With this collection of wristwatches, HTO Watches symbolizes the living legend that is the railway; a form of transportation born with the industrial revolution and as contemporary as ever. Named “Grand Voyageur”, made of stainless steel or white gold, it conveys a strong design, using simple and logical forms inspired by the construction and industrial mechanics.
The simple and logical forms of Grand Voyageur constantly refer to the railway universe. The case, with its cylindrical shape and its over sized dial seems to have been extracted from the dashboard of a powerful locomotive. This instrument measures time as others would indicate pressure, speed or electrical intensity. To ensure security on the wrist, the lugs are bonded with the case. A metallic stirrup, fitted with wide flanges and tightened with four screws, bears the strap.
The size of the crown matches the flanges on the lugs. Generous notching machined along the circumference ensures an easy and effective grip. The ardillon buckle evokes a locomotive towing hook. It is machined in the same material as the case. As an option, it can be replaced by a folding clasp with a specific buckle design. The design logic of Grand Voyageur and the resort to right solutions for the details induce a deserved perception of sturdiness and efficiency.
The strong graphical element of the Grand Voyageur draws influence from signals implemented along the rail track network. The dial itself is inspired by the 93700 platform clocks of the French railway. These comparatively large platform clocks are back-lit.
To generate similar effects of depth and radiance on a more intimate, wristwatch-size,scale,the dials features a set of three concentric dials placed in 3 consecutive levels. These are available in 5 different colours (brown,red,blue, green and fuchsia). Priority was given to readability.
This is optimised by the contrasting effect of bold colours and the use of a proportionally large set of hands. Legibility is also improves by the dial bearing an indication every 5minutes, – a feature which is also a railway tradition. So as to give to the back dial an emphasized presence, the latter was decorated with a series of machine drilling, radially arranged around the hand axis. The graphic work comes as a complement and an added value on the strong choices already made on the shapes and volumes. It gives Grand Voyageur a strong personality and visual identity.
Grand Voyageur needs autonomy, accuracy, convenience and durability that can only be given by a movement designed and manufactured in Switzerland. From all the movements available from some of the most famous manufacturers, Vianney Halter recommended the choice of the ETA 205.911 caliber.
This movement can be considered as the ultimate outcome of the Swiss horology. It presents a double nature, both mechanical and electronic: as in all automatic winding watches, a rotor is moved on by the movement of the wrist.
But the energy which is recovered like this is not stored in a spiral spring: it is transmitted to a micro-generator which converts it into electric energy, stored in an accumulator. This system feeds an electronic oscillator which generates the command signals for a micro-motor. The latter transmits mechanical impulsion to the gear wheels for the display of hours, minutes, seconds and date. Thanks to its caliber, Grand Voyageur has a full load autonomy of about 100 days that can be indefinitely restored by a few movements of the wrist.
Each HTO Grand Voyageur watch is unique. Its fabrication in La Manufacture Janvier is performed with the greatest care, combining the most modern technology with the skills of the best Swiss watchmakers. Each watch is individually numbered. This number, engraved on its back-plate is registered in the booklet delivered with the watch. This certificate ensures its authenticity and facilitates long-term servicing.
Every HTO Grand Voyageur watch is covered by an international guarantee for one year after its purchase. This guarantee is honoured throughout the world through the chain of HTO Watches authorised dealers.
About HTO Watches
The story of HTO Watches perhaps started when young Vianney Halter, then aged of 15, got off the train at St Lazare Station to enroll himself in the watchmaking school of Paris. Twenty three years later, he became a member of the prestigious AHCI (Horological Academy of Independent Creators) and since 1994 he creates exceptional timepieces of unclassifiable style with particular complications in his own manufacture. When two designers approached him in 2001 with their idea for HTO Watches, his memories as a railway man’s son certainly played a part in the warm welcome they received.
This project consisted of paying tribute to the mutual contributions between the world of railway and the one of watchmaking. Indeed, though few people remember it, the establishment of an official time came along with the development of the train in the 19th century. The train coordination on the various networks needed the launch of a unique time for the whole nation. In France, the government of the 3rd République ordained the 14th of March in 1891 the legal time on the basis of Paris Mean Time.
Going with its time, remaining modern in spite of the development and the evolution of society, journey by train changes our relation with time and distances. With this new collection of wristwatches, HTO Watches symbolizes the living legend that is the railway; a form of transportation born with the industrial revolution and as contemporary as ever. Named “Grand Voyageur”, made of stainless steel or white gold, it conveys a strong design, using simple and logical forms inspired by the construction and industrial mechanics.
About La Manufacture Janvier
When Vianney Halter founded his company in 1994 he baptized it La Manufacture Janvier to pay modest tribute to one of the most talented clockmaker of the history.
Antide Janvier was born in 1751 in Brives, a small village in the French Jura. Remarkably precocious, Antide Janvier was an eager student and relentless worker. He was rapidly recognized as a remarkable clockmaker. He knew three French Kings (Louis XV, Louis XVI and Louis XVIII) and one Emperor (Napoleon 1st) and was several times titled “Clockmaker of the King”. When he died, aged 84, he had produced numerous incredible clocks only a few of which remain, now housed in museums or in private collections.
In the small village of Sainte-Croix, Vianney Halter and his young dynamic and enthusiastic team perpetuate the tradition of excellence and haute horlogerie. Beside the incredible timekeepers which are produced under the brand Les Montres Vianney Halter, there are the HTO Watches developed with the French designers Jean Yves Mariez and Pascal Pagès.