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INTRODUCING: Hautlence Linear Series 2

The Hautlence Linear Series 2

The innovative watchmaker continues its comeback streak with an all-black ticker.

From the outset, Hautlence has been a watchmaker that marches to the beat of its own drum, proffering inventive, kinetic horology and seemingly oblivious to watchmaking trends. So, when it was acquired by MELB Holding (owner of H. Moser & Cie.) in 2012, there were understandable concerns that the brand’s radical streak might be tampered down to suit general preferences for more conventional offerings. Those concerns were, of course, allayed when the brand made a comeback last year with the Linear Series 1, a watch that appeared to be a more mature interpretation, if not a natural evolution, of the company’s unique approach to horology. Looking more extraordinary than its predecessor, the Linear Series 2 makes its debut this year with an all-black guise.

Hautlence Linear Series 2
The Hautlence Linear Series 2 in black PVD-coated steel.

At a distance, Hautlence loyalists might first recognise the brand’s signature TV-screen-shaped case on the Linear Series 2, but it has been subtly redesigned since its HL series days. With sleeker lines and a more modernised aesthetic, the case is now sportier than its forbears’ and more wearable thanks to integrated lugs that recess into the flanks. Blackened with a PVD coating, the case remains sizeable at 43 x 50.8mm but with a sensible thickness of 11.9mm, not that we think anyone should tuck a dial as intriguing as this under a shirt cuff.

Hautlence Linear Series 2
The intriguing dial of the Hautlence Linear Series 2 commands attention.

Speaking of which, it is noteworthy that just by looking at the dial, one would think of the avant-garde watchmaker, despite the absence of conspicuous branding. One literally has to look at the watch at a certain angle to see a discreet tone-on-tone engraving of the brand’s name and logo on the rehaut at 12 o’clock. After all, Hautlence is perhaps best known for inventive time displays that often involve retrograde and jumping indicators. 

Hautlence Linear Series 2
The vertical scale on the left of the dial indicates the hours while the minutes are shown in a conventional manner.

Here, the hours are shown on a vertical scale on the left of the dial, with the small white pointer jumping back to ‘1’ with the passing of the 12th hour. The minute indicator, though relatively conventional, offers more visual treats as its sapphire dial allows glimpses of the inner workings, and a flying tourbillon resides at 6 o’clock, in this case, the 30-minute position. A horological sleight-of-hand is also hiding in plain sight. Integral with the minute hand, the minute cam lifts the minute sector as the hour elapses. At the top of every hour, the latter snaps back to its original position, thereby driving the hour star, which includes the hour cam.

Hautlence Linear Series 2
A closer look at the Hautlence Linear Series 2's flying tourbillon.

The self-winding Calibre D50 powers the Linear Series 2, entirely developed, designed, and produced in-house by Hautlence, equipped with a module created in collaboration with independent watchmaker Agenhor. Paired with a sporty black rubber strap, the watch has a water resistance of 100m and a power reserve of 72 hours.

Hautlence Linear Series 2
The caseback of the Hautlence Linear Series 2 shows off the in-house self-winding Calibre D50.

Limited to 28 pieces worldwide, the Linear Series 2 is retailing at CHF63,000.

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