For the second year in a row, Romain Gauthier has used SIHH to update his ladies’ collection. Last year saw the introduction of the very first Romain Gauthier timepiece intended for female collectors with the popular Insight Micro-Rotor being redesigned in two versions with different mother-of-pearl dials. This year, he returns to the Insight Micro-Rotor with a new dial material constructed of Australian Crystal Opal. The new Insight Micro-Rotor Lady Opal brings the same technical mastery that the independent firm is known for, but refreshes its appearance with a new radiant dressing that should appeal to the fairer sex.
For those unfamiliar with the Insight Micro-Rotor, here’s a brief download on the watch that was originally launched in 2017. The watch’s signature feature — its bidirectional 22k gold micro-rotor – is visible from the dial side and from the back. Rotating smoothly and silently and positioned between two bridges, this compact oscillating mass winds a double mainspring barrel to store 80 hours of power reserve. The barrels are series-connected in order to supply a more constant flow of power to the regulator. The time is displayed on two off-center, overlapping subdials, one for hours and minutes, the other for small seconds. Also showcased on the front of the timepiece is the movement’s balance, at 6 o’clock, which beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph; the circular cutout in the movement mainplate that frames the swaying micro-rotor; and a golden plaquette engraved with the Romain Gauthier “RG” logo. The back side of the watch is also unique, with the micro-rotor visibly setting into motion the gear train, starting with the reversing gear that controls the bidirectional winding mechanism. Also eye-catching are the beveled, circular arms of the gears and ratchets; the hand-made, hand-polished bevels of the bridges; the crown at 2 o’clock; the countersinks for the movement’s 28 jewels, which are fixed in place by Romain Gauthier’s signature screws with “S”-shaped slots; and the linear plaquettes adorning the curvilinear-shaped bridges.
The Insight Micro-Rotor Lady Opal differs from last year’s releases and the original launch in a few ways. The hour-minute subdial, small seconds, and mainplate cover are made out of semi-transparent Australian Crystal Opal, which provides the watch with its name and distinctive look, and has been finished by hand to Gauthier’s exacting standards. The micro-rotor is “snow” set with brilliant-cut diamonds in a variety of sizes. The diamond setting is unique for each model, which matches the indiscriminate color of the opal, meaning each of the five models is completely unique.
The 39.5-mm case, the hands, balance wheel, and bridges are all constructed of red gold, adding a level of warmness to the cool tone of the opal dial. Finally, the Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor comes on a natural white rubber strap. Limited to five total pieces in red gold, the Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Lady Opal is priced at CHF 95,000.
Click here to read our profile on Romain Gauthier.