The name Hautlence is an anagram of the city Neuchâtel, a place situated in the heart of Switzerland. This prime location has now become synonymous with high-end watchmaking. Originally Guillaume Tetu and François Quentin founded the company in 2004. Subsequently François left the business to establish his own luxury brand called 4N.
The last time I wrote an in depth article featuring Hautlence was quite a few months ago. Back in late January 2013 I had the great pleasure of reviewing the phenomenal HLQ08. This experience was very positive and stimulating. Since then the company has developed many more exceptional watches that display highly original characteristics. The sensational HL2.4 clearly illustrates this point. This watch also highlights why they have become one of the most exciting brands in the lucrative world of horology.
The HL2.4 is significantly larger than the HLQ08 measuring a whopping 50 mm x 42 mm x 17.8 mm. These colossal proportions and the price tag means this watch will only appeal to a small demographic. I can imagine this timepiece would be comfortable to wear on a daily basis. Primarily this is down to the skillfully crafted case and use of lightweight titanium in production. Amazingly this exquisite watch only weighs 49 grams, making it one the lightest mechanical watches available on the market. Hautlence are world renowned for designing beautiful watches. On that basis an exclusive piece of this magnitude will undoubtedly attract interest from serious collectors.
On a visual level the watch is absolutely breathtaking and unique in appearance. The façade allows the recipient a three dimensional view of the intricate mechanics of the watch. Hours are displayed via an ingenious gear train system and minutes in a retrograde format. Overall the watch has a really cool industrial feel about it, which makes it stand out from the crowd. I love the large sapphire windows and the delicate blue numerals. In my opinion every element of this design has been carefully considered and well executed.
To power the watch Hautlence have developed a highly complicated and innovative 92-jewel mechanical movement. The caliber HL2.0 comprises 552 micro-machined components and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. All elements of this bespoke mechanism have been hand finished and decorated to the highest level. Not surprisingly the company have protected this groundbreaking feat of engineering with three patents. The HL2.4 features hours, retrograde minutes, a power reserve of 45 hours and water resistance to a depth of 100 metres.
The magnificent HL2.4 has a hand stitched Louisiana alligator leather strap with titanium folding clasp. This exclusive timepiece is limited to only 28 pieces and is priced at: CHF 180,000 (approximately $194,260)