Independent brand Hautlence is the Latest Addition to the Stephen Silver Lineup.
The newest independent brand in our store is not exactly new, but with a revitalized product line and management team behind it, it might as well be. Hautlence is a brand that was founded in 2004, during a flowering of independent watchmaking that also produced names like MB&F and Greubel Forsey.
But unlike these now-illustrious names, Hautlence founders Renaud de Retz and Guillaume Tete had a much more challenging time getting their company off the ground—a predicament that is all to relatable here in Silicon Valley. De Retz and Tetu were executives, not watchmakers, and the concept they devised, a time display driven by a connecting rod (like a steam engine) posed multiple technical difficulties. When it was finished, the HL was a visual feast of a movement, housed in a generous TV-screen proportioned case. They were also expensive and hard to produce, leaving the pair exhausted and without the resources to promote the watch in a suddenly crowded field of independents.