Independent Swiss luxury watchmaker HAUTLENCE cements its partnership with its dynamic ambassador, ex-footballer Eric Cantona, with the launch of a new multi-coloured and three-dimensional VORTEX PRIMARY. Unveiled at this year’s edition of the prestigious Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the VORTEX PRIMARY combines Cantona’s strong passion for art with HAUTLENCE’s unique reinterpretation of time, resulting in a timepiece that is sculptured like a mechanical piece of art.
Following the launch of the INVICTUS Morphos in 2014, HAUTLENCE’s first chronograph co-designed with Cantona, this incredible duo chose to reveal the second part of their collaboration with a new innovative timepiece in the Concept d’Exception collection. Stunningly designed from the inside out, the VORTEX PRIMARY is built on HAUTLENCE’s second Concept d’Exception, the VORTEX, introduced in July 2015. This new timepiece features the same spectacular mechanism while flaunting a whole new look made out of coloured glass structures, turning it into an astonishing creation.
Inspired by post-modern architecture and deconstructivism, the three-dimensional case of the VORTEX PRIMARY showcases facetted structures embellished with coloured glass that allow a view of the complex movement from all sides. Recalling the splendour of stained glass windows, this state-of-the-art case is crafted out of black PVD-coated grade 5 titanium and highlights a total of 19 different coloured glass panels, creating an eye-catching mosaic of shades. HAUTLENCE and Cantona chose a mix of materials in primary colours to create this vibrant design, which includes five transparent sapphire crystals, two semi -transparent sapphire crystals, four red ruby glass panels, five blue spinel glass panels and three yellow corundum glass panels. These windows reveal parts of the impressive movement from all sides of the case and let light through to focus on the mechanism. Besides its creative design, the case also weighs a remarkable 48 grams, making the timepiece both attractive and comfortable to wear.
In addition to its colourful exterior, the VORTEX PRIMARY stands out from the rest of the collection thanks to its lack of a dial. The retrograde minutes are placed directly on the sapphire crystal of the case, with the half-trailing hours indicated through HAUTLENCE’s signature jumping hour chain system that advances as time passes by. A power reserve indicator is portrayed in red at three o’ clock, while the movement’s regulating organ is on full display at six o’ clock as it rotates 60 degrees every 60 minutes. Such a dynamic design gives the timepiece a new look every hour.
Powering the VORTEX PRIMARY is the same movement as the VORTEX, a reinterpreted and redesigned version of the innovative in-house automatic calibre HL2.0 presented in the first Concept d’Exception in 2010. Angled at 90 degrees, the new in-house automatic calibre HLR2.0 is protected by three HAUTLENCE patents.
The first patent pertains to the 12-link chain of the half-trailing hours, which smoothly turns in 3 to 4 seconds every 60 minutes to display the hour. Such a system differs from an instant system that switches the hours too quickly for one to truly appreciate and from a dragging system whereby time cannot be easily read between the hours.
The half-trailing hours system rotates effortlessly without losing energy and displays the beauty of the movement and its mechanisms in action. The second patent relates to the regulating organ integrated into the mobile bridge-type movement. Its constantly changing position, driven by the display, compensates statistically for the effects of gravity, thus enhancing its precision.
The third patent is linked to the operation of the movement’s two barrels. The main barrel is wound by the automatic-winding system of the movement and transfers the necessary energy to wind a second barrel that is dedicated exclusively to driving the complication. The main barrel continuously winds the second barrel so as to ensure that energy remains at an optimal level to change each hour. This ensures that these complex systems remain powered independently without impacting the precision of the watch.
The VORTEX PRIMARY is available with six different straps that can be easily interchanged with a screwdriver that is included in the box. The straps come in a choice of black Louisiana alligator leather or five different coloured rubber straps, each fitted with a folding clasp in grade 2 titanium with a satin-finish steel plate.
Limited to 18 exclusive pieces, the VORTEX PRIMARY combines Cantona’s powerful artistic eye with HAUTLENCE’s daring vision and boundless creativity. More than simply a wristwatch, the VORTEX PRIMARY is a true chef d’oeuvre — one that pushes horological boundaries while respecting watchmaking traditions.
Model: VORTEX PRIMARY by Eric Cantona
Hours, retrograde minutes and power-reserve indicator
HAUTLENCE HLR2.0 in-house calibre including gear train and automatic winding system
Half-trailing hours displayed by a chain, retrograde minutes, mobile bridge-type calibre
2 barrels: one going train barrel (power reserve for the entire watch calibre including power for the second complication barrel) and a complication barrel.
Hours displayed by a 12-link chain hinged on a pallet system. The speed regulator ensures that the hour display changes in a controlled and jerk-free manner in 3-4 seconds instead of instantly. It completes 48 revolutions at each hour change. Hour system activated by a one revolution mechanism mainly composed of a connecting rod and a rack.
Mobile bridge-type calibre comprising the regulating organ and rotating through 60° at each change of hour.
Movement kinematics featuring 90° changes of direction by means of special bevelled gears.
Automatic calibre with oscillating weight in 18-carat white gold.
This innovative calibre is protected by 3 HAUTLENCE patents.
Dimensions: 37.8 x 33.2 x 12.35 mm
Manufacturing technology: multi-axis micro-machining, wire EDM, LIGA photolithography
Number of components: 552
Power reserve: 40 hours
Regulating organ: 21,600 vibrations/hour
Number of jewels 92
Finishing: fine-watchmaking type (satin-brushed, hand-drawn, hand-bevelled, black rhodium coating and mirror-polished steel elements)
Identification and numbering plate: HLR2 PRIMARY XX/18
Black PVD-coated grade 5 titanium
Horns: Black PVD-coated grade 5 titanium, screw-in
Crown: Satin-finish black PVD-coated grade 5 titanium with micro-machined
Glass: 19 three-dimensional coloured sapphire crystals, scratch-resistant, produced by multi-axis grinding
Alternating finishes: sand-blasting, satin-brushing and polishing
Horn and case-back screws: Black PVD-coated grade 5 titanium
Dimensions: 52 x 50 x 17.8 mm
Weight of the timepiece: 48 grams
Water-Resistance 3 ATM
Minutes displayed directly on the case sapphire. No dial
Hours indicator: rhodium-plated under-plate with black galvanic coating and white SuperLumiNova® hours numerals
Minutes hand: rhodium-plated galvanic coating with red varnished tip
Power-reserve hand: steel with red varnished tip
Black hand-sewn rolled-edge, rubberised padded Louisiana alligator leather, large square scales;
Black rubber; red rubber; blue rubber; yellow rubber; white rubber
Interchangeability spring bar and screwdriver;
Folding clasp: grade 2 titanium with satin-finish steel plate.