Romain Gauthier: Insight Micro-Rotor Lady Opal
The hour-minute subdial, small seconds and mainplate cover are made out of semi-transparent Australian crystal opal that has been skilfully finished by hand. This gemstone exhibits flashes of pink, green, purple and turquoise in a majestic play of colour.
Powering the indications is an in-house, automatic calibre that boasts a 22k gold bidirectional micro-rotor, the front of which is snow set with brilliant-cut diamonds of varying sizes.
The scintillating micro-rotor is framed by a cut-out in the opal-adorned mainplate. It turns smoothly and inaudibly between two bridges, each fitted with a friction-minimising, wear-resistant ruby bearing. In whichever direction the micro-rotor sways, it winds a serially operating double mainspring barrel offering 80 hours of power at full wind.
The glorious opal subdials and mainplate cover set off the red gold hands, gilded balance wheel and red gold treated plaquette and bridges that are hand-bevelled and straight-grained, while the arcs of the bridges neatly marry with the inside curve of the red gold case. The case’s 39.5mm diameter, combined with the white natural rubber strap that mirrors the contours of the lugs, provides a snug fit on slender wrists.
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 centre of the dial.
More of the movement can be admired through the display back. Here, the micro-rotor can be seen engaging the visible train of gears, beginning with the reversing gear that gives the mechanism its bidirectionality. The gears and ratchet wheels are notable for their circular spokes which have been bevelled.
Finally, the golden bridges – which feature hand-made, hand-polished bevels and jewel countersinks – are secured in place using Romain Gauthier’s in-house screws with S-slot heads. The sweeping shapes of the bridges contrast with the linearity of the straight-grained finishing and four plaquettes.
Insight Micro-Rotor Lady Opal is a five-piece limited edition in 18k red gold.