Flash News: Hautlence HL-RQ 04 & 05 (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on November 14, 2014
This week Hautlence adds two new colourful interpretations to the HL-RQ series first introduced in 2013 which gives us an excellent opportunity to come back to this beautiful watch with a contemporary and original display deeply rooted in the brand’s DNA.
In 2012, the brand re-positioned its range in a lower price bracket with the Avant-Garde collection while preserving the aesthetic codes that have made its success over the years, in particular, the presence of jumping hours and retrograde minutes. The first three offers from this line, the HL-RS 01, HL-RS 02, and HL-RS 03, also retained an important design signature of Hautlence: the TV screen-shaped case dating back to the very first timepiece unveiled by this young and dynamic Swiss luxury brand.
The HL-RQ 01, 02 and 03 presented in 2013
Iconic as this case may be, it is no secret that many watch aficionados prefer round cases and the brand listened to their requests as they unveiled the HL-RQ 01, HL-RQ 02, and HL-RQ 03 in 2013. While offering sleek curves, the second component of this Avant-Garde collection remained faithful to the brand’s values up to the choice of materials used for the three renditions: black DLC titanium and pink gold, steel and titanium, and black DLC steel and titanium were respectively used for the modern-sized 44 mm round cases.
The in-house designed sapphire dials with semi-opaque black areas and touches of pink gold, blue or orange were still a visual link to the HL-RS siblings and an excellent way of revealing the mechanical beauty of the manually-wound manufacture calibre with its iconic jumping hours, retrograde minutes and jumping date with fast corrector. Finely crafted inside and out with a genuine attention to details and beautiful multi-layer construction creating a huge depth on the dial, these three HL-RQ models had the thrill of independent watchmaking at its best with the right amount of (round) classicism to arouse the interest of the most demanding watch lovers.
That being said, design-wise, they remained a little safe relative to what we have grown accustomed to from this originally unconventional brand. This month, the brand reveals two much more unexpected interpretations of this HL-RQ model with enough personality to seduce the watch enthusiasts that are not afraid to venture off the beaten track and assert their individuality in bright colours!
And yet, the new HL-RQ 04 and HL-RQ 05 are similar to the HL-RQ 03, with the same black DLC titanium case and DLC-coated steel bezel. They are also mounted on a nicely made black alligator strap secured by a black DLC titanium folding buckle and present the same beautifully crafted sapphire dials with rhodium metallization, semi-opaque black areas and gorgeous blue or orange Super-LumiNova markings.
The difference is on the four lug elements screwed down on the case band: instead of using the black DLC steel of the HL-RQ 03 model, Hautlence opted for a bold blue varnish-coated steel on the HL-RQ 04 and an equally glowing orange varnish-coated steel on the HL-RQ 05 to match the colour touch on the dial. The result is absolutely stunning and the watch utterly transformed! Gone is the now very conventional all-black look with a hint of colour on the dial. Both versions look young, appealing, unapologetic… in a nutshell: avant-garde!
The colour is a little metallic and extremely vivid but since it only appears on the horns it is not overwhelming and the watch remains extremely tasteful while putting on a younger, fashion-oriented, vibe. Whether you prefer one of the three more classic-looking offers or these sportier versions, you will agree that they are a welcome addition to the collection as they emphasize the cutting-edge side of the brand. A true design success with no mark-up on the price tag: the HL-RQ 01, featuring pink gold parts, retails for CHF 43,000 but all the other versions (HL-RQ 02 to HL-RQ 05) cost CHF 35,000.
For more information please visit the Hautlence web site.