Hands-on Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon

Revolving happiness in three acts

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon is a fabulous piece that I had in my hands during SIHH2019. This mesmerising piece uses no hands but a disc system to show the passing time. A rectangular 5N red gold completes the package. This is a short presentation of the piece seen at Geneva.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon

Review Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon

The new HL Vagabonde Tourbillon uses a system that might look familiar to you. Remember the Endeavour Flying Hours from the sister brand H. Moser & Cie. Moreover, the watch uses the calibre HTL 405-1. This one is based on the H. Moser & Cie. HMC 804 automatic movement. The HL Vagabonde Tourbillon displays at 6 o’clock, as the name suggests, a beautiful tourbillon that adds a new level of coolness. Let’s see the watch on the wrist first and then we go more into details.

Hautlence case in 5N red gold

The brand used for the Vagabonde a rectangular case. Those familiar with the brand will recognise the lines from the Atelier and Playground Collections.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
Brushed and polished finishes form an elegant composition

The case measures 39 x 46 x 12 mm. The dimensions are well proportioned and, taking into account the rectangular shape, the wear is quite comfortable. I have seen the watch on a lady’s wrist and it looked rather spectacular.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
The brushing is interrupted by the domed polished crown

The brushed body is in contrast with the highly polished chamfering. Even the lugs received a gorgeously executed beveling with hand executed polish.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
The sapphire crystal has a complex shape

The raised crystal has a magnificent bevelled edge, especially taking into account the case curvature. Noticeable in the picture is the crown decorated with engraved Hautlence logo on a domed polished background.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
Folding clasp in titanium with 5N satin-finished red gold plate with Hautlence logo. You can have a glimpse of the look of the clasp after some wear.

The backside reveals a brushed surface, following the front theme and an exhibiting crystal that reveals the calibre HTL 405-1.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
An unusual dial that uses no hands for revealing the time

A complex dial with a simple way of telling the time

In case you wonder what time the watch displays – 4: 23, respectively, 4:24 – the watch was a fully functional piece.

A micro-blasted surface serves as a background for three discs/subdials, bearing 4 hours each. The system is quite simple after you get used to it. One disc displays the 12, 3, and 9 o’clock, the second one the 1, 4, 7 and 10 o’clock and the last one, logic, the 2, 5, 8 and 11 o’clock. Actually is the 2, 5, 8, 11 group the second and the third one is the 1, 4, 7, 10 – if I remember well the dial rotation.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
Detail of the time display

The minutes are indicated by an arrow facing the sapphire disc with printed railtrack and Arabic numerals. The entire composition is beautiful from an aesthetical but also the technical point of view. The finishes are gorgeous.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
Detail of the multi-levelled display with the visible tourbillon

This time, the tourbillon is not the most spectacular dial element

Besides the spectacularity of the time telling apparatus, the dial is technically enriched with a tourbillon. The watch face is captivating on so many levels (pun intended).

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
A view to the tourbillon

The combination of blue PVD elements and gold is rather ravishing in the case of the Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon. The eyes run from one detail to another. Telling time needs accommodation. Not only because of the complex time display but because of the multitude of finishes and details. Gorgeous by all means.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
Can you see that delightful and delicate swan neck?

As mentioned before, the Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon is powered by the HTL 405-1 movement.

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
The caseback reveals the other side of the calibre HTL 405-1

Finishes – Hautlence style!

Do I need to mention that Hautlence does an excellent job in decorating its movements? I don’t think so… Calibre HTL 405-1 is an eye-catcher.

calibre HTL 405-1
Calibre HTL 405-1 deserves a good loupe and time to spend

The first visible detail is the rotor of the bidirectional self-winding system. It is decorated with a fine honeycomb pattern and the positive engraved brand’s name. The watch has an impressive power reserve of 3 (three) days.

calibre HTL 405-1
Exceptional finishes that accompany the beauty of the technical complexity

The bridges are decorated with double Cotes de Genève – one of the most difficult and spectacular implementations of the wide-known decoration. The bridges have suffered a chamfering with a final polished finish.

HTL 405-1
Different angles of light reveal the complexity and the quality of the HTL 405-1 movement’s decoration

Final words and impressions

Hautlence is one of those brands that does not get enough love from the horological community. The HL Vagabonde Tourbillon is a stunning timepiece. It is sad for me to see people speaking about these splendid pieces only shortly, usually after the release.

HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
Happiness on the wrist

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon is a loud piece. It is a statement. personally, I could not wear this watch daily. The reason is not the robustness since the Moser basic design is quite solid and they take big pride in making serious pieces, intended for daily use. But HL Vagabonde Tourbillon distracts me from my daily routine. It is asking for attention. At least every hour – I would say. It is definitively a watch to enjoy. ‘Cause this piece brings happiness.

Why happiness in three acts? Simple! A revolving hours display, a superb tourbillon visible in an elegant package and dazzling finishes.

HL Vagabonde Tourbillon
A small detail – the name and the logo on the inner bezel

Hautlence HL Vagabonde Tourbillon REF. H2405-0400 Technical Specifications and Price

Display

  • Skeleton hours split over 2 levels, minutes (240° sector)

Case

  • Case middle and horns: satin-finished and polished 5N red gold
  • Bezel: satin-finished and polished 5N red gold
  • Screws: 5N red gold with polished heads
  • Crown: polished 5N red gold with engraved HAUTLENCE logo
  • Crystal (TOP): extra-hard bevelled sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
  • Back: satin-finished and polished 5N red gold, 4 screws; Engraved with “HAUTLENCE”, “3 ATM WATER RESISTANT”, “Horlogerie Suisse”
  • Crystal (BOTTOM): extra-hard sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
  • Dimensions: 39 x 46 x 12 mm.
  • Water Resistance: 3 atm

Calibre

  • HTL 405-1 movement based on the H. Moser & Cie. HMC 804 automatic movement
  • Hours and minutes, bidirectional self-winding mechanical flying tourbillon movement, with double hairspring
  • Power reserve: minimum of 3 days
  • Regulating organ: 21,600 vibrations / hour
  • Number of jewels: 35
  • Front face finish: sand-blasted module, components decorated and finished by hand
  • Reverse finish: double Cotes de Genève, components decorated and finished by hand

Dial

  • Base dial: micro-blasted with blue PVD, numerals in 5N varnish
  • Bridge: circular satin-brushed, with blue PVD
  • Hour disc: sunray with blue PVD, 5N transfer digits and 5N transfer Indicator
  • Minute disc: sapphire with anti-reflective treatment on both sides, blue transfer honeycomb patterns and 5N transfer display sector (BOTTOM), 5N transfer minute numerals with black outline (TOP)

Strap

  • Blue Louisiana alligator; domed, rubber-lined, full square scales, rolled-edge
  • Interchangeability spring bars
  • Folding clasp: grade 5 titanium with 5N satin-finished red gold plate

Price

  • CHF 79,000

 

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