At the heart of HONORIS I: Innovation. Stéphane von Gunten takes his grandfather’s
inventions further, creating the first wristwatch with a 1000-hour power reserve that is both wearable and elegant – and reasonably slim at just 11.95 mm in thickness and 42.5 mm in diameter.
HONORIS I – 18K white gold case – Black nubuck calfskin
HONORIS I – 18K yellow gold case – Brown nubuck calfskin
HONORIS I – 18K rose gold case – Brown nubuck calfskin
One of Irénée Aubry’s preoccupations was to navigate between concept and design. It is also at the heart of Stéphane von Gunten’s approach. For HONORIS I, he aimed for the formal elegance of a dress watch, the
technical language of visible mechanical attributes and performance.
The design of his inaugural timepiece takes the form of a fully polished gold case. It is topped by a bezel with 60 concave facets and honed edges. It measures 42.5 mm in diameter. It is barely 12 mm thin. These could be considered the dimensions of an elegant chronometer with no special complications. And yet the HONORIS I’s case houses several exceptional attributes: a flying tourbillon, a 1000-hour power reserve, a function selector, and a power reserve indicator on the back in the form of a readily legible disc.
Rounding off the aesthetic…
Rounding off the aesthetic of this classic timepiece, Haute-Rive opted for a grand feu enamel dial. Available in black or white, it is expertly executed at high temperature on an 18-carat gold plate using the champlevé technique. Prior to the five consecutive firings, the plate is cut to accommodate the movement’s protrusions. For this dial is more than just a surface: It is the canvas for an aesthetic and technical composition.
A large wheel, known as the wheel of time, the gear train under a central bridge with four pillars, and the tourbillon – these three elements emerge from the dial without revealing quite how they interact. The mystery continues with the long crown stem and its flowing pinion, easy
to spot next to the column wheel required for function selection. The space dedicated to the barrel and its sizeable mainspring pushes these elements upwards. Stéphane von Gunten builds on this, transforming them
into a technical statement set within a classically crafted whole. This echo of a traditional aesthetic is reinforced by the two leaf-shaped, perfectly polished hands in, depending on the version, white gold or flame-blued
The thousand-beat waltz
To achieve the goal of a 1,000-hour power reserve for the HR01 caliber, Stéphane von Gunten increased the mainspring’s size to the maximum while preserving the overall dimensions of the watch. Usually, timepieces
that offer 10 days of running time are quite enormous, often packaged in futuristic designs. HONORIS I was conceived in the most classic spirit of wearability. That’s why Stéphane von Gunten opted for a single barrel.
Increasing its size meant having the plate act as the drum. Custom-designed by a specialist in this field, the mainspring inside is 3 meters long, certainly the longest ever installed in a wristwatch. To deliver the smoothest possible torque, it is fitted with a sliding flange that prevents surges and peaks. The sliding flange also protects the gear train when the spring is fully cocked.
The barrel communicates on one side with the power reserve indicator, located on the case back. Around a grained central cover, a ring with a graduation from 0 to 1000. This 360-degree indication offers optimum
readability at all times, impossible with a traditional gauge. On the other, the barrel engages a differential that connects it to the gear train and to the winding mechanism. Winding is effected by turning the bezel counterclockwise. Why? The force required and the number of barrel turns would have made it quite impossible to use a crown. What’s more, the bezel feels comfortable to the touch, easy to turn thanks to the 60 subtly recessed grooves. They provide just the right grip for the winding operation, which can be spaced 40 days apart, i.e., once a month, with a 10-day safety margin.
High watchmaking, tradition and innovation.
Three intertwined subjects at the heart of Haute-Rive.
With HONORIS I, its inaugural collection, Haute-Rive places these three elements on an equal footing. A wristwatch in yellow or white gold, polished, elegant, with a mysterious flying tourbillon and a grand feu enamel dial; the whole resting on a finishing ethic (chamfering and decorations by hand) that exemplifies Haute Horlogerie, high watchmaking.
The element of tradition is rooted in the cultural and family heritage of founder Stéphane von Gunten. In HONORIS I, he perpetuates the work of his ancestor
Irénée Aubry, the 19th-century watchmaker and inventor, among others, of the 8-day pocket watch known as Hebdomas.
Once a month, HONORIS I needs to be wound via its 60-facet bezel, controlled by a column-wheel function selector. The construction of the case, movement and complications, and the way they interact, are all the result of an extreme pursuit of slimness, performance and refinement. This rare combination provides coordinates for the trajectory that Stéphane von
Gunten is charting for Haute-Rive.
Reference: HR01 caliber
Winding: Manual, via rotating bezel
Power reserve: 1,000 hours (41 days), one barrel, 3-meter-long mainspring
Regulator: Mysterious flying tourbillon with one-minute rotation, angled anchor escapement,
variable inertia balance wheel
Functions: Hours, minutes; function selector; power-reserve indicator on the case back
Diameter: 38.45mm diameter, i.e., 17’’’ (lignes)
Frequency: 2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
Plate and bridges: Sandblasted, grained. Hand-beveled with Jura gentian wood
Material: 18K yellow gold or 18K white gold or 18K rose gold
Dimensions: 42.5mm diameter
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Case back crystal: Sapphire
Water-resistance: 3 ATM (30 meters, 100 feet)
Base plate in 18K yellow gold or 18K white gold
Black or white grand feu enamel, champlevé technique
Leaf-type, domed, polished
18K white gold or blued steel
Black or brown nubuck calfskin, hand-stitched, tone-on-tone topstitching
Buckle in 18K yellow gold or 18K white gold
THE POPE'S WATCH and HONORIS I
The basic architecture
of the movement.
40-day power reserve.
The fluted bezel.
The time wheel design – the
link between the spring and
the rest of the gear train.
10 watches per year
CHF 148,000 excl. VAT.