In recent times, haute horology brands have been paring down on their offerings by producing simpler watches. Greubel Forsey, famous for its tourbillon watches, released the Signature 1 last year – a time-only, non-tourbillon watch that is the brand’s simplest yet. Likewise, Romain Gauthier fake watches announced its new time-only Insight Micro-Rotor watch earlier this year at Baselworld 2017. Like the Signature One, the Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor only tells the time. But even though it may look simple, the amount of work that goes into the Insight Micro-Rotor and its level of craftsmanship is still very high.
Let’s cover the basics first. The Insight Micro-Rotor is available in a red gold or platinum case, and with a white, blue, or black enamel dial. Each model is limited to just 10 pieces, which means that there will only be 60 Insight Micro-Rotor watches in total. The diameter of the case measures a very reasonable 39.5mm and thickness is 12.9mm. On the wrist, the Insight Micro-Rotor wears a tad larger than what its dimensions would suggest. This is likely due to the slightly long lugs.
The case has alternate finishes. The bezel and case sides are mirror polished while the tops of the lugs are satin finished. The crown is positioned at 2 o’clock and is a little hard to operate because it is so thin and hard to grip. Water resistance is 50m, which is commendable given that most haute horology watches usually come with pitiful water resistance. At 50m, this means you can wash your hands comfortably without worrying about a little water getting on the watch.
The magic, however, is all on the dial. The name Insight comes from Gauthier’s desire to give owners full view of the mechanics and finishing of the copy watches for men. He has certainly succeeded. At 12 o’clock, you have a large enamel dial and skeletonized hands that show the hours and minutes. Just below it, you have a smaller enamel dial that shows the running seconds. The dials overlap slightly, but legibility is never an issue. One thing that I would like to point out, however, is that the hour and minute dial has Roman numerals for the hour makers, whereas the sub seconds dial uses Arabic numerals to mark out every five seconds. This inconsistency might irk some readers, but at least the dial is expertly printed and the numerals, even under a macro camera lens, are razor sharp.
Right below the subsidiary seconds is the balance wheel, which is held in place by an attractively shaped balance bridge. The balance uses eccentric weights for adjustments and the balance bridge is incredibly finished with sharply beveled edges. Note also the screws that hold it in place. The Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor uses these unique screws with “S” shaped grooves, which is a clear sign of the lengths that Gauthier goes to ensure that his movements are one-of-a-kind and inimitable. It also means that servicing in the future will likely have to go through Romain Gauthier as I don’t think third-party watchmakers will have the appropriate tools to remove the screws.