Independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier has a masterful way of blending technology and design to create watches that are works of art, as well as timekeeping devices. For the past 13 years since Romain Gauthier started his eponymous brand in 2005, he has built his own movement components, developed four in-house calibres and handcrafts just about 60 watches per year – making Romain Gauthier one of the most exclusive watch brands on the market. It was at Baselworld 2017 that he unveiled his fourth calibre, the Insight Micro-Rotor. Now, Romain Gauthier unveils its first made-for-women watch: the Insight Micro-Rotor Lady.
Three important aspects of the Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Lady need to be established up front. As mentioned, it is the first watch created specifically for women by the brand. That said, it is essentially the same configuration and layout as the version for men that was unveiled last year. However, the way Romain Gauthier has integrated shimmering mother of pearl and diamonds into the design make the watch sublimely beautiful.
The 18k 5N rose gold Insight Micro-Rotor Lady watch has a 39.5mm case – generous enough in size to showcase the intricate mechanics but not too large for the feminine wrist. The watch displays the hours and minutes on an iridescent mother-of-pearl subdial at 12 o’clock, and the seconds on a smaller inset subdial beneath it. The elegantly sculpted and beautifully finished balance wheel appears beneath these two subdials at 6 o’clock. A plate of mother-of-pearl acts as a pseudo-dial behind the balance wheel, and a Romain Gauthier gold logo plaque is attached at 4 o’clock. Even the R. Gauthier logo, numerals and hands are in a matching rose gold hue.
The bi-directional Micro-Rotor of the watch is crafted in 22k gold and is meticulously snow-set with 45 varying sizes of diamond brilliants – making for a scintillating shine with every move of the wrist. The micro-rotor spins between two bridges that are fitted with ruby bearings to minimize friction, and as the rotor swings, it winds the double mainspring barrel and provides a comfortable 80 hours of power reserve.
In a harmonious statement of balance, Romain Gauthier has decorated the visible bridges with a hand-finished straight-grain brushed motif that gives the entire dial an inviting and alluring three-dimensional appeal. The crown has been offset at 2 o’clock instead of 3 o’clock and the bombe sapphire crystal rises in height so that the highest point is above the hour/minute subdial. The Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Lady is offered with a color-coordinated white natural rubber strap.
Via the sapphire case back, one can also enjoy a stunning view of the micro-rotor, the gear train and the reversing gear that enables bidirectional movement. All of the gears and ratchets are hand-finished and bevelled. As always, Romain Gauthier offers one of the most advanced decorative finishes on the market (this is true hand-finished Haute Horlogerie).
Inside the Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Lady
With an end-goal of providing a highly visible view of the Micro-Rotor Caliber, Romain Gauthier took three years to perfect the movement that was first unveiled last year. The Insight Micro-Rotor Lady watch utilizes the same complex caliber. While we wrote about this movement last year, a few points bear repeating. To begin with is the fact that creating a three-hand watch with high visibility, high power reserve and a bi-directional rotor is no easy feat. To enable the dual-turning rotor, Romain Gauthier had to incorporate a reversing gear, whose axis glides from side within two arc-shaped steel plates.
Another consideration Gauthier had to take into account revolved around the weight of the micro-rotor. Because it is crafted in 22k gold and is heavy, he had to opt against a flying rotor and support it by two bridges. It is a good thing he did this, because otherwise, for the Insight Micro-Rotor Lady watch, he would not have been able to add the weight of the diamonds. And let’s face it; what woman would ever turn down diamonds?
The Romain Gauthier Insight-Micro-Rotor Lady is one of the few examples of independent watchmaking applied to ladies, without any concessions on decoration and mechanical beauty. A truly exclusive piece for connoisseuses (if ever the feminine version of connoisseur exists) that will retail for USD 89,000. More details on romaingauthier.com.
This article has been written by Roberta Naas, founder of A Timely Perspective; and author of six books on watches.