Romain Gauthier, first made a name for himself in 2005 as an independent watchmaker creating exquisite timepieces, with the creation of the Prestige HM, meticulously hand-finished timepiece with a proprietary winding system.
To mark its 10th year anniversary, Romain Gauthier introduced the Prestige HMS – Hour, Minute, Seconds – a perfect blend of the traditional and the contemporary. Hours and minutes are clearly legible in the large sub-dial, purposefully unobstructed such that the eyes are then naturally drawn towards the sectorial seconds, while cut-outs reveal the intricate workings of the precision micro-mechanics of the in-house manufacture movement beneath.
The HMS Ten uses its own in-house manufacture movement Calibre HMS, which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz), and has a power reserve of approximately 60 hours. A noteworthy point is that almost all the components of the HMS Ten were designed, developed and manufactured by Romain Gauthier, with the exception of the mainspring, balance spring and jewels. While the dial side offers a partial view to the in-house movement, the display caseback presents a truly magnificent showcase of the in-house caliber, with virtually every component bearing Romain Gauthier’s distinctive touch – from the Vallée de Joux style finger bridges; the bespoke gear wheels with their circular arms; calibrated eccentric weights; polished screw heads with their distinctive S-slot and right down to the high-efficiency triangular pallet lever, another Romain Gauthier invention.
The large movement bridge at the top has a cut-out revealing some of the mainspring barrel and ratchet click. The cut-out features four highly polished, sharp internal bevelled angles – this anglage is the hallmark of superlative hand finishing since machines are not yet capable of milling and polishing sharp internal angles.
The elegant 41mm case is distinguished by clean, unbroken lines around its case perimeter, and it immediately jumps to the eye that there is no visible winding crown to disturb the symmetry of the round case. Romain Gauthier’s trademark ergonomic flat case-back crown, improves winding efficiency as energy does not need to be transmitted through 90o , while reducing wear and tear of components.
Finally, the HMS Ten is completed with a beautiful hand-stitched alligator leather strap, customized across the three different models. The platinum version features a blue strap, which pairs beautifully with the dial. The white gold model features a contrasting black strap, which brings out the classiness of the case. Finally, the rose gold watch is accompanied by a strap of dark brown hue, which gives off an ultra-luxurious vibe. For more info, please visit romaingauthier.com
James Phang – Contributing Writer
James Phang is a young watch enthusiast from Singapore and is self-professed fanatic of independent brands for their unique avant-garde designs. Some of his favourite brands include MB&F, Urwerk, Romain Jerome, Sarpaneva, Peter Speake Marin and Azimuth. His love for art extends out to all things handmade, and he has made it his personal mission to find the best handmade straps and buckles worldwide for his humble collection. Read his articles here.