Hautlence HLQ Classic


Hautlence HLQ Classic

I must say old chaps, this is shaping up to be quite an outstanding week for us watch lovers. I have trouble remembering a greater concentration of amazing watches (Only Watch period being a notable exception). On today’s menu, we have the latest delicatessen from the wizards of Hautlence. The brand that prides itself of their home Neuchâtel so much that they took an anagram of it for its name, presented to us what they consider to be a sober and classic version of their HLQ line of timepieces.

Now, you know you are dealing with serious creative masterminds when they are calling this watch classical, and when you’ve seen their previous collections, you cannot but concur. Hautlence burst on the horology scene in 2004 with a spectacular pillow cased HL series which immediately established the mechanical language which would be a cornerstone of every future Hautlence collection – namely jumping hours and retrograde minutes, coupled with bold, modern multi-level design.

Hautlence HLQ

Futuristic Hautlence HLQ

2009 saw the birth of the HLQ collection, the first round cased collection of watches from Hautlence with naturally, a new movement which also featured the instantaneous date function (Q stands for “quantième”, a calendar in French). As for the HLQ Classic, the 2011 update brought us more conservative lines, with the dial almost closed (a shocking departure from the Hautlence’s design philosophy) and removal of the seconds subdial. What elevates Hautlence to higher levels of independent watchmaker hierarchy are their movements, which are completely in-house produced and developed, thus earning them a prestigious status of a manufacture. HLQ Classic movement is a hand-wound caliber, with power reserve of 40 hours.

Hautlence HLQ Classic Movement

Hautlence HLQ Classic Movement

The HLQ Classic collection will be available in 18-carat white gold {HLQ 01 Classic}, 18-carat rose gold and titanium {HLQ 05 Classic}, 18-carat rose gold {HLQ 06 Classic} and titanium {HLQ 07 Classic and HLQ 08 Classic}. The case is 44 mm in diameter and 12,5 mm thick, covered with a sapphire crystal with angled edges, and multi layered anti reflecting treatment. According to Hautlence, a strap is the only thing that doesn’t come from Switzerland, which is understandable, but I bet it is only a matter of time when the enterprising Swiss start growing their own Lozanne alligators… Until then, we will have to be content with a Louisiana alligator strap.

Hautlence HLQ Classic collection

Hautlence HLQ Classic collection

Each version of HLQ Classic is limited to just 88 pieces, and will not be coming cheap – with ardillon buckle you will need to shell out 57,400 dollars, while the pleasure of owning the folding buckle would cost you 60,600 dollars. Although it’s made of 18-karat rose gold, that is still one expensive buckle.

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