For many years (25 to be precise) I lived and studied in Manchester, England. Even though I am not a soccer fan per se I could see the profound affect Eric Cantona had on the sport. That is why I and many other people were really surprised when he finally hung his boots up to pursue acting. As a film buff I was really sceptical because it is a tough transition to make. However it is fair to say that Mr Catona does show a certain degree of talent for this profession.


Recently I received a press release from Hautlence unveiling a new version of their popular Vortex called the Primary. The timepiece is a collaborative effect with Eric Cantona, who has a serious passion for art. Normally when I read marketing material from brands about partnerships with ambassadors it doesn’t really interest me. In the majority of cases it seems to be more about the money than the actual watches. Nevertheless this timepiece seems to be well designed and I am sure Eric Cantona has actually had some creative input.


As the name suggests the main theme of the Vortex Primary is vibrant colour. In fact even though the press material doesn’t say it the design has obviously been inspired by the (later) paintings of 20th century Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. Visually the composition of sapphire crystal, yellow, red and blue is really effective. Certainly it gives this model an entirely new and refreshing dynamic.


As you would expect (from a brand like Hautlence) the mechanical aspect of the watch is absolutely top notch and handcrafted by the finest Swiss craftsmen. The HLR2.0 is operated by a sophisticated gear and train system containing 552 individual components. Essentially the only detail that really disappoints me is the use of black PVD coating on the titanium case. Certainly for a watch of this level, I would expect a more durable and higher grade DLC (diamond like carbon) treatment. In fact in an ideal world I would have preferred this timepiece to be constructed from forged carbon.

The Vortex Primary is limited to only 18 pieces and is priced for the connoisseur at: $199,500