Romain Gauthier presents Continuum, a new timepiece that blends the manufacture’s creative freedom with a modern and youthful design.
This new creation from the brand’s Freedom collection features a comfortable and ergonomic case made entirely of Grade 5 titanium. Contemporary and uncluttered, it perfectly harmonizes with the movement.
Inspired by the finger bridges style, the design of the movement follows the watchmaking history of the Vallée de Joux, with a modern approach, reflecting Romain’s vision of the evolution of tradition.
The dial, also of Grade 5 titanium, evokes a sense of continuity. The hour-minute hands are actually off-centred on the horizontal axis and the hour indices taper ever so slightly and are of varying lengths, while the 5-second intervals of the small seconds at 7 o’clock are also marked by tapering bright red lines of differing lengths.
The tapering, three-dimensional hands and index are made from 18k white gold and filled with Super-LumiNova for enhanced legibility, as are the numerals and applied hour markers, each of which has been produced from a single piece of white gold and features bevelled edges to give a punchy presence. The dial plate itself is made from natural titanium that has been sand-blasted and treated with a special coating that protects it against UV rays.
Framing the dial is a titanium bezel whose eye-catching, geometric profile is unlike anything previously seen on a Romain Gauthier timepiece. The bezel is first machined into a round shape featuring a circular bevel before six straight sides are cut into it to create 6 facets. While these facets, which have been polished, reflect the light and bring the bezel to life, the rest of the bezel absorbs light thanks to its satin-finishing. The same facetted design is replicated around the sapphire crystal on the back of the watch.
In between the bezel and caseback, the one-piece caseband and lugs are geometrically sculpted, with satin and polished finishes as well as aesthetic grooves cleverly deployed to draw out the resulting shapes. Meanwhile, the rubber strap with titanium pin buckle follows the form of the angular lugs and rounded caseband so it appears as a continuous, organic extension of the case.
And not for the first time in his work, Romain has placed the crown for winding and time-setting at 2 o’clock, freeing up space for wrist movement. A rubber ring around the crown makes it easier to manipulate, as well as adding a dash of colour to the timepiece.
Romain has endowed Continuum with a stop-seconds (also known as hacking seconds) mechanism, allowing the wearer to set the time exactly according to a reference time.
Like many stop-seconds mechanisms, a brake is placed on Continuum’s balance wheel when the crown is pulled out. But instead of using a straight or L-shaped balance stop lever to halt the balance, Romain has opted to employ a snail cam that performs a double function: It touches and stops the balance wheel when the crown is pulled out and, when the crown is pushed back in, the snail cam makes a turn, with its increasingly wide form giving the balance an impulse to help it start beating again.
Those familiar with the brand will know Romain has used the snail cam’s unique shape in his past creations: It appears on the watchmaker’s acclaimed Logical One.
The themes of modernity and continuity carry over to the manual-winding, in-house movement. Finger bridges – historically typical of the Vallée de Joux, Romain’s birthplace – are reinterpreted here in a contemporary way. These bridges are horizontally configured and feature a ‘stepped’ shape – previously seen on some of Logical One’s bridges – that not only provides volume and depth, but also gives the sense that the bridges are literally flowing over the gears and balance wheel, with no clear end to them.
Like the case components and the dial plate, the bridges are made from lightweight, natural Grade 5 titanium and they boast contrasting tones and textures thanks to a variety of finishes. The outer edges of each bridge all feature a double bevel, while the flat bridge surfaces and rubies are each framed by a raised border that has been straight-grained. Within these borders, the hand-finishing specialists at Manufacture Romain Gauthier have used a special hand-engraving technique to create a highly original dimpled texture. The movement mainplate beneath has been hand-frosted.
Romain’s trademark gears and ratchet wheel featuring circular, bevelled spokes have been circular-grained, while the click, snail cam and screws with S-slot heads – another signature of Romain – have been highly polished. Finally, the lid of the mainspring barrel has been embellished with a superb snailing decoration.
Continuum’s regulator features the Romain Gauthier balance wheel with curved arms and calibrated eccentric weights, plus hand-assembled pallet lever that is triangular for maximum rigidity.
For the launch of Continuum, Romain Gauthier presents the first edition in titanium. Continuum, Titanium Edition One, is a 28-piece limited edition, engraved “1 of 28” on the back of each movement.
Model: Romain Gauthier Continuum – Titanium Edition One
Collection: Freedom collection
28-piece limited edition in natural Grade 5 titanium, engraved “1 of 28” on the back of the movement
Features and indications
Off-centred hours and minutes
Small seconds at 7 o’clock
Natural Grade 5 titanium case, dial and movement bridges and mainplate
In-house movement featuring stop-seconds mechanism
Sporty rubber strap
Dial and hands
Dial in sandblasted natural Grade 5 titanium with protective layer against UV rays
Off-centred hours and minutes
Small seconds at 7 o’clock with 5-second intervals marked by tapering bright red lines
Super-LumiNova-filled 18k white gold hands and applied numerals and hour markers
Movement and finishing
In-house, hand-wound movement
Dimensions: 32.10 mm x 5.50 mm
Power reserve: 60 hours
Number of jewels: 24
Number of components: 154
Balance frequency: 28,800 vph / 4Hz
Components made from: Titanium, steel, stainless steel and German silver
Finishing: Superlative decoration by hand
Treatment: Natural titanium bridges and rhodium-treated gears
Material: Natural Grade 5 titanium
Dimensions: 41mm x 9.55mm, lugs to lugs: 49.5 mm
Water resistance: 50m/5atm/160ft
Crown for winding and time-setting featuring coloured rubber ring, at 2 o’clock
Watch supplied with two rubber crown rings, one in red, the other in grey
Sapphire crystal with interior anti-reflection coating, front and display back
Strap and buckle
Supplied with grey rubber strap with specially developed, satin-finished and polished natural Grade 5 titanium pin buckle
Total weight of the watch: 55g, including rubber strap and pin buckle
CHF 37,000 without taxes