table Clock. Hours and minutes spheres moving inside two transparent columns, the Kinetic Clock is an objet d’exception, mesmerising onlookers with a hypnotic ballet of orbital spheres seemingly moving at random. While timekeeping of the table clock is fully mechanical, the energy system is electric, provided by a rechargeable lithium battery.
On the Kinetic Clock, each of the spheres execute one jump as the hour and minute changes, however, given its pre-eminent status of “conversation piece of any room it inhabits”, the engineers at Hautlence have designed the clock to be “user-activated”, that is to say, to show curious onlookers how the complication functions, the owner can activate the device for ten minutes using the demo button. There’s no discernible crown, instead, time is set by manipulating the orbs directly on each of the columns and arranged as desired since each one functions independently.
Even more amazingly, this time display high complication will headline a wristworn version in the manufacture’s flagship – the HL Sphere.
For Baselworld 2019, the Hautlence HL Sphere serves as the brand’s latest hit novelty. Hautlence made a big splash in 2013 with an innovative time display using chains. This, the Neuchatel Manufacture ushers in their 8th in-house calibre, once again revolutionising time display complications by adding a jumping hour sphere to its pantheon of high novelty time indications like half-trailing hour chains and jumping hour discs.
With only a singular blue hand for minutes, the blue sphere indicating hours dominates your attention. Occupying the left hand of the case, the box sapphire with small dome amplifies the visual drama and majesty of the Hautlence HL Sphere’s raison d’etre. Featuring twelve engraved numerals filled with lacquer, the magic of the HL Sphere depends on its hidden three rotational axes which allow the sphere to perform its stationary orbit, as if in a seemingly random hypnotic dance.
That said, it’s the mechanical wizardry of this new Hautlence Baselworld 2019 novelty that allows the HL Sphere to instil a sense of wonder – four conical gears that move around two crossed spindles inclined at an angle of 21 degrees. The namesake sphere is comprised of two polished blue PVD titanium cases capped over a conical differential to create a yin and yang composition.
Entirely developed, designed and produced in-house, the manually wound HTL 501-1 calibre with skeletonised balance bridge (on the reverse side) allows the owner to admire the oscillations of the proprietary balance spring produced by Precision Engineering AG, sister company within the group. As with most high complications, Hautlence has incorporated mechanical safety features to prevent incorrect adjustment during reverse time setting.
(Article by: Jonathan Ho)
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