After the Chronograph Invictus Morphos limited edition (jointly designed with ‘The King‘ Eric Cantona) and the Destination, that we fully reviewed recently, the Neuchatel-based brand Hautlence comes back to its original concept and to its in-house movement, with new editions of its sporty round model, the HLRQ, part of the Avant-Garde collection, now delivered with bright colored cases. Welcome the Hautlence HLRQ-04 and HLRQ-05!
Hautlence had quite an interesting year, with the introduction of two important novelties, showing the new direction wanted by the owners, the Meylan Group. First, during Baselworld 2014, they came with the Destination, using the classical design codes of the brand with a cheaper Soprod Caliber. Then, for the 10th anniversary of the brand, they introduced a chronograph, developed with their ambassador Eric Cantona, the Invictus Morphos, also based on an outsourced movement. Those 2 are very cool watches but what especially attracted us at Monochrome-Watches was the original and unique display (that we loved so much when reviewing the HL Ti 02), due to an impressive in-house movement. No worries, this calibre is not dead and there are even some new editions based on it.
The new Hautlence HLRQ-04 and HLRQ-05 are based on the Avant-Garde HLRQ, already introduced in gold (HLRQ-01), in titanium with blue accents (HLRQ-02) and in black DLC Titanium with orange accents (HLRQ-03). Now Hautlence pushes the use of colors further with case bands made of stainless steel coated in ice blue or bright orange, to match the colored accents on the dial. The 44mm case remains the same with a main part made of black DLC titanium and a bezel in black DLC stainless steel.
The mechanics used are the same as the other Hautlence watches: a jumping hour displayed on the left side of the dial (a dial made of a sapphire plate, partly tinted to reveal the mechanics) and a retrograde minute hand on the right side. If the rectangular editions are coming with an additional small second complication, like in the HL05, the round movement brings an extra date aperture at 6 that can be quickly corrected by a pusher located on the top of the watch, at 12. The movement ticks at 21,600bph and boasts 40 hours of power reserve. It is finished with hand-chamfered bridges with Côtes de Genève motif, visible through the sapphire caseback.
The new Hautlence HLRQ-04 and HLRQ-05 are bringing some fresh air to a collection maybe less imbued by the DNA of the brand – the rectangular editions are more likely to be seen as the ‘real Hautlence watches‘. Usually not found of colored materials, on these new editions it clearly works and it doesn’t fall into the toy / design-oriented-only pitfall.
The Hautlence HLRQ-04 and HLRQ-05 are both priced at EUR 32,400. More to discover on the official website of Hautlence.