“What is your preferred Destination?” No, it’s not a travel agent quizzing a potential tourist, but a watch retailer making a sale to a connoisseur. “Destination” has been Hautlence’s new approach since 2013: a new line of timepieces of that name, whose aim is to carry off lovers of fine watches to lands they thought they knew – but to which the brand has given a completely new angle.
Nothing new – but everything is
It’s what Hautlence really excels at: drawing inspiration from watchmaking traditions, instilling a sense of déjà vu – and then adding a technical or aesthetic offshoot or architectural breakaway.
That’s what these new Destinations are all about. They are probably the best way of entering the world of Hautlence – which, if you’re not careful, can quickly become addictive. There are four models on offer, each an aesthetic variation on the same theme: two central hands, a large date display, a day/night indicator and above all a second time band.
The first distinctive feature of the Destinations is the layout of these components. The large date display is at midday, with the second time band at 6 o’clock and moon’s phases at 8 o’clock. The brand’s strength is the way it imposes this very atypical layout whilst keeping everything intuitively simple. The overall effect is the result of a number of factors: the choice of materials, depth, shape, treatments, fonts, finishes, and so on. The result appears straightforward – and that’s precisely the desired effect – but in fact it’s the fruit of very advanced styling.
“Issues of aesthetics are always guided by the space available around the display components, and seek inspiration from architectural values such as transparency and showcasing particular materials. Our approach is to offer interpretation on multiple levels, inviting the owner to really explore their timepiece,” explains Guillaume Tetu, CEO.
Hautlence’s Destination is intended to be accessible – an unrivalled watch from an independent brand, with a perfect finish and an original flavour, for between CHF 20,000 and CHF 30,000 including VAT. There are four finishes on offer, with combinations of a Clous de Paris dial (Destinations 01 and 04) or a honeycomb dial (02 and 03), a black, steel or red gold finish, and titanium or steel cases. The timepieces also include all the essential Hautlence components, such as transparent discs, and more generally the floating effect created by components – such as the hour markers and brand logo at midday – being placed on these see-through discs.
Each watch is powered by a Soprod 9351/A10-2 mechanical automatic wind movement. This caliber, decorated with circular Côtes de Genève patterns, is housed in a rectangular case with bevelled corners. The back of the case has an opening showing the part that regulates the oscillating weight, and also features the key characteristics of the line: “DESTINATION”, the number, timebands for the twelve main airports, and the technical specifications, along with the brand’s proprietary engravings: “HAUTLENCE” and “Horlogerie Suisse”.