Romain Gauthier’s new Logical one Secret Kakau Höfke, is a work of art, craftsmanship and haute horlogerie in tribute to one of the world’s most vibrant of cities, Rio de Janeiro.
Adorning its integrated 18k white gold cover, hour-minute subdial and small seconds is a modernist depiction of Rio de Janeiro, designed by Brazilian artist Kakau Höfke, a long-time friend of the Gauthier family and responsible for designing the Romain Gauthier logo when the brand was founded in 2005. Artist Kakau Höfke has become known for her modern,pop art style featuring colorful palettes and overlapping transparencies, with Rio de Janeiro being her habitual subject.
Originally featuring in her series of acrylic-on-canvas artworks, Höfke’s signature portrayal of her native city Rio not only evokes Corcovado – the iconic mountain on which proudly stands the ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue – but also the pattern that features on the promenade (calçada) bordering Ipanema beach.
Höfke’s design has been beautifully adapted and recreated using an intricate micro-marquetry technique based on traditional stone marquetry, undertaken by artisans at the Geneva atelier of Olivier Vaucher.
The dial includes 352 unique, mirror-polished, miniature tiles of jade and agate – each one 0.5mm thin and painstakingly hand-finished and hand-applied, requiring three months of work to create. The complexity of the marquetry is evidenced by its bombé profile and double layer of tiles.
Light and dark tiles cut from the same lavender jade stone form the Ipanema promenade pattern; tiles cut from blue agate compose the Corcovado scenery.
The watch reveals not just the varying hues of the different stone types, but also the contrasting, fragmented patterns of the two tile layers. That the marquetry seamlessly flows onto the subdials is another outstanding feature.
The tile facets act like tiny angled mirrors, with light shimmering off each one, endowing Logical one Secret Kakau Höfke with a vitality in keeping with the spirit of Rio de Janeiro and its people.
A gentle squeeze on the pusher integrated into the white gold case unlocks the cover engraved on the inside with the Romain Gauthier logo and Kakau Höfke’s signature. Lifting up the cover reveals Logical one Secret’s multi-patented, in-house movement featuring flat chain-and-fusee style constant force system with ruby chain links, highly visible balance wheel with a gracefully curved bridge, and ergonomic push button winding system.
The sapphire crystal display back affords further views of the hand-finished movement in addition to the 46-hour power reserve indicator.
Logical one Secret Kakau Höfke is a unique piece, created as part of Manufacture Romain Gauthier’s 10th anniversary celebrations. It is accompanied by an acrylic-on-canvas Rio de Janeiro artwork that Kakau Höfke painted especially to complement the timepiece. Logical one Secret Kakau Höfke has been preselected by the jury of the 2015 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – the Oscars of watchmaking – in the Artistic Crafts category.