Hautlence made a big splash in 2013 with an innovative time display using chains. For Baselworld 2019, the Neuchatel Manufacture heralds the Hautlence HL Sphere. Powered by the brand’s 8th in-house calibre, it once again revolutionises time display complications, adding a jumping hour sphere to its pantheon of high novelty time indications like half-trailing hour chains and jumping hour discs. With only a singular blue hand for minutes, the blue sphere indicating hours dominates your attention. Occupying the left hand of the case, the box sapphire with small dome amplifies the visual drama and majesty of the Hautlence HL Sphere’s raison d’etre. Featuring twelve engraved numerals filled with lacquer, the magic of the HL Sphere depends on its hidden three rotational axes which allow the sphere to perform its stationary orbit, as if in a seemingly random hypnotic dance.
Limited Edition Hautlence HL Sphere headlines Baselworld 2019 for the Neuchatel Manufacture
That said, it’s the mechanical wizardry of this new Hautlence Baselworld 2019 novelty which allows the HL Sphere to instill a sense of wonder – four conical gears that move around two crossed spindles inclined at an angle of 21 degrees. The namesake sphere is comprised of two polished blue PVD titanium cases capped over a conical differential to create a yin and yang composition. A feat of technical engineering which Hautlence used in a SIHH 2019 novelty – their table clock. To the right of the time display complication sits another Hautlence horological motif – a retrograde minute display and the gear train which drives it. When the minute hand of the Hautlence HL Sphere snaps back to zero, the gears serve to regulate its speed so as to reduce the impact of forces which could potentially adversely affect the chronometry of the balance adjacent to it.
The differential and snail used to trigger the jumping hour can also be seen beneath the minute hand. The minute track and the applied silvered diamond-polished minute numerals are fixed to an intermediary sapphire crystal dial with a smoked metallic finish that adds contrast to the HL Sphere’s transparency, allowing you an unobstructed, legible view of important time display elements without the distraction (but still the perception) of the other gears and pinions which allow the finish and decoration of Hautlence’s 8th manufacture calibre to shine.
Entirely developed, designed and produced in-house, the manually wound HTL 501-1 calibre powers the Hautlence Baselworld novelty, the skeletonised balance bridge allows the owner to admire the oscillations of the proprietary balance spring produced by Precision Engineering AG, sister company within the group. The skeletonised drum reveals the mainspring, incidentally serving as a power reserve indicator of sorts. As with most high complications, Hautlence has incorporated mechanical safety features to prevent incorrect adjustment during reverse time setting.
Aesthetically, the signature Hautlence TV box case returns albeit slightly reworked – the rehaut lies a little closer to the sides allowing a wider opening for the dial and manufacture calibre lying beneath it in order to increase the dramatism of the fine engineering on display.
HL Sphere Limited Edition Price and Specs
Movement Manual winding HTL 501-1 calibre with 3 days power reserve
Case 39mm satin-finished and polished white gold case with 30 metres water resistance
Strap Blue alligator
Limited to 38 pieces