Hautlence heads to Colette
Following the success of its Playground collection and the first model in the range, the Labyrinth, Hautlence has designed an exclusive new series for Colette. To celebrate, the Playground Labyrinth Limited Edition By Colette is adorned in the Parisian store’s signature black and blue.
Hautlence calls to our inner child with the legendary maze game. Who didn’t love rolling the ball around these little plastic mazes? It drove us up the wall too! But the Playground Labyrinth Limited Edition By Colette isn’t really a watch…
Its black titanium dial with diamond corners doesn’t tell the time. The crown activates a “mechanical lift” that puts the blue steel ball back into the maze using a system of cams that you can see through the transparent back. The rectangular steel case (37×43.5mm) is reminiscent of watches by the brand whose name is an anagram of Neuchâtel.
When Hautlence unveiled its first limited edition Labyrinth (18 available) in Basel in 2016, it came as a surprise to many. It is more a square case housing a small ball in a maze. A complex mechanism brings the ball back into play once the player’s managed to get it into one of the two holes. The special watch was a success for the brand despite it not being able to tell the time.
The collection is primarily a metaphor for a time where there are no deadlines. The original philosophy is in keeping with Colette’s avant-garde products. The famous Parisian store sets the trends and unearths the latest new pieces. The limited edition (5 available) is exclusively available from Colette and its modern city-chic look is true to Hautlence’s designs.
Price: 9,900 CHF hautlence.com
By Inès Aloui
Time is movement; time is changing. HAUTLENCE and Eric Cantona, its illustrious ambassador, understand this well: the VORTEX PRIMARY, a watchmaking masterpiece that marries beauty and technical excellence, exquisitely symbolises the movement and transformation of time. Unveiled in January 2016, the VORTEX PRIMARY was launched in Asia in the last week of September with the support of HAUTLENCE’s local partners, as part of the PRIMARY TOUR.
With its three-dimensional case composed of faceted structures featuring 19 primary-colour crystals, the VORTEX PRIMARY beautifully showcases the mechanism of the HL2.0 in-house calibre, in perpetual motion, and the theme of passing time, embodied by its half-trailing hours chain. Each time the hour changes, the watch undergoes a metamorphosis. And in the changing light, the superimposed crystals transform the VORTEX PRIMARY’s appearance.
This theme is dear to Eric Cantona, who explains: “To survive, you have to adapt. To exceed the limits imposed on us by society or ourselves, we need to know how to surpass ourselves, to push further, to think and be different, to metamorphose. Time is the only inescapable constraint, and that’s why our starting point was the idea of a cage for the case – to remind us that we are all physically imprisoned by time, but that our spirit remains free.” Inspired by a stained glass window, the case’s construction reveals the heart of the timepiece in its mysterious beauty.
The primary colours chosen for the case are also highly symbolic, representing complete freedom through their ability to create any shade when mixed. “Time and death are intimately linked. The VORTEX PRIMARY reflects life and death, imprisonment and freedom, metamorphosis and colour,” concludes Eric Cantona. To celebrate the launch of this unique piece, HAUTLENCE invited a small number of special guests and members of the press to a primary colour-themed event. The occasion was marked by the unveiling of an Eric Cantona artwork, which reinterprets the VORTEX PRIMARY design in the form of a vertical sculpture composed of plexiglas panels in the primary colours. The artwork was created in three versions – each a unique piece in its own right – and exhibited in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta. The three works were given to the first lucky owners of a VORTEX PRIMARY.
Introducing the Hautlence Playground Labyrinth
“Same player shoot again”! In a world where everything is super-technological and ultra-connected with garish appliances and piercing sounds that verge on noise abuse, Hautlence has crossed the line with “an entirely essential yet fundamentally useless object”: Playground Labyrinth.
As a watch, Playground Labyrinth has a large rectangular titanium case that’s classic Hautlence fuelled by a mechanical movement with wrist straps but…it doesn’t tell the time! Instead of the regular hour and minute hands gliding over the dial there’s a beautiful maze in rose or white gold. The network of straight paths bordered by satin-finish walls with polished edges and a platinum ball is a chance to get away from the everyday chaos and return to your childhood for a bit of me-time.
The calibre in the 37×43.5x13mm case has a mechanical lift to put the ball back into play once it’s out of the labyrinth.
Price: 12,000 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
It may not be the first time but it’s always a bit of a surprise to see a round watch in the edgy and highly architectural timepiece collections by Hautlence. The biggest surprise however is when you realise that the dial on the Tourbillon 01 is relatively “covered” and its openwork lower part showcases a tourbillon. Fuelled by a self-winding HMC 802 calibre designed by H. Moser & Cie, the tourbillon completes a revolution in a minute. The movement also powers the 72-hour power reserve, time functions and a second time zone. The dial is adorned by black enamelled Côtes de Genève and has three central rose gold hands all coated in Super-LumiNova® apart from the GMT hand. Luminescent indices and Arabic hour numerals unfurl on the translucent screwdown bevelled rim which also bears the white decal minute track. Price: 88,000 CHF. Sharmila Bertin
Is the vertigo-inducing Vortex a watch or a work of architecture? The rectangular case is made entirely of titanium whilst the transparent flashes created by six 3D sapphire crystals on the case and its translucent dial give the heady impression of controlled, conscious and calculated chaos. But the answer is yes, this is a watch. Fuelled by a twin-barrel self-winding HL2.0 calibre, it has a unique and fascinating way to display the hours and minutes. The half-trailing hours appear in a display on the left; the retrograde minutes scale a semi-circular track chased by a white-tipped luminescent hand. The right side of the dial features the power reserve indicator (up to 40 hours) whose red marker is the only colour to disrupt the otherwise grey, dark yet bright piece. Price: 160,000 CHF
This avant-garde brand and its exciting designs haven’t stopped surprising us since its foundation in 2004. The pieces are so innovative that they verge on the anti-conformist yet they respect the watchmaking tradition. The Avant-Garde collection first launched in 2012 and is launching two new pieces to end the year: two new fabulous versions of the HLRQ. The sapphire crystal dial a canvas for creativity in itself as it blends transparent and opaque features for an almost 3D effect. It provides a clear and dizzying view of the manual wind mechanical movement which brings to life the jumping hours (on a disc at 9 o’ clock), retrograde minutes (minute track between 1 and 5 o’ clock) and date (metal-rimmed display at 6 o’ clock). The movement nestles in the heart of a 44mm black DLC-coated titanium case whose blue or orange steel lugs match the colour of the luminescent hour and minute indices. Price: 33,500 CHF (pin buckle) – 35,000 CHF (folding clasp)