Destination Shenzhen (China)
The Destination 03 wrapped around my wrist reminds me that it’s time to leave the West behind and head East. The private jet takes off. Its perfect matt black body melts into the dark night; as dark as my personality and as perfect as everything I wear. Like a panther, my plane races down the tarmac and leaps high into the sky.
On the Alcantara tablet, my precious pieces are enclosed in a shiny box as inky black as the night sky my plane is flying through to take me to Shenzhen, a former fishing village turned modern and exciting mega city. I slip on my silk gloves and carefully open the box to unveil one of Hautlence’s latest timekeeping jewels: the epitome of the future, innovation and creativity. The light catches the polished rhodium-plated numerals on the new Destination watch which I’ve just bought Xu Fei, the Chinese counterpart I’m on my way to meet.
the epitome of the future, innovation and creativity
Horns, bezel, crown and screws : black DLC-coated polished 316L steel.
The quest for elegance and excellence.
I hold it up for a closer look. Xu Fei wanted a Hautlence after seeing mine. I admit I was surprised when he said « You can choose for me » but I must have good taste. We’ll find out very soon.
My eyes devour the watch in the darkness. The modern piece beautifully encapsulates his elusive personality whilst the structured black opaline honeycomb design reflects the graphic style often seen in his work. The fluid numerals and the combination of black and orange epitomise his cutting-edge, modern and relaxed style. The choice of alligator and titanium exemplifies the ongoing quest for elegance and excellence.
A light catches my eye. At this late hour, the sun has surrendered to the moon. Like looking through a peephole, the crescent moon has taken the sun king’s place behind the sapphire glass of the Destination watch. The hands point to the brand’s signature infinity symbol which also tells me it’s time to sleep to avoid jet lag. However, it’s far more important to check the final details for the opening of this new hotel. I’m a perfectionist and the attention to detail in this watch reflects my demand for precision.
The plane lands on the Shenzhen runway. Folders packed, watches cushioned in their case, I slide behind the wheel of a Jaguar provided for my lightning visit.
Xu Fei is waiting for me on the hotel steps. I see his knowing smile and say: « Sorry, there was turbulence during the flight! » But Xu Fei soon guesses that I made the most of the car and lost track of time. As sharp as ever, my associate instantly spots the box where I keep my best watches. I guess what he’s going to ask and assure him, « Yes, I have it. We’ll look at it after the tour if you like. »
We had planned a large lobby with impressive paintings. And here it is! One picture is a mixture of blue tones and the other is a collection of « fiery » colours to add a splash of colour to the grey marble. The thick carpet is reminiscent of plush palaces and leads us down the long corridor. Traditional Chinese architectural symbols engraved on the wooden wall panels give the hotel a classic look whilst sculptures in glass cases add a touch of modern style. We slow down to soak up the long hallway designed to provide a peaceful haven.
Transparency is king in the restaurant. I can remember spending hours analysing my Destination to design this timeless setting. The light bounces off the restaurant’s shiny furnishings as it does on the dial’s opaline and gold finish. The sculpture running the length of the establishment gives a sense of weightlessness, just like the Hautlence logo suspended in the case. The harmony in the watch’s design is reflected in this setting which exudes intricacy and fluidity.
I give into my associate’s excitement and hand him the case. Near a graphic wall in a space furnished with plush beige armchairs and sculptures, Xu Fei accepts his timekeeping jewel as though he has won an architecture prize. I keep glancing at him as I wander through the establishment and finalise the lighting. From a distance, his reaction to his Destination is like a child on Christmas morning. I know him well enough to know that he’s trying to work out the new Hautlence movement enclosed in the 13mm thick revolutionary watch with a bright future.
his reaction to his Destination is like a child on Christmas morning
large date, dual-time indication, day/night
indicator, automatic winding system.
The hotel is just like these watches
In the hotel restaurant, Xu Fei says, « It’s funny. The hotel is just like these watches: exciting, artistic and precious. » I reply, « It’s more like a confident, ingenious 35 year old man capable of delivering on future promises with ingenuity. »
The director’s arrival in the large lounge interrupts Xu Fei who was surely about to thank me. With a smile, Xu Fei discreetly puts his watch on whilst the director enthusiastically congratulates us. At that very moment, I see a 35 year old man wearing the symbol of a modern gentleman with pride.
HAUTLENCE the watch brand from Neuchâtel founded in 2004 springs a surprise in 2013. By presenting a first line called Destination under the « Signature » label. Drawing inspiration from the House style codes, DESTINATION addresses cosmopolitan watch lovers by offering a complication that is a first for the brand, a dual time-zone indication.
HAUTLENCE has made no secret of its interest in external co-operative endeavours on certain lines. Picking up the original HAUTLENCE characteristics (architectural DNA, pure lines and a 3D spirit), DESTINATION is equipped – for the first time in brand history – with a self-winding movement sourced from an external partner, it can accordingly offer new functions: the hours and minutes are complemented by a large date and a 12-hour dragging dual time-zone display, revealed by a 24-hour day/night indicator. DESTINATION is issued in numbered, non-limited series. It comes in three versions: