Before launching his eponymous brand in Vallée de Joux in 2005, Romain Gauthier amassed a twenty-year track record as a master of precision mechanics for the Swiss watch industry. Renowned for its impressive hand-finishing, Romain Gauthier produces only 50 watches per year, reflecting a truly novel approach to some of the most sacred codes of historical watchmaking. The C by Romain Gauthier (or Continuum), the brand’s interpretation of the sports watch, belongs to the Freedom collection, which plays with more contemporary design codes. Debuting in a titanium case in 2021 and earlier this year with a black ADLC titanium case, this third model in a platinum case with an 18k white gold movement pushes the watch into hyper-luxury territory. An attractive mix of old and new, the signature finger bridges on the movement are beautifully hand-decorated with an original dimple texture. Meet the new C by Romain Gauthier Platinum Edition with a subtle gray dial or a more robust blue dial.
With several award-winning in-house calibers, including the coveted Logic One fuse-and-chain constant force mechanism (GPHG Prize for Best Men’s Complication 2013), the model we’re covering today is powered by Romain Gauthier’s C caliber with exceptional hand finishes. , a feature that characterizes all watches issued from this highly acclaimed independent brand.
Independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier is obsessed with finishes and spends an extraordinary amount of time decorating practically every part of a movement. To give you an idea of the level of finishes, some decorative details such as perlage, scalloping, hand-frosting and Geneva waves are carried out by RG artisans using hand-operated tools, while others are specialized domains such as bevelling and polishing. Angle Atelier Here experts record the angles between the sides and surfaces of the bridges, which are polished by hand using gentian wood harvested from the local forest.
When the Titanium C model was introduced in 2021, called the Continuum, it marked a clear departure from the RG’s complex, off-center, openworked displays. Although it’s a smaller, sportier and more contemporary model, it’s packed with very refined finishes that confirm its status as a legitimate Romain Gauthier offspring. C was revisited in June 2022 in a dark technical ADLC-coated titanium case with red glowing Super-LumiNova.
Fluid, sensual design
Romain Gauthier’s latest C takes the watch in a more luxurious direction without betraying its attractive sporty profile. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this watch (not including the movement) is its fluid, sensual case. With a diameter of 41 mm and a height of 9.95 mm, the gleaming platinum case is more complicated than meets the eye. Starting life as a traditional round-shaped bezel, six straight sides are cut into the bezel to create six facets – which are also present on the caseback. To highlight this original design, the bezels are polished to reflect light, while the rest of the bezel is satin-finished to provide contrast and absorb light. Position of the crown at 2 o’clock with its blue or gray rubber crown rings to match the color of the dial and strap (to improve manipulation, the platinum crown can also be fluted).
The one-piece caseband and gently angled lugs flow smoothly to hug the rubber strap without gaps between case and strap. Surface areas of the case display a bright polished surface, while the sides are divided into three areas with satin-brushed and indented accents. The 50m water-resistant platinum case comes with extra heft and weighs 149g (compared to 55g for the titanium models) including the rubber strap and pin buckle. Both models come on a gray rubber strap that flows organically from the case and is adorned with an embossed pattern on the sides and a smooth inner band.
Blue or gray dials
Both the blue and gray dials are based on an 18k white gold dial plate. The gray dial is sandblasted and treated with a special coating to protect against UV rays, and the blue dial is manufactured using a blue PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) treatment. The matte surface treatment of both dials is highly contemporary, although the texture of the gray dial is slightly more granular. The Roman numerals and indexes are handcrafted in 18k white gold with a satin-finished matte surface. The hour and minute hands are also white gold but filled with Super-LumiNova.
Having mentioned that the off-center layouts on the RG are an in-house specialty, you’ll notice that elements of the dial are also subtly off-center. The central hour and minute hands are not centered and are placed slightly above the horizontal axis of the dial. Continuing with the off-center theme is a conspicuous small seconds sub-dial occupying the empty area between 6 and 9 o’clock. Grazing the top of an applied VI Roman numeral, the small seconds sub-dial interrupts the minutes track and is intersected by ten tapering lines of varying lengths to mark every fifth second, and two longer lines running through its center. The end
The more you look at the dial, the more intriguing details emerge. For example, the size of the hour markers varies across the dial, in some cases narrowing in line with the Roman numerals and quite clearly widened at 4 and 5 o’clock. As Romain Gauthier explains: “Rather than the series of enclosed circles we often see in watchmaking, I wanted an open, airy dial on which full or partial orthogonal lines form vanishing points with the hand axes, reinforcing a sense of continuity and freedom..”
White gold finger bridges
For a Continuum or C watch the in-house movement that you can see through the caseback is clearly developed. More contemporary than previous in-house movements, this manual-winding caliber is protected by horizontal 18k white gold finger bridges. Associated with pocket watch movements, the finger bridges certainly give a nod to the historic watchmaking traditions of Vallée de Joux but are adorned with surprisingly contemporary finishes.
Each white gold bridge has a stepped shape – similar to the bridges in the Logical One – and is adorned with double hand-polished bevels. The bridges have a frosted edge with a slightly raised hand that creates jewels and a special dimpled surface developed by RG’s artisans for this movement. The inside of the finger bridges are hand carved to create this unusual and very attractive shape. The mainplate is also hand-assembled.
The trademark gears and ratchet wheel have beveled spokes with a circular, circular-grained finish, while the click, snail cam and S-slot crew heads are polished. The lid of the mainspring barrel is also decorated with a snail, leaving no surface untouched.
Beating at a frequency of 28,800vph, the movement offers a power reserve of 60 hours and comes with a stop-seconds function. Unlike most hacking seconds that apply a brake on the balance wheel when the crown is pulled, the RG uses a snail cam that touches and stops the balance wheel when the crown is pulled, and here’s the trick when the crown is pushed back. The snail cam rotates and gives impulse to start striking the balance again.
Availability & Price
Romain Gauthier C Unlimited Edition in Platinum. However, given the brand’s low production figures, these won’t be flying around the market by the thousands. There is a retail price CHF 78,000 (excluding tax). For more information, please visit Romaingauthier.com.