Hiren Kumar Bose previews three watches to be unveiled at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2018 which opens this month in Geneva
HAUTLENCE Vortex Gamma Magma
The watch uses revolutionary composite material borrowed from the automotive and aerospace industries—the H L LightColor is charged with ceramic nanotube particles, and its properties are identical to those of a conventional watch industry metal; highly resilient, yet four times lighter than titanium. Made from six three-dimensional sapphire crystals the architectural lines of the Vortex case, accentuated with a play of striking contrasts, Hautlence has drawn inspiration from the TRON style, stemming from the eponymous sci-fi film directed by Steven Lisberger in 1982. Playing with visual effects showcasing luminescent shapes representing integrated circuits, Hautlence has highlighted the edges of its case with a black line, which lends the piece a highly stylised tone. The minute dial, made from almost entirely transparent sapphire, offers a large window onto the HL2.0 self-winding calibre which drives the Vortex Gamma. Orange, the unifying feature of this model, is found on each of the 12 articulated links in the hour chain, a key function of the movement. Every 60 minutes, the chain turns in 3-4 seconds, gently and with control to avoid any shocks or loss of energy, whilst leaving enough time to admire the beauty of the movement and its mechanisms in action. The regulating organ is integrated into the mobile bridge-type calibre, with the change in position actuated by the display improving accuracy by statistically offsetting the effects of gravity. The calibre HL2.0 is equipped with two barrels. The second barrel, dedicated exclusively to driving the complication, is continually reset by the main barrel so that the optimal level of energy is available each time the hour changes. This double barrel system ensures the complex mechanisms are supplied independently, without affecting the ability of the watch to keep accurate time.
CARTIER Crash Radieuse
In the latest avatar of Cartier’s Crash the model is taken to the next level. What we get is a crumpled crushed dial with gadroons, the outsize Roman numerals to the point of hallucination, and the shockwave right in the centre of the dial. Feminine and beyond categorisation, the Crash watch appears in a version even more extreme than itself. The original accident is revealed as a feat of artistic value, elegance and affirmation. In yellow gold with manual movement 8970 MC it is limited edition to 50 pieces
Hermès Arceau Casaque
The dial of the 38mm steel-bodied quartz watch is crafted using champlevé, lacquer and transfer techniques. Hollows are first created in the dial base, then filled with lacquer. A matt tone-on-tone transferred chevron motif lends the final touch to this colourful composition in yellow, red, green or blue. Their bright tones bring to mind the horse-head pawns of a classic French children’s board game.