Since 2004, Hautlence has been revisiting the codes of traditional watchmaking, offering its very own display of – and approach to – time. The Neuchâtel brand is determined to remain on the cutting edge of innovation. Once again pushing boundaries, Hautlence has chosen a revolutionary composite material borrowed from the automotive and aerospace industries. Charged with ceramic nanotube particles, the HLLightColor is endowed with properties identical to those a conventional watch industry metal, while being four times lighter than titanium. It is machined with the same precision and to within the same tolerances, thus enabling extremely complex finishing operations, such as those featured on the case of the Vortex Gamma with its alternating brushed, polished and bead-blasted surfaces. In addition to this remarkable technological appearance, this material opens up boundless aesthetic possibilities. The HLLightColor is body tinted and enables Hautlence to play with the entire Pantone colour spectrum, to the delight of its clients, who are now able to order custom-made models.
In designing the case of the Vortex Gamma, composed of six three-dimensional sapphire crystals, Hautlence has drawn inspiration from the TRON style, stemming from the eponymous sci-fi film directed by Steven Lisberger in 1982. Playing with visual effects showcasing luminescent shapes representing integrated circuits, TRON has given rise to an extremely graphic universe. Through this style and by placing colour in the spotlight, Hautlence magnificently enhances the architectural lines of the Vortex case, accentuating them through a striking set of contrasting effects.
The minutes dial, made of almost completely transparent sapphire, offers a broad view of the HL2.0 caliber powering the Vortex Gamma. As the guiding thread of this model, colour also makes an appearance on the 12 links of the half-trailing hours chain, the key movement function. The mechanical automatic HL2.0 calibre is protected by three Hautlence patents. The first concerns the half-trailing hours chain: every 60 seconds, the chain turns in three to four seconds, in a controlled and smooth manner that effectively avoids shocks and energy losses, while allowing time to admire the beauty of the movement and the mechanisms in action. The second patent relates to the regulating organ integrated into the mobile bridge movement. Its constantly changing position, driven by the display, compensates statistically for the effect of gravity, enhancing its precision. The third patent relates to the contribution of the movement’s two barrels. The second barrel, devoted exclusively to driving the complication, is continually rearmed by the main barrel, so as to ensure optimal energy with each hours change. This twin-barrel system makes it possible to power complex mechanisms independently and without influencing the timekeeping precision of the watch.