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Screen Time: Introducing Hautlence

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.
Today’s Hautlence is owned by Switzerland’s Meylan family, which also owns and operates H. Moser & Cie. After letting the brand lie dormant for the first years of the pandemic, the Meylans relaunched Hautlence with a new line of watches and a renewed focus on design. The new Hautlence watches retain the TV screen case of the original HL as well as the kinetic displays for which they became known. Both the Linear and Vagabonde series of watches utilize variations of the retrograde and jumping displays the brand has utilized since its founding. These are both dramatic and sensibly priced.
The real star of the line is Sphere introduced this year, undoubtedly the most arresting and original jumping hour concept that has yet been devised. Rotating on three axes and powered by conical gears, the display jumps to the correct hour at one of 12 points on three-dimensional spherical display. A domed sapphire glass heightens the perception of this display. Like all Hautlence creations, it is made in a limited series of 28 pieces, and will rival some of the best watches in our cases for visual drama and creativity.
Contact the Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry team today to inquire about allocations and to find out more information about Hautlence.