Back in April 2019, I was very privileged to be interviewed by the New York Times. They were interested in writing an in-depth editorial about my recently published ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book. In particular, the journalist (Melanie Abrams) wanted to know why I embarked on the project initially. The feature (published May 17th 2019) entitled ‘Highlighting Watchmakers People Had Never Heard of’ is very catchy but doesn’t tell the full story. Sure there are many micro brands including my own horology design platform (Paolo Mathai Horology) that have previously had very little press coverage. However, also under this category are labels like Patek Philippe, Richard Mille and many other brilliant ateliers.
Like most book projects there is always a limitation to the number of brands included. In this instance, the magic number was 62 and so some amazing watchmakers slipped through the net. A great example is Hautlence, who are renowned for their exiting modernistic timepieces. In a similar fashion to MB & F and Urwerk, they don’t release that many new watches each year (if any). At this level, the research and development costs would be astronomical. Therefore, it is more viable to customise an existing model to entice discerning collectors. A great example can be found in their distinctive HL2.3 Punk.
Just under 6 years ago (September 18th 2013) I wrote an in-depth review of Hautlence’s phenomenal HL2.4. Certainly, it made a massive impression on me then and still excites me today. Within this series, there are many different versions with different case finishes and dial colour combinations. The HL2.3 Punk is a pimped up version, which is adorned with 84 different size studs. I was 10-years old when the Sex Pistols were at their peak and am a huge Vivienne Westwood fan. That is why I really like the overall concept of this watch even though every other aspect (case, movement, dial etc.) Has remained the same.