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The HL – HL for Hautlence

 

CREATION
The variety of components for a complication watch such as this requires the mastery of a large number of skills and techniques, applied to the movement parts and the components of the dial and case.

Our desire for excellence has led us to make use of the best sources for each component. The emergence of new machining, formatting and surface treatment techniques – which are evolving rapidly in several places – made it impossible for us to integrate these tools in-house, as we would not have been able to develop them rapidly enough.

This is why the linear bearings of the large connecting rod and the cam are made using photolithography and electro shaping – a technique similar to the one used to make integrated circuits – and the contact surface between the tip of the sensor and the tip of the cam are treated with a surface treatment applied in an extremely hard vacuum with a very low friction coefficient.

Other parts, such as the stars, also require manufacturing procedures that result from new technologies. This research into new procedures, this implementation of crossed fertilization, which is to say the development – in a specific industry – of its potentials using techniques developed in other fields, led us to a production model that is different from those that are most popular in our industry today.

Our structure – in collaboration with our “College” – allows us to develop our methods, and therefore our conception possibilities, according to the most advanced research. It also allows us to validate the results.

THE DESIGN AND EXTERIOR COMPONENTS
To accomplish this, we have not subcontracted all industrial responsibility for our project.

On the contrary, we have integrated production management, expertise in choosing sources, specification and order provisions and component flow. We are also responsible for quality control right up to the final assembly.

The Hautlence watch is built around the caliber. The technical elements are exposed and the technique is perfectly visible; the overall design is very minimal. The different levels of the display elements give a unique, in-depth view.

A tonneau-shaped beveled sapphire crystal glass is fit to the case thanks to its lower lug and reveals the inner levels, seals and flange volumes. The flange is finished by hand to obtain a flank with a silky satin finish.

The case band is composed of the solid gold body on which the tube and crown are fit. The caseback and horns are associated with each case band – one of the main elements of the case – which is individually crafted by a “case artist”. The exterior components then receive their punches and finishes, which will make each case a totally unique product.

The caseback is screwed on with four specially designed Hautlence screws. The case band is made up of a single vertical surface with a simple machined pit that limits the upper part of the horns. With a total thickness of 10.5 mm, this piece offers a massive and generous character, as well as optimum dimensions and ergonomics.

The lower dial reveals part of the minute circle and winding mechanism, and supports the second flange, which cleverly floats between the connecting rods and the upper sapphire dial.

The hour markers and cartridge are applied on the upper dial by hand (the sapphire crystal on HL07 & HL08 is replaced by 3 distinct independent offset dials).

The alligator strap is cut from high-quality skins and is shaped around a metallic insert to assure excellent hold and integration of the horns. The skin is folded over on itself and hand stitched.

HL02 – version 2010

THE MOVEMENT
The features of the watch, as well as the desires of the brand’s creators, made for a strong case for the company to develop its own movement. For example, the guided linear bearings of the connecting rod assembly, the inertia block of the jumping hour directly integrated into the bottom plate, and the different time-display levels are not compatible with the simple addition of a complication board to a standard caliber.

That said, the gear trains we use are derivatives of a caliber renowned for its superior quality and are a guarantee of excellence when it comes to the watch’s traditional pieces.
All the pieces are made according to technical drawings and in very limited series on premium machines with digital controls. The pieces account for over 150 components. Quality of finish, the production of extremely precise adjustments, assembly and regulation, however, cannot be accomplished without the help of humans; namely, craftsmen with a unique knowhow.

To highlight the general shape of the bridges, bottom plates, springs and rods, their visible contours are set an angle. This means that the edges are crafted by hand to form a fine shiny thread underlining the details of the components. In all, there are over 40 pieces per movement that pass through the expert hands of these craftsmen, religiously hunched over their lathes or their files and smoothers…

Although the “Côtes-de-Genève” adorning the visible surface of the bridges are made in other workshops, they are always made in the tradition of the art of watchmaking. Fine concentric or linear “perlages” are associated with these decorations on numerous and miniscule pieces. Aside from their decorative aspect, these traditional operations improve the mechanics, the quality of the assembly and the protection of the surface.
After the machine work has been completed, numerous hours are required to put the final touches on the pieces. Their surfaces are then treated, leaving them shiny and hard-wearing. Beyond aesthetic research and casing, HAUTLENCE applies its watchmaking creativity in the mechanism; the pathway to new concepts in reading time.

THE COLLECTION

HAUTLENCE HL03 – version 2010 
 
Dial: Ruthenium honeycomb skeleton with hand applied “Moebius” sign. Tracks with laser cut minute figures. Case: 18kt pink gold. Buckle: Adjustable triple fastener folding in18kt pink gold with double safety pushbutton or pin.
Limited to 88 Pieces – US Retail Price: $57,500

HAUTLENCE HL04 – version 2010 
 
Dial: Opaline silver honeycomb skeleton with hand applied “Moebius” sign. Tracks with laser cut minute figures. Case:18ktwhite gold. Buckle: Adjustable triple fastener folding in 18kt white gold with double safety pushbutton or pin.
Limited to 88 pieces – US Retail Price: $62,100

HAUTLENCE HL Ti – version 2010 
 
Dial: Rhodium honeycomb skeleton with hand applied “Moebius” sign. Tracks with laser cut minute figures. Case: Titanium 5 base and back. Buckle: Titanium ardillon.
Limited to 28 pieces – US Retail Price: $48,400

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

MOVEMENT (Over 150 components)
• Hand-wound mechanical manufacture’s own caliber.
• Jumping hours, retrograde minutes linked with a patented system of connecting rods.
• Power reserve of 40 hours.
• Rotation: 21 ’600 beats per hour.
• 24 jewels.
• Balance: Nivarox 7001.
• Decoration: pearling, sandblasting, “Côte de Genève”, angle finish to edges and rhodium.
• 2N gilding of etchings.
• Connecting rods: Decorated and nickel plated, PVD treatment.

DIAL
• Hour marker: laser-cut profile and polished top colored using galvanoplasty. SLN C3
• luminescent points.
• Hour dial: black varnished. SLN C3 luminescent numerals with white undercoat.
• Lower dial: milled opening. Hand-applied cartridge setting. Tempographed indication.
• Galvanic decoration and coloring.
• Hour disc: Metallic: snailed aluminum top, visible diamond-set angles. Semi-opaque: mineral glass + metal-plating to create concentric bands or
• smoked glass effect.
• Hands: diamond-set facetted; 4N pink gold & rhodium, hammered, blued steel.
• SLN C3 luminescent point.
• Sapphire dial: 0.6 mm sapphire plate with 3 holes for screw fixing.
• Tonneau-shaped beveled sapphire crystal glass on the outside surface. Extra-hard
• multi-layer glare proofing on the inside surface.

CASE
• Dimensions: 43.5mm X 37mm X 10.5 mm thick.
• Sapphire crystal glass with angled edges.
• Back screwed on with 4 screws, sapphire crystal.
• Unique numbered timepiece with identification plate.
• Screws: hardened, tempered and polished 20AP steel.

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Written by kevin

September 1, 2010 at 1:39 am

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