Earlier this week I paid a visit to Hautlence’s La Chaux de Fonds head office and atelier to check out the recently unveiled Avant-Garde HLRQ 01. The latest addition to their “Avant Garde” collection, the HLRQ 01 sees Hautlence’s less emblematic but equally appealing round case in a new aesthetic.


The HLRQ 01 is basically a rose gold version of the HLRQ pieces released earlier this year, which see the brand’s signature jumping hour and retrograde minutes combination in a totally new execution.

The HLRQ 01 has to be one of the most balanced dials of any Hautlence I’ve come across. The symmetrical round indications blend perfectly with the round case, and you’re given the impression of having loops within loops. Playing with transparency and depth, the HLRQ 01 cleverly uses crystals of different tints to hide and reveal all the details you want to see; without overdoing the “open dial” look.


The main part o the dial is smoked mineral glass, with the hour indicator being a transparent circle on a disk that jumps to reveal only the current hour. The lume-tipped minutes hands makes a perfect 180-degree half-circle in 60 minutes, with the connecting rod system done in rose gold revealed beneath. And while it might not look very intuitive, it’s actually quite easy to read the time on a Hautlence, as the hour is given as a number so in fact you only have one hand to read. Thanks to the bold luminous markings on both the hour disk as well as the retrograde minutes track, it’s even easier to get used to than you think.



Like the hour disk, the date is displayed under a transparent circle in the smoked crystal at 6 o’clock, and can be corrected via the quick date correcting pusher placed between the lugs at 12 o’clock.


The 44mm case is done in polished 4N rose gold, with a DLC-treated Titanium middle-case and case back. Thanks to the relatively short lugs, the HLRQ 01 wear quite well in spite of its diameter.


The watch is equipped with Hautlence’s in-house manual-winding HLQ movement, finished with Côtes de Genève stripes (don’t you just love how wide they are?) and hand-chamfered and polished edges. The movement provides 40 hours of power when fully wound, which is quite substantial when you think of how much energy a movement like this requires.


In the past I wasn’t the biggest fan of the round-cased Hautlence pieces, as I thought the original “retro tv” case was the perfect fit fot the brand’s unique pair of complications and modern aesthetics. But the HLRQ line and especially the HLRQ 01 have proved me wrong, as I think Hautlence have done a great job at this round rendition.

The HLRQ 01 is available at the price of $43’000.

More information on www.hautlence.com