Design Father gets a sneak preview of the HAUTLENCE Playground Labyrinth

the HAUTLENCE Playground Labyrinth

In a world obsessed with time, HAUTLENCE’s newest introduction, the Playground Labyrinth, is a watchmaker’s invention that does not tell time. While staying true to traditional watchmaking values, it offers a very different take on time itself, encouraging its owner to indulge in the ultimate luxury: time off.

Since its foundation in 2004, HAUTLENCE has been dedicated to bringing a new dynamic to the art of watchmaking. Starting with the brand name, an anagram of its hometown of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the company has earned a reputation for mixing it up, changing the rules, and turning familiar concepts and notions upside down.

HAUTLENCE timepieces are produced in the purest Swiss watchmaking tradition and carry the “HORLOGERIE SUISSE” label. When it comes to design, however, the brand breaks with tradition: Its portfolio of four calibres, designed and manufactured in-house, challenges convention by bringing together architectural inspiration and innovative mechanical solutions to create timepieces that merge the dimensions of time and space through original lines and multi-level dial constructions that introduce depth.

Designed with Gentlemen Rebels in mind, the essence of the brand is perfectly embodied in its choice of brand ambassador, football legend Eric Cantona, and its philosophy captured in its communication message, “Cross the Line”.

For HAUTLENCE’s latest offering, the Playground Labyrinth, co-founder and CEO Sandro Reginelli, drew inspiration from the games of his childhood, offering a flashback to when imaginations were allowed to run wild and making time to play was a priority.

With the Labyrinth, HAUTLENCE remains perfectly aligned with the watchmaking excellence embedded in its DNA, but turns the concept of time itself on its head: in an era where watches can do so much more than tell time, the Labyrinth refuses to do even that. In a world obsessed with connectivity, it choses to disconnect. The Labyrinth is a fundamentally useless yet entirely essential object: a game of skill designed to be worn on the wrist. If anything, it represents a conscious decision to disengage. A statement of intent, if you will.

Though it does not tell the time, the Labyrinth remains true to authentic watchmaking traditions and materials; the rectangular titanium case characteristic of the brand houses a maze carved in solid gold. Moving the crown activates a mechanical lift, which feeds a ball onto the board using a camshaft system visible through the transparent backing.

The Labyrinth is the first model of the Playground collection, a series of portable mechanical games due to expand in the future. With the Playground collection, HAUTLENCE intends to extend beyond the original goal of telling time, bringing a new chronometric aspect to the table, along with the challenge to disconnect and allow ourselves to once again take the time to play, escape, appreciate, dream…

The HAUTLENCE Playground Labyrinth will be presented at BaselWorld, this Wednesday, March 16th. Available with either a brown or black hand-sewn Louisiana alligator leather strap, with a maze of solid gold (either 5N red gold with a polished platinum ball or white gold with a 5N red gold ball respectively) inside a titanium case, it will be produced as a limited edition of 18 timepieces for each colourway, priced at CHF 12.000.

For more information, visit HAUTLENCE on their website.


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