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Hautlence HL Newton Watch

Hautlence HL Newton Watch Watch Releases

Just when you thought every possible alternative way of displaying the time had been discovered, invented, or repackaged… along comes the Hautlence HL Newton that purports to tell you the time only “on demand.” The HL Newton has an unusual presentation, but it is essentially a jumping hour complication with a dial that spins around. The “Newton” name references its use of gravity because part of the idea is that the Hautlence HL Newton requires the wearer to hold the watch in a vertical viewing position in order for the displays to correctly line up. This is actually more straightforward than it sounds.

Hautlence HL Newton Watch Watch Releases

I’ll be honest that I was confused at first about what the Hautlence HL Newton does and how it works. Hautlence provided one picture of the HL Newton watch and a press release that, frankly, seemed as if it intended to bedazzle the reader while dancing around clearly explaining what the watch actually does. Deciphering and scrutinizing such information (sometimes obviously translated from another language) so that you, our fine readers, don’t have to is an enjoyable challenge of writing about watches – though, granted, succinctly describing some haute horology concepts and engineering can be tricky. After rereading the brand’s materials, in addition to some deep Google digging, however, it turns out that the Hautlence HL Newton is actually kind of fun, if not mind-blowing, once you realize what it’s all about.

Hautlence HL Newton Watch Watch Releases

Quite simply, this is a jumping hour indication with a central minute hand. The hour is indicated on a disc visible through an opening in a “flange” that sits above it and that also carries the minute track. The inevitable twist is that this “flange” rotates freely with gravity since it is weighted like an automatic winding rotor. So, it will turn randomly when the watch is in different positions, meaning the opening will not display the correct hour and the minute hand will not be indicating the correct position on its track. The weighted portion causes it to stop at the correct position to display the current time when it is held vertically – that is, in the way you would normally hold your wrist up to read the time. The aperture for the hour display will rest around what would be 10 or 11 o’clock on a traditional dial.

Hautlence HL Newton Watch Watch Releases

The concept is not complicated, but Hautlence made sure to refine the experience. The rotating “flange” is supported by three bearings and stopped gently by a brake, preventing shocks and making for a smooth, precise motion. See it in action in this Instagram video. Also visible on the dial are some of the movement’s skeletonized wheels as well as the jumping hours’ snail cam. That is actually a good deal of animation and mechanical interest for the wearer to observe on the dial while fiddling with their luxury toy. The Hautlence HL Newton has a titanium case that is consistent with the horizontally rectangular “TV screen shape” of many Hautlence watches. It measures 39mm by 46mm and 12mm thick, is 30m water-resistant, and both the case shape and dial aesthetically make me think of a high-end SevenFriday, though it doesn’t actually look like one.

The in-house HTL 201-1 automatic movement operates at 3Hz and has a power reserve of 72 hours. The dial’s rotating ring seems as if it’s echoed by the rotor visible through the sapphire crystal display caseback, and the dial’s honeycomb motif is echoed on the rotor itself. The brand tells us that all components are decorated and finished by hand but not a whole lot more about the movement.

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Hautlence HL Newton Watch Watch Releases

Hautlence calls this an “on-demand” time display and refers to “mechanical standby mode” when the dial is not in position to display the correct time. One can imagine that this “system based on gravitational force” concept occurred to the designers while playing with their wrist-worn ball maze game called the Hautlence Playground Labyrinth. The Hautlence HL Newton sounds fancy, and it is, to be sure, but this is actually relatively accessible and straightforward compared to the brand’s other quite wild, impressive, and pricier watches such as the Hautlence Vortex we saw hands-on here. The Hautlence HL Newton is limited to a total of 28 pieces with a price of 24,000 CHF each. Learn more at hautlence.com

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Comments

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  • SuperStrapper

    I dont remember the last time I saw a new watch from hautulence, but I was just discussing the hl2 last week (love that watch), so o was excited to see a new article up. Shame they made a sevenfriday homage tho….

    • Joe

      I thought it was a SevenFriday too.
      If we can see that, I wonder how the people over at Hautlence can’t?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        It’s kinda squary yet roundly that’s where the seven Friday comparison ends. If indeed was a seven Friday ( or a homage to ) The makers name would be splattered right across the front.

      • SuperStrapper

        Hautulence had it first. Someone came along, borrowed heavily, cheapened it, but does that mean you abandon your ship? I dont know if I would either.
        I think the palette on this one is also helping the sevenfriday look, and that the same watch in different attire might shake the affiliation, at least to some degree.

  • IanE

    Well I normally read the time by looking down at my wrist held horizontally. Accordingly, this watch seems like an even stupider idea than it seems at first – which is saying quite a lot.

    • Joe

      Me too. Not always but often enough.
      Simple use-case…I’m typing on my keyboard and I happen to glance down.

    • Polerouter

      When watches are adjusted to 5 positions instead of 6 (which is very common), this is the one position that is not tested – because it is a very unnatural position that people never use in real life. Speak of practicality…

  • Raymond Wilkie

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve seen in ages.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      And I’ve just watched The Meg!

  • Mikita

    It could have looked innovative some 5-7 years ago. But today there are just too many similarly looking micros for 200-500 bucks.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dde0d18bb798060cbf98bee275f7f866c1294dc58dd2d675c8c32aaf25294ca1.png

    • Ulysses31

      Frankly, this looks much nicer.

  • Swiss_Cheese

    Designer 1: “I wonder how we can make it more futuristic looking”

    Designer 2: “H E X A G O N S”

  • PR

    “What time is it?”
    Rapidly lifts arm to read the time in vertical position.
    Uppercut punches the poor fella right in the jaw.
    Haiiyyaa!!!

  • commentator bob

    Jeez, first H. Moser/Hautlence knock off the Apple watch’s looks, and now they knock off its (lack of) functionality.

    One of the biggest functional flaws of most smartwatches is that they are not always on/always displaying the time. Rather unfortunate to see an expensive Swiss mechanical watch desparately copy that operational limitation.

  • What a dopey idea.

  • Ulysses31

    It looks kinda naff, and operates in a silly, gimmicky fashion. At least we can be thankful that this does actually tell the time. Some of their “watches” don’t even do that. I don’t like the hexagonal texture; it looks like something from the set of a cheap sci-fi show. The corners of the case would look better if they were rounded and not cut-off like they are.

  • wei

    Could everyone just pause for a moment about the watch and instead focus on the author’s name??

    How kickass is that name!

  • Polerouter

    I once thought that Hautlence was to Moser what Tony Clifton was to Andy Kaufman. This further proves it.

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