Reflection of Romain’s creative freedom with a modern and youthful design, C by Romain Gauthier is the result of more than 17 years of know-how acquired through the development of the brand and the manufacture.
Technical in nature, casual in style and free in spirit, the Freedom collection has enabled the creation of this piece. The importance of the C in its name lies in this approach of creation, referring to the continuum, to continuity in space-time and to continuity in the broadest sense. A vision of the future for a timepiece which is part of Romain Gauthier‘s philosophy, and which opens the door to new horizons.
During its creation, it was clear to Romain that the case had to harmonize with the movement. It had to be contemporary and uncluttered. But not only that – comfort, ergonomics and the choice of materials also contributed to the design of this case made entirely of black Grade 5 titanium. The dial, also in black Grade 5 titanium, adds to the consistency of the piece and evokes a sense of continuity, as no circle completes the time indication.
Inspired by the finger bridges style, the design of the movementfollows the watchmaking history of the Vallée de Joux, with a modern approach, reflecting Romain’s vision of the evolution of tradition.
Romain Gauthier presents the second edition of the caliber in titanium – timeless thanks to the choice of colors and textures with subtle red highlights. C by Romain Gauthier Titanium Edition Two is a 38-piece limited edition, engraved “1 of 38” on the back of each movement.
C BY ROMAIN GAUTHIER IN DETAIL
Flow and continuity to the fore on an atypical dial
C by Romain Gauthier is all about modernity and continuity, both in terms of its movement architecture and dial design. If the observer looks closely, he will see that the hour-minute hands are actually off-centred on the horizontal axis and the hour indices taper ever so slightly and are of varying lengths, while the 5-second intervals of the small seconds at 7 o’clock are also marked by tapering bright red lines of differing lengths.
Romain explains this purposeful play on perspective, saying: “Rather than a series of enclosed circles, as we often see in watchmaking, I wanted an open, airy dial on which full or part orthogonal lines form vanishing points with the axes of the hands, reinforcing the notion of continuity.”
The tapering, three-dimensional hands and index are made from 18k white gold and filled with Super-LumiNova for enhanced legibility, as are the numerals and applied hour markers, each of which has been produced from a single piece of white gold and features bevelled edges to give a punchy presence. The dial plate itself is made from black titanium that has been sand-blasted and treated with a special coating that protects it against UV rays.
Eye-catching case and strap high-on details
Framing the dial is a titanium bezel whose eye-catching, geometric profile is unlike anything previously seen on a Romain Gauthier timepiece. The bezel is first machined into a round shape featuring a circular bevel before six straight sides are cut into it to create 6 facets. While these facets, which have been polished, reflect the light and bring the bezel to life, the rest of the bezel absorbs light thanks to its satin-finishing. The same facetted design is replicated around the sapphire crystal on the back of the watch.
On this second edition, the case, as well as the lugs and buckle, made of natural Grade 5 titanium, have been coated with a technical ADLC treatment allowing an aesthetical black finish. This carbon-based coating reinforces the scratch and shock resistance, hypoallergenic, it is also resistant to chemicals products and solvents.
In between the bezel and caseback, the one-piece caseband and lugs are geometrically sculpted, with satin and polished finishes as well as aesthetic grooves cleverly deployed to draw out the resulting shapes. Meanwhile, the rubber strap with titanium pin buckle follows the form of the angular lugs and rounded caseband so it appears as a continuous, organic extension of the case.
And not for the first time in his work, Romain has placed the crown for winding and time-setting at 2 o’clock, freeing up space for wrist movement. A rubber ring around the crown makes it easier to manipulate, as well as adding a dash of colour to the timepiece.
Clever stop-seconds mechanism that uses a snail cam
Romain has endowed C by Romain Gauthier with a stop-seconds – or hacking seconds – mechanism, allowing the wearer to set the time exactly according to a reference time.
Like many stop-seconds mechanisms, a brake is placed on the balance wheel when the crown is pulled out. But instead of using a straight or L-shaped balance stop lever to halt the balance, Romain has opted to employ a snail cam that performs a double function: It touches and stops the balance wheel when the crown is pulled out and, when the crown is pushed back in, the snail cam makes a turn, with its increasingly wide form giving the balance an impulse to help it start beating again.
Those familiar with the brand will know Romain has used the snail cam’s unique shape in his past creations: It appears on the watchmaker’s acclaimed Logical One.
In-house movement where design and decoration meet modernity
The themes of modernity and continuity carry over to the manual-winding, in-house movement, which is gloriously on show through the display back.
Taking centre stage are a number of finger bridges – historically typical of the Vallée de Joux, Romain’s birthplace – but reinterpreted here in a contemporary way. For starters, these bridges are horizontally configured and feature a ‘stepped’ shape – previously seen on some of Logical One’s bridges – that not only provides volume and depth, but also gives the sense that the bridges are literally flowing over the gears and balance wheel, with no clear end to them.
Like the case components and the dial plate, the bridges are made from lightweight, natural Grade 5 titanium and they boast contrasting tones and textures thanks to a variety of finishes. The outer edges of each bridge all feature a double bevel, while the flat bridge surfaces and rubies are each framed by a raised border that has been straight-grained. Within these borders, the hand-finishing specialists at Manufacture Romain Gauthier have used a special hand-engraving technique to create a highly original dimpled texture. The movement mainplate beneath has been hand-frosted.
The impressive decoration doesn’t stop with the bridges and mainplate: Romain’s trademark gears and ratchet wheel featuring circular, bevelled spokes have been circular-grained, while the click, snail cam and screws with S-slot heads – another signature of Romain – have been highly polished. Finally, the lid of the mainspring barrel has been embellished with a superb snailing decoration.
C by Romain Gauthier’s regulator features the Romain Gauthier balance wheel with curved arms and calibrated eccentric weights, plus hand-assembled pallet lever that is triangular for maximum rigidity.
C by Romain Gauthier Titanium Edition Two TEchnical Specifications
- 38-piece limited edition in black Grade 5 titanium, engraved “1 of 38” on the back of the movement
Features and indications
- Off-centred hours and minutes
- Small seconds at 7 o’clock
- Grade 5 titanium case, dial, movement bridges and mainplate
- In-house movement featuring stop-seconds mechanism
- Sporty rubber strap
Dial and hands
- Dial in sandblasted Grade 5 titanium coated with black PVD and protective layer against UV rays
- Off-centred hours and minutes
- Small seconds at 7 o’clock with 5-second intervals marked by tapering bright red lines
- Red Super-LumiNova-filled 18k white gold hands and applied numerals and hour markers
Movement and finishing
- In-house, hand-wound movement
- Dimensions: 32.10 mm x 5.50 mm
- Power reserve: 60 hours
- Number of jewels: 24
- Number of components: 154
- Balance frequency: 28,800 vph / 4Hz
- Components made from: Titanium, steel, stainless steel and German silver
- Finishing: Superlative decoration by hand
- Treatment: Black titanium bridges and rhodium-treated gears.
- Material: Grade 5 titanium coated with black ALDC
- Dimensions: 41mm x 9.55mm, lugs to lugs: 49.5 mm
- Water resistance: 50m/5atm/160ft
- Crown for winding and time-setting featuring coloured rubber ring, at 2 o’clock
- Watch supplied with a rubber crown ring in red.
- Sapphire crystal with interior anti-reflection coating, front and display back
Strap and buckle
- Supplied with black rubber strap with specially developed, satin-finished and polished Grade 5 titanium pin buckle coated with black ADLC.
Total weight of the watch: 55g, including rubber strap and pin buckle
Retail price: CHF 38,000 without taxes
PROFILE OF ROMAIN GAUTHIER
Founded in 2005, Romain Gauthier is a brand of exceptional timepieces based in the Vallée de Joux, the heart of the finest Swiss watchmaking, led by its passionate founder Romain Gauthier. Romain marries the know-how he has developed living, studying and working in this picturesque valley, and it is with a no-compromise approach to haute horlogerie that he creates exceptional timepieces of pristine quality in
limited numbers for collectors.
These timepieces have been hailed for their eye-catching designs, innovative in-house movements and extremely high level of hand-finishing.
The man who built the brand
Romain Gauthier was born in 1975 in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland, the cradle of fine Swiss watchmaking. It was here that Romain developed his passion for traditional haute horlogerie, his grasp of mechanics and engineering, and his eye for design.
Having studied precision-mechanics at technical college, Romain qualified as a constructor of precision machinery in 1997. A year later, he started his first job as machine programmer-operator at a horological components manufacturer that he helped turn into one of the best-performing facilities in Europe.
Determined to build from scratch not just his own high-end watch, but also his own high-end watch brand, Romain completed an MBA in 2002. His final thesis was the business plan for his own watch company.
After working behind closed doors on his own timepieces for three years, he launched the Romain Gauthier brand in 2005, unveiling its first timepiece Prestige HM at Baselworld 2007. This was followed by Prestige HMS (2010), Logical One (2013), Logical One Secret (2014), Insight Micro-Rotor (2017), Insight Micro-Rotor Lady (2018), Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette (2020) and C by Romain Gauthier (2021). These encompass classically refined pieces, contemporarily casual creations and ethereal objets d’art, all featuring supremely finished in-house movements.
In 2013, the jury of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – the Oscars of watchmaking – awarded Romain Gauthier’s Logical One the prize for Best Men’s Complication.
In 2018, the jury of Les Talents du Luxe et de la Création de Paris, awarded Romain Gauthier as talent of innovation.
Manufacture Romain Gauthier
Romain Gauthier’s ability to create exquisite timepieces is in large part thanks to his manufacture, based in Le Sentier, Switzerland, that he has steadily built up.
The manufacture blends skilled craftsmen and time-honoured watchmaking tools with the most talented technicians and specialists. This allows Romain Gauthier to design, produce, decorate, assemble and regulate in house all movements for the brand’s timepieces, as well as make its own oven-fired Grand Feu enamel dials.