Once again, the independent Swiss watchmaker turns time-reading on its head, this time by giving the jumping hour a unique twist. We unpack this and other distinguishing features of the HL Sphere, a limited edition of 28 pieces.

A spherical jumping hour

Beneath a domed sapphire on the left side of the dial lies a blue sphere with engraved numerals. Composed of two pieces of titanium coated in blue PVD, this is the hour indicator and makes what appears to be a random jump at the turn of a new hour. But it actually follows a strict choreography driven by four conical gears that move around two crossed spindles inclined at 21°.

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A retrograde minute

On the right side of the dial is the semi-circular minute track with diamond-polished numerals. The open construction brings into view not just the gear train, which slows down the minute hand to reduce impact forces when it returns to zero, but also the differential and snail for the jumping hour. Combined, the separate hour and minute indicators offer an engaging visual aesthetic like no other.

A calibre developed entirely in-house

One of the more interesting aspects of the HTL 501-1 manual-winding calibre is the skeletonised balance bridge that offers a peek into the mainspring produced by Hautlence’s sister company, Precision Engineering AG. Since its oscillation can be observed, it naturally doubles as the power reserve indicator. Additionally, a safety mechanism is built in to prevent accidental damage due to incorrect setting.

A dignified case in white gold

The wide TV screen-shape case and horns are crafted in white gold that has been polished and satin-finished. The strap is blue Louisiana alligator leather with grade 5 titanium folding clasp.

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