I guess it doesn’t come as a surprise that Hautlence is one of my favorite watch brands. Ever since I’ve visited them and saw the über-impressive HL2 I’ve been a huge admirer. Today I’m pleased to introduce the new, much more affordable, Avant-Garde collection.
Hautlence introduces 3 new models of the new Avant-Garde collection. The new collection looks younger, sportier and less formal and comes in a larger case then previous models. It retains the signature way to display time and shows a magnificent 3-D visual presentation, because of the sapphire crystal dials. Because of a different case construction and the use of titanium in stead of precious metals, the price starts at 30,000 CHF. A dream come true for many collectors!
The new larger case measures 46 mm (from left to right) by 42 mm and 12.8 mm in height, making it much more prominent on the wrist then the HL collection as you can see on this wrist shot here. You know I usually don’t display press release text, however a small exception. In these few lines Hautlence perfectly describes what thought when I first saw an Hautlence on my wrist, and I still think the same:
“…the first 3 models of this new collection offer an innovative, and seemingly weightless, approach to time display. The two multilayered dials create an exquisite play of depth and transparency to reveal the architectural balance of the piece.”
The sapphire crystal dial is used from both sides: the dial’s upper face features the logo, as well as luminescent minutes and indexes; its lower face includes a semi-opaque area and a metal coating made from highly polished rhodium or rose gold. Underneath it a second dial, either in silvered opaline or the signature honeycomb that I loved so much in the HL Ti02 that I reviewed, further enhances the feeling of weightlessness. The luminescent numerals and indexes guarantee easy readability and really reinforce the 3D effect of the jumping hours, retrograde minutes and subsidiary seconds. A feast for the eye!
The new case combines steel and titanium, covered by black DLC on some models. Displayed above is the HLRS 01 Rose Gold that also features an 18-carat 4N rose gold crown and screws. The use of semi-opaque on the lower side of the sapphire crystal dials puts more focus on the parts of the dial, where hours and minutes are displayed, improving its readability.
All models of the Avant-Garde collection come on a black caoutchouc strap with folding buckle. This supports the more young and sporty looks of this collection. Next is the HLRS 02 – Blue with a titanium and steel case and blue SuperLuminova on the indexes and hands. The bezel and ‘bumpers’ are made in stainless steel, partially brushed and partially polished. The case back and horns are made in titanium, to reduce weight.
All horns are in titanium, however the horns of the HLRS 02 are DLC coated, to put more emphasis on the stainless steel bezel and bumper.
The last model to be unveiled today is the HLRS o3 Orange Honeycomb. The black DLC coated bezel and bumpers combined with the honeycomb dial, give this watch a bit of a stealthy look and more contrast that also increases the sporty looks.
Of course all new models of the Avant-Garde collection feature the Hautlence in-house manual winding mechanical movement, with jumping hours and retrograde minutes using the Hautlence connecting rods system. The finish is just superb: hand-drawn strokes and hand angled finish.
The price, including Swiss taxes, is 32,000 CHF for the HLRS 01 and both the HLRS 02 and HLRS 03 are available for 30,000 CHF. I think this is great news for collectors! In a few weeks I’ll be visiting Hautlence in their home town of La Chaux-de-Fonds and show you much more details and live photos!
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.