INTRODUCING: Hautlence Sphere Series 1
Like a Magic 8-Ball, Hautlence’s spherical jumping hour display is back with improvements and a striking price point.
If there’s one trend that has grown in the pandemic and post-pandemic years, it’s the increasing popularity of the time-only watch. Our pace of life has changed, and with it, consumers today want simplicity in their daily tickers. But that hasn’t stopped the independent brands from coming up with funky designs that make a statement. Cue Hautlence’s latest release, the Sphere Series 1, which brings back a concept from 2019.
Under the care of the MELB group since 2012, the Meylans have been working to enhance Hautlence’s novel timekeeping identity with the aid of Precision Engineering AG. At BaselWorld 2019, it surprised the industry with a three-dimensional hour display and retrograde minutes watch. The Sphere 01 was both fun and ingeniously complex. Four conical gears moving around two crossed axles inclined at 21 degrees ensure that the sphere, which indicates the hours, spin and stop exactly when the retrograde minute hand jumps from ‘60’ back to ‘’.
The power needed to drive the gears at the end of each hour is stored using a snail cam and released instantaneously at ‘60’, with a governing gear that prevents any bounce from the minute hand by slowing the jump. This also limits any wear on the time display and ensures fluid movement. A second version of the Sphere with a new dial would come along in 2020.
This year, Hautlence has refreshed its iconic TV case design, and along with it, a new Sphere Series 1 is available in a limited 28-piece stainless steel production (side note: every Hautlence watch is limited in production, with numbers ending in ‘8’). Quick recap: where the older TV case shape was boxier, the new design has stepped wings that give the design depth perspective and accentuate the detailed chamfers of the case.
The TV case is 50.8mm by 43mm and wider than it is long, breaking rectangular case conventions and providing an easy fit for all wrist sizes. The strap and lugs are also integrated into the 43mm case design, so it conforms well to the curves on your wrist. That makes it very comfortable for long periods of wearing with a rubber strap and buckle. Once again, the entire gearing system for the time display is visible from the front of the watch; it’s fun to operate the crown and watch the gears move with the minute hand and the hour sphere flip at the end of the hour like a Magic 8-Ball.
The new A80 calibre has been improved from the original HTL 501-1 movement. The skeletonised movement reveals the escapement on the back of the watch, along with an exposed mainspring barrel so you know when to manually wind the watch. With an improved geometry, there’s a strong balance in its design, and the watch itself is a smidge thinner at 11.9mm with the boxed sapphire crystal and 10.9mm without.
The Sphere Series 1 has a power reserve of 72 hours and 100m of water resistance, with Globolight applied decimal numerals and Super-LumiNova hour indexes on the blue PVD-treated titanium hemispheres. The intermediate dial is bead-blasted in a silver finish, creating a tonal silver-and-grey watch with blue accents that exudes modern class. It’s also priced at CHF66,000 (local pricing to be confirmed), a significant reduction from the original CHF99,000. It’s available through Cortina Watch in the region; head to a boutique near you to find out more.
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