Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Hautlence HL Black Ceramic – Hands-on with live photos

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

One of our favorite watches gets some new shoes. The Hautlence HL is a long-time beloved at Monochrome-Watches. When the brand first introduced the Hautlence HL Ti 2, with its titanium case and its silver honeycomb dial, it was an instant crush. Design however is not the only reason for this appeal, as the in-house movement with jumping hour and retrograde minute participates a lot to the interest of this watch. For Baselworld 2015, no technical novelty, just a cool new material for the case and new colours. Say hello to the Hautlence HL Black Ceramic.

What to say about the Hautlence HL? It was, back in the days of its introduction – almost 10 years ago – a real breaking. The design was totally new – a large rectangular case – and the funtions, together with the use of an in-house movement were also something not so usual back then. Since, the industry changed and those specifications are now close to routine. If you look at all the independent watchmakers around, you’ll see that thousands of them are now creating watches even more spectacular and with movements created especially for them – or by them – with properly unusual displays. However, even if the Hautlence HL is now close to be a classical watch, it keeps a great appeal and the functions are still impressive.

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For Baselworld 2015, the Neuchatel-based brand (see here the acronym of the brand’s name…) brings a bit of fresh air to an already ‘old‘ collection with a new 88-piece limited-edition, the Hautlence HL Black Ceramic. As indicated in the name, the main novelty here is the use of ceramic for the entire case (central part, lugs, bezel and caseback), instead of the usual grade 5 titanium. Already very resistant in titanium, the 37mm x 43.5mm x 10.5 mm (quite a reasonable size now, if you compare to the actual production) case comes in virtually scratch-resistante and light ceramic coloured in deep black.

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The dial of the Hautlence HL Black Ceramic also undergoes a facelift but only (and thankfully) concerning the colours. The construction of a semi-skeletonized dial covered with a honeycomb structure is still here, revealing partially the technical elements – the connecting rod system for the retrograde minutes or the instant-jump mechanism for the hours. The layout is still the same, meaning a sub-dial on the left side that indicated the hours, via a jumping mechanism where the upper sapphire disc rotates once very hour to reveal – through a fully translucent area – the actual hour. On the bottom-right side we can find a small second sub-counter and on the top-right side sits the retrograde minutes, that instantaneously jumps back to zero every hours, at the exact same moment than the jumping hours.

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As said, no technical novelties for this Hautlence HL Black Ceramic, just some new colours and materials. The honeycomb structure, the hour ring and the minute scale are now coated in black and both the hour disc, the minute hand, the logo and the connecting rods are plated with 4N gold (meaning pink / rose gold). Combined with the black ceramic case and the black alligator strap, it gives a brand new look to the Hautlence HL, at the same time darker and warmer, compared to the Hautlence HL Ti 2.

Behind the see-through caseback sits the classical HL Calibre, an in-house designed and manufactured manually wound movement. It boasts 40 hours of power reserve, beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour and has 24 jewels. The finishing is also done in-house and by hand. The movement features hand-chamfered bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and fine circular graining on the dial side.

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The Hautlence HL Black Ceramic is a nice addition to this already classic collection of (superb) watches and it’s always a real pleasure on the wrist. It will be available soon and only in 88 pieces. The Hautlence HL Black Ceramic comes at a price of CHF 42,000 Swiss Francs. More to see on the dedicated page on

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