We have shared our excitement about the Hautlence HL2 right from the very first moment that we got hold of the first photos, well before any official press release. The sheer technical beauty of this time-telling machine, is simply striking. Hautlence introduced a fourth version, dubbed HL2.4, which is executed in grade 5 titanium.
In order to see this marvelous machine first hand, we traveled to Switzerland for our Tour de Suisse, that we did back in 2010. Of course this offered the opportunity to show more about Hautlence’s technical creations. The hours are indicated by a chain and minutes by means of the familiar retrograde minute hand. The rotating escapement can be admired through the sapphire crystal that is curved, or maybe even wrapped, around the movement.
When the retrograde minutes hand returns to zero, to begin the next hour, the “connecting-rod mechanism” drives one revolution. A so-called function star activates the hour chain and the “mobile bridge movement”. This is when the mechanical magic of the HL2.0 starts to come to life…
The mechanisms of the hour chain and rotating escapement come to life simultaneously, and are powered by the energy in the complication barrel (a separate main spring, dedicated to providing energy to this complication). The speed control – placed on the centre axis of the retrograde minute hand and which is adorned with the Hautlence logo – makes completes 48 revolutions at high speed and allows the chain links to advance the hour-chain in 3-4 seconds.
When the hour display advances, a coupler transmits the kinetic power of the chain to the “mobile bridge movement”. This “mobile bridge movement” is the section that is visible through the curved sapphire and incorporates the regulating organ. This rotates by 60 degrees, every hour, and it also compensates for the effect of gravity, and thus enhancing the movement’s precision. The following video perfectly shows how it works.
As already mentioned, there are two main spring barrels, one for the time indication that powers the retrograde minute hand and a second to power the complication, being the hour-chain and mobile bridge movement. The principal barrel is wound by the automatic winding system and transmits the energy needed to wind a second barrel. That second barrel is kept fully wound by the main barrel to ensure that an optimal level of energy is available to change each hour. By using two separate main spring barrels, each independently powering either the time or the complication, Hautlence ensures the precision of the watch isn’t negatively affected.
Besides the two gold versions – HL2.1 in 18-carat white gold and HL2.2 in 18-carat 4N pink gold – there is another titanium version, that is black DLC coated, HL2.3, which was released in March of this year. No price for the HL2.4 was mentioned yet, however since HL2.3 comes at a retail price of 180,000 CHF (including tax), it’s safe to assume that the HL2.4 will be in the same price range.