The fifth timekeeper in the Rauman Gauthier collection is called Insight Micro-Rotor after its most prominent feature, a bi-directional winding micro-rotor which is exposed from both front and back. The feature is the focal point of the beautifully hand-finished automatic movement which the brand naturally made from scratch. The watch with other exposed components is premiered at the Baselworld 2017 show. Additionally, Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor has the very generous power reserve for a self-winding piece since it can be wound every third day. The watch is available in a modestly sized 39 mm wide housing made from platinum or red gold. Each of the case options is made with an enamel dial in one of three colors. All in all, this amounts to six limited edition variants, each of them restricted to just ten pieces. The ones in red gold will be sold at around $75,500, while the gold one will have a bit higher price of around $88,650.
Stability and Exposure
For its fifth piece, the Vallee de Joux watchmaker led by Romain Gauthier decided to put the focus on a micro-rotor. It is thoroughly exposed thanks to a circular opening on the caliber. Interestingly and uncommonly, it can even be seen from the dial side and not just at the back as it is the usual way. From the front, it sits at the nine o’clock position sandwiched between two masterfully finished bridges. The manufacturer decided for this arrangement with two supports instead of a single one because it wanted to make the micro-rotor as stable as it is possible. A floating architecture with a single bridge was considered but ditched because of the relatively steep weight of the 22 K gold rotor.
Each of two bridges that hold the rotor in place are fitted with rubies, in accordance to watchmaking principle which instructs that this is a far superior solution than simple metal-to-metal connection to reduce friction and wear. It is also much more desirable than a possible metal ball-bearing solution which can produce an irritating sound.
Apart from the micro-rotor, the front side of the watch also includes an off-centered dial with Roman numerals (for hours and minutes) on the top, an overlapping small seconds counter right beneath it, as well as a visible balance on the bottom.
The rear side of the case that also provides a look on the rotor is maybe even more interesting since it displays its functioning. The setting allows bi-directional winding which means that the gold rotor winds the mainspring barrels whichever way it turns. To enable this, the manufacturer included a reversing gear. As the gears turn in either direction, they wind the pair of mainspring barrels which are set in series to secure a steady rate throughout the power reserve. As for power reserve, it is pretty opulent and lasts for 80 hours. As the watchmaker points out, this means that the wearer can take the hour.
Otherwise, it should be said that the caliber features 28 jewels and 206 components altogether, as well as that it beats at the frequency of 4 Hz. Throughout it, one can notice top-notch hand performed finishes which could be expected in a piece with so many exposed components of the movement.
Moreover, Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor is fitted in a small package that makes it more timeless and elegant. Its housing is just 39.5 mm wide; while its thickness at the highest point is 12.9 mm. Sapphire crystals with interior anti-reflective treatments are placed at both sides of the case which has the water resistance of 50 meters.
There are two supported materials for the case, 950 platinum and 18 K red gold. Both materials can be combined with enamel dials on a gold base in white, blue or black color. Depending on the color, these are paired with either gold or heat-blued steel hands. The watch is paired with an alligator leather strap hand-stitched in Switzerland which fastens with a red or white gold folding clasp, depending on the variant.