Last year at Basel World, Hautlence announced their first, shall we say, ‘entry level’ model, the Destination! It took a while before the finished product became available but delivery to the dealers recently started in December 2013, right before Christmas.
Let’s re-cap what kind of watch the Destination is and how it fits in the collection. Hautlence started in 2005 with the very well received and now almost sold out HL series; the TV shaped timepieces fitted with their cool retrograde in-house calibers.
The case of the three new ‘Destination’ models is inspired by the HL series. They have about the same size, 37 x 43.5 x 13 mm and certainly share that great fit and look. But that’s actually where the comparison ends. The ‘Destination’ is for Hautlence a turning point in the collection and….. it is the brand’s first model with a more conventional time display.
The ‘Destination’ is very different and a pur sang travel watch. The timepiece is fitted with a strong automatic Soprod caliber 935I/A10, with the beautiful typical Hautlence finishing. And for the first time in Hautlence History, not the Retrograde time display that the brand is famous for, but traditional hands, that clearly indicate the time in a flash, which is not a bad idea for a travel watch.
That decision, to go for a third party caliber, instead of an in-house movement, is making the brand more accessible for a larger group of enthusiast, without sacrificing that typical Hautlence feel and finish.
All three Destination models have on the upper part of the dial, underneath the number 12, a large date and at 8 o’clock, a Day and Night indicator, that works together with the second time zone and indicates instantly, if it’s day or night ‘back home’. The sapphire crystal of the Destination models is different from the HL series and is facet cut which gives it a very nice 3D look.
The numerals and the Hautlence logo are placed at the inside of the sapphire crystal and are in fact floating above the dial. The Hautlence name is engraved discretely on the dial.
The back of the case is closed and shows the series number and a timezone display chart, along with technicial information about the watch. The oscillating weight is clearly visible through a small aperture.
Available and now being delivered to the dealers are the grade 5 Titanium and the sporty black DLC coated models, both with a honeycomb dial and a, more dressy, third model in titanium and rose gold. The DLC coating is real black and harder than steel. It won’t wear off like PVD and is almost impossible to scratch.
The black works well with the Destination case and it gives a smooth feel. The DLC coating is satin finished with some polished accents, like the bezel and part of the crown.
To select one of the three is not easy, since the titanium with light dial is stunning, but I opted for the black version, since it fits my casual clothes very well, especially when travelling. The case of the watch may look large in photographs, but it wears smaller, since it’s more wide than tall.
I have an 18cm wrist and have been wearing an HL with the same dimensions for years. It looks great and feels good.
The titanium- and the DLC coated Destination model sells for almost a third of a white gold HL model. To me this is absolutely the coolest news, since there is now a stunning model available by one of the top independents brands, that’s within reach of a much larger audience.
See below for our recent interview with Hautlence CEO Guillaume Tetu, that our Adi Soon recently did. Here, Guillaume talks us through the new Destination model and shows others timepieces from the Hautlence collection.
– Guillaume Tetu pictured here during the interview –
–GEO is contributor of Revo-Online & Revolution Magazine and passionate about Cartier, independents and fine watchmaking.