Aesthetically, the essential ingredients of a modern haute horlogerie ladies’ watch comes down to a bit of shimmer mixed with a bit (or a lot) of sparkle. Beyond that, it takes a fine balance between creating a piece that is both technically interesting and slim enough to fit a lady’s wrist. The Roman Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Lady Opal goes a long way to achieving this balance between aesthetics, ergonomics, and mechanics with a movement that is designed to be highly visible, yet not overly technical, and as slim as possible.
Brand: Roman Gauthier
Model: Insight Micro-Rotor Lady Opal
Case Dimensions: 39.5 mm wide, 12.9mm thick
Water Resistance: 50m
Case Material: 18k red gold
Crystal: Sapphire crystal with interior anti-reflection coating, front and display back
Diamonds: 45 round brilliant diamonds totaling 0.1 carat
Movement: In-house automatic
Power Reserve: 80 hours from two mainspring barrels
Strap/Bracelet: White natural rubber with red gold pin buckle
Price and availability: 95,000 CHF, US prices to be determined by retailers; limited to five pieces.
Women do like technical watches, and they are as interested in performance as men are – otherwise no woman would ever drive a Mercedes or an Audi. But that doesn’t mean they need to see gears and wheel teeth and blackened plates in openworked compositions that resemble the Queensboro Bridge. Like the sexiest women, the Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Lady Opal shows just enough of the movement to make it interesting. It mainly exposes the component of the movement that makes it work on the level of ergonomics: the micro-rotor. This is what keeps the movement relatively slim – 6.8mm, despite the inclusion of both upper and lower bridges holding the micro-rotor in place.
Because it moves, it is also an interesting aesthetic feature. This is nothing new for ladies’ watches: Dior’s inversé movement also places a decorated rotor on the dial side, and a handful of other brands have done the same. But these movements mostly use a full-sized rotor. This one is micro-sized and set with diamonds, which constitutes a nice visual without completely dominating the dial. The rest of the dial plate, along with the subdials, are covered with a thin layer of high quality Australian opal that is beautifully color matched to the rose gold bridges and case.
Roman Gauthier has hit just the right balance between the technical and decorative with the Insight Micro-Rotor Lady Opal. As the name “Insight” suggests, it opens a window on the essential components that make this a well-crafted mechanical watch: the micro-rotor and the escapement. It also demonstrates the art of applying opal in just the right places, which is harder than it looks: the lapidary must carve the opal into slices exactly 0.28mm thick for the subdials and 0.35mm thick for the mainplate cover, and then polish it carefully so it doesn’t break. Oh, and one other important thing about this watch that makes it perfect for a ladies wrist: it has a pin buckle, instead of one of those cumbersome deployant buckles. The watch was designed produced, decorated, assembled and regulated at Romain Gauthier’s manufacture in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. Limited to five pieces it has a price of 95,000 CHF. Learn more at romaingauthier.com
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