Ladies’ timepieces do not have to limit themselves to pleasant lines only.
With its clean, intricately engineered, automatic movement featuring snow-set micro-rotor and its gently shimmering mother-of-pearl dial, Insight Micro-Rotor Lady – Romain Gauthier’s first ladies’ watch – is for those women who want to go beyond the mere aesthetic.
“Increasingly, female collectors are looking to own truly exceptional mechanical timepieces,” says Gauthier. “While aesthetics still play a role, these women want the real deal in terms of innovative mechanisms and fine hand-finishing. Insight Micro-Rotor Lady offers this combination of style and substance.”
Insight Micro-Rotor Lady’s hour-minute subdial and small seconds are crafted from iridescent Tahitian black or Australian extra white mother of pearl.
In each case, the hour-minute subdial and small seconds are crafted from the same piece of mother of pearl (0.3mm thin), while the mainplate cover is cut from another piece of the same type of mother of pearl (0.6mm thin), creating a dynamic contrast of textures.
The fragility of the mother-of-pearl means great care has to be taken during the cutting process, especially for the one-piece mainplate cover that bears a complex shape with a figure of eight cut in the centre to accommodate the small seconds and balance wheel. In a neat design touch, the edges of this cut-out are bevelled.
Both types of mother-of-pearl originate from the South Seas and are ecologically sourced. Each dial and mainplate cover is different, and each arrangement of the diamonds decorating the micro-rotor is different, meaning no two Insight Micro-Rotor Lady timepieces are the same.
The indications are powered by an in-house calibre that boasts a bidirectional micro-rotor made from 22k gold. Brilliant-cut diamonds of different sizes spectacularly decorate the front of this oscillating weight.
Insight Micro-Rotor Lady’s movement was designed, developed, produced, decorated, assembled and regulated at Manufacture Romain Gauthier in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. Romain Gauthier has designed it to be highly visible so the viewer can gain an instant appreciation of the spectacular mechanics and fine finishing, giving rise to the name “Insight”.
The dial is a picture of depth and harmony, with the mother-of-pearl subdials and main plate cover superbly setting off the red gold hands, gilded balance wheel and red gold treated plaquette and bridges that are hand bevelled and straight-grained. The arcs of the sweeping bridges marry with the inner contours of the red gold case.
The case’s 39.5mm diameter ensures a comfortable fit on slim wrists. Impressive design details include a lip in the caseband that flares out to meet the bezel. The crown placed at 2 o’clock frees up space for wrist movement; and the bombé sapphire crystal gradually rises to have its highest point over the hour-minute display – the actual centre of the dial in Romain Gauthier’s eyes.
There are more beguiling views of the movement through the display back. Here the micro-rotor can be seen setting the visible train of gears in motion, starting with the reversing gear that lends the mechanism its bidirectionality. The gears and ratchets stand out for their circular arms that feature eye-catching bevels.
Meanwhile, the golden bridges are decorated with hand-made, hand polished bevels and jewel countersinks and are fixed in place using Romain Gauthier’s signature screws with aesthetic S-slot. The sinuosity of the bridges nicely juxtaposes the linearity of the straight-grained finishing and four plaquettes.
The movement’s spectacular decoration includes hand-made and hand-polished bevels, snailing, straight-graining, circular-graining and hand-frosting as well as hand-made and hand-polished jewel countersinks.
“With Insight Micro-Rotor Lady, I wanted to create something that is feminine, but which avoids clichés of femininity, and something that is technical but where the showpiece complication provides simplicity of use,” says Gauthier. “A few turns of the crown get the movement going, you set the time, put the watch on and let the micro-rotor do its work. You can then just enjoy it as an elegant and reliable daily companion.”
Insight Micro-Rotor Lady is available in two 10-piece limited editions in red gold: with Tahitian black mother-of-pearl dial and anthracite strap, and with Australian extra white mother-of-pearl dial with a white strap.