Featuring a dial-side combination of gilded mainplate and palladium-treated bridges framed by a white gold case, the Insight Micro-Rotor white gold limited editions see Romain Gauthier present his acclaimed time-only movement in perhaps its most collector-oriented guise to date.
Powering the hour-minute and small-second indications is a finely-finished, in-house automatic caliber that has been built from the ground up and which boasts a bidirectional micro-rotor made from 22k gold.
Visible dial side and through the display back, this oscillating weight turns smoothly between two bridges, each fitted with a friction-minimizing, wear-resistant ruby bearing. In whichever direction the micro-rotor swings, it winds a serially operating double mainspring barrel offering 80 hours of power at full wind.
Sweeping around the center of the dial are the small seconds surrounded by the hour-minute subdial at 12 o’clock, beating balance at 6 o’clock and, at 9 o’clock, the swaying micro-rotor, framed within a circular cut-out in the mainplate. The mainplate has been hand-frosted then treated with rose gold, and it is this golden tone and matte finishing that make the straight-grained, palladium-treated bridges visually pop.
The observer is treated to more views of the movement through the display back. Here, the micro-rotor continues to steal the show as it sets the visible train of gears in motion, starting with the reversing gear that gives the mechanism its bidirectionality.
Like the mainplate, the bridges on the back of the movement are rose gold-treated and decorated with hand-frosting and hand-made, hand-polished bevels and jewel countersinks. These bridges are fixed in place using in-house screws that bear an aesthetic S-slot.
The gilded hue and frosted finish of the bridges contrast neatly with the rhodium-treated elements next to them: straight-grained, linear plaquettes; circular-grained gears and ratchets featuring beveled, circular spokes; and the mainspring barrels of which the lids have been decorated with snailing.
Meanwhile, the case’s 39.5mm diameter makes for a very wearable timepiece. Other design details of the case include a lip in the caseband that flares out to join with the bezel; the crown positioned at 2 o’clock to free up space for wrist movement; and the bombé sapphire crystal which rises so that its highest point is over the hour-minute display, the de facto center of the dial.
“The gleam of the white gold case, the matte finish and gilded tones of the movement…. For me, this historical combination of colors and finishes is the one that most evokes a collector’s watch,” says Gauthier.
Insight Micro-Rotor white gold is available in three 10-piece limited editions: with oven-fired white enamel dial, oven-fired black enamel dial and oven-fired blue enamel dial.