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Romain Gauthier - Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the Manufacture Romain Gauthier is presenting its latest creation, the Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette, a timepiece that showcases the exceptional skills of the brand in the special art of hand-finishing.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Carbonium

Introduced in 2017 (you can read about it here), the Insight Micro-Rotor is an ideal timepiece for skeletonisation because the particular architecture of this calibre and the layout of gears and barrels do not leave gaps but instead reveal other fascinating details of the mechanisms.

The hour, minute and small second indications are powered by an in-house calibre boasting a bidirectional micro-rotor made from 22k solid gold. Visible dial side and through the display back, this oscillating weight turns smoothly between two bridges, each fitted with a friction-minimising, wear-resistant ruby bearing. In whichever direction the micro-rotor swings, it winds a serially operating double mainspring barrel that guarantees 80 hours of power when fully wound.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Carbonium

The increased sense of depth created by this skeletonisation makes the balance wheel at 6 o’clock appear as though it is floating, while the snailed micro-rotor at 9 o’clock sways beautifully between the stripped-down bridges.

On the back side, the micro-rotor can be seen engaging the visible train of gears, beginning with the reversing gear that gives the mechanism its bidirectionality.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Carbonium

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette

The new Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette is available in a 42 mm case made out of Carbonium, a hi-tech carbon composite sourced from aerospace-grade fibres that is light, mechanically resistant and particularly eye-catching.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Carbonium

Each of the Carbonium elements of the new model are obtained from blocks which are finely shaped on a 5-axis machining centre before being matte-finished for a slightly silky surface appearance

This is a “Manufacture Only” edition, meaning that it will be available exclusively from Romain Gauthier with the additional possibility to customise it. The presented example features hand-polished bevels, Pacific blue and white dial accents, and Pacific blue steel hands and natural rubber strap.

The Squelette version of the Insight Micro-Rotor is also available as customisable 39.5 mm precious metal or titanium “Special Orders” through Romain Gauthier or its retail partners. To give an idea of the many possibilities, Romain Gauthier has created two Special Order examples.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Red Gold

The first one is in 18k red gold featuring an oven-fired black enamel dial greyed by hand-frosting with white and gilded dial accents, complemented by 18k red gold hands; the second comes in 950 platinum featuring an oven-fired, satin-blue enamel dial with white dial accents, accompanied by 18k white gold hands.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Platinum


The mainplate and the eight bridges of the Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette have been made in ultra-light Grade 5 titanium, a material that offers the requisite strength while reducing the overall weight of the movement to just 15.95 grams.

On the other hand, machining titanium has its challenges. In fact, titanium wears down tools and can break them more easily. Overall, more steps are required to machine each piece in this material.

But even more challenges come from hand-finishing. Each of the bevelling, softening, smoothing and polishing stages take far longer than working with brass. You have to repeat steps, sometimes twice. It takes one Romain Gauthier anglage specialist no fewer than 250 hours to bevel, soften, smooth and polish by hand the natural titanium mainplate and eight bridges needed for one Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette.

Above and below: anglage beautifies the component by creating a polished bevel between its surface and its flanks. The angleur or angleuse creates a bevel using a steel file, then softens and smooths the material, first with degussit stone then using a series of buffs with emery-paper tip gradually going from a coarser to a finer grain, before polishing the bevel using the woody stem of the locally-growing gentian plant with diamond paste.


And when you add up all the hours devoted to decorating the entire movement by hand or by hand-operated tools – including anglage, hand-frosting, polishing countersinks, circular graining, straight graining and snailing – it comes to over 350 hours of work!

The bridge on the left has been bevelled by hand while the bridge on the right has been bevelled, softened, smoothed and polished by hand

Prices for the new Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette creations are as follows:

Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Manufacture-Only Carbonium Edition with hand-polished bevels on the bridges: Swiss Francs 155,000 excluding taxes.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Carbonium

Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Special Order in 950 platinum with hand-polished bevels on the bridges: Swiss Francs 148,000 excluding taxes.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Platinum

Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Special Order in 18k red gold with matte-finished bevels on the bridges (this removes the need for the hand-polishing stage, but still involves the steps of bevelling, softening and smoothing): Swiss Francs 108,000 excluding taxes.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Red Gold

Elements that can be customised include the material of the case; final finishing to the bridges and mainplate (hand-polished or matte-finished bevels); colour of the dial and dial accents; material and colour of the hands; colour of the plaquettes and their engravings; and the material and colour of the strap. romaingauthier.com

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Time and Watches | The watch blog: Romain Gauthier - Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette
Romain Gauthier - Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the Manufacture Romain Gauthier is presenting its latest creation, the Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette. Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Manufacture-Only Carbonium Edition Swiss Francs 155,000 excluding taxes Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Special Order in 950 platinum Swiss Francs 148,000 excluding taxes Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Special Order in 18k red gold Swiss Francs 108,000 excluding taxes
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Time and Watches | The watch blog
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