May 02, 2013

The Hautlence Destination

Hautlence is one of high-end independents that has always done...


Hautlence is one of high-end independents that has always done cool, but rather insanely price stuff. You know the type. And while there are enough millionaires in Singapore to keep a few of them afloat for the foreseeable future, not all are meant to make it without giving its products and offerings some considerable thought. And while Hautlence has, and will continue to make incredible, completely in-house and thoughtfully innovative watches likes the HL2.0, this Basel World saw the introduction an entirely new product from Hautlence - the Soprod-based Destination Dual-Time, the most affordable Hautlence yet.


So what you're getting with the Hautlence Destination is the same look and finish of the $70,000+ watches, just with an externally sourced movement. But the watch itself features a big-date display at 12 o'clock, and a clever second time-zone display at 12 o'clock. You'll see that the travel timezone overlays a day-night indicator, so that the wearer knows not only the time of day at home, but also whether it is day or not. In the photo below, it means that the time at home is 11pm - as indicated by the moon behind the time display.


At the rear of the watch is a timezone display chart, along with technicial information about the watch and its series number - the Destination is not a limited edition, but each piece is numbered. You can also see the osculating weight through a small aperture.


The Destination uses a Soprod caliber 935I/A10 with the traditional level of Hautlence finishing, including circular Côtes de Genève. The dial on this watch is three dimensional, with an opaline base topped by a sapphire mid-dial, on which the hour markers appear to floating. The large date bridge is engraved with "Hautlence" while the central ring bears the minute markings.


The Destination is 37 x 43.5 x 13 mm and wears well on the wrist. There are three models, each with different finishes to the case. They are as follows:

Destination 01 (30,000 CHF): opaline black dial with “Clous de Paris” hobnail motif, sapphire intermediate dial, steel case with black DLC coating and 18-carat 5N red gold plating

Destination 02 (20,000 CHF): opaline silver-toned dial, intermediate sapphire dial, grade 5 titanium case

Destination 03 (22,00 CHF): opaline black and honeycomb-motif dial, sapphire intermediate dial, case with black DLC coating.


As indicated above, the starting price point for the Hautlence Destination will be around $20,000. In fact, in our meeting, we were told the steel model might even be set to market at $18,000, by far the lowest retail price of any Hautlence to date. We should point out that all existing Hautlence watches, even the flagship HL2.0 are receiving a dramatic price cut with the reshuffling of brand ownership - in hopes to make its offerings much more competitive. So, will an $20,000 Hautlence be the driving force in a surge in popularity, or will people simply think this is too much to pay for a Soprod caliber, no matter quality and finishing of the case, dial, and movement?

Only time will tell. More details here.


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tagged hautlence, basel world 2013, watches