Hysek A surprise for the Ladies Championship Gstaad
Hysek took the opportunity of its presence in the Bernese Oberland, as Official Timekeeper of the women’s tennis tournament, to announce the IO Automatic Manufacture, driven by its first in-house base calibre.
The village of Gstaad in the Saanen region of Switzerland offers authentic charm and breathtaking views of the mountainous landscape of the Bernese Oberland. A vast open area near the railway station is the perfect location for hosting a variety of sports events, including the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad, the Swatch Major Gstaad beach volleyball championship, the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad men’s tennis tournament, and the Ladies Championship Gstaad.
Women’s tennis in Gstaad
While the Gstaad men’s tournament celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015, the women’s competition endured a hiatus of 33 years, after 66 consecutive events from 1917 to 1983, because of a lack of space in the calendar. The closure of Austria’s Bad Gastein tournament in 2016 provided an opportunity to relaunch this iconic event on the WTA circuit, and gave Switzerland its own women’s tournament once again.
From 16 to 22 July 2018, the Ladies Championship Gstaad celebrated its 3rd edition since its return, with seven Swiss tennis players disputing the title: Conny Perrin, Patty Schnyder, Jil Teichmann, Timea Bacsinszky, Stefanie Vögele, Leonie Küng and Viktorija Golubic, who won the first edition in 2016. This year’s final went to Alizé Cornet of France, who beat Mandy Minella of Luxembourg after an extremely close match (6-4, 7-6). Timea Bacsinszky and her partner Lara Arrubarrena Vecino reached the finals of the doubles tournament, and won the first set before being forced into second place by Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Kravczyk in a super tie break (4-6, 6-4, 10-6).
A rule-breaking partnership
As Official Timekeeper of the Ladies Championship Gstaad, Hysek rewarded the winners with elegant timepieces in the colours of the tournament. Loris Benoît, the brand’s artistic director, awarded Alizé Cornet with a 38 mm Abyss in steel, with diamond-set bezel and a quartz movement. This uncompromisingly feminine two-handed watch has a delicately engraved, sunbrushed black dial with a date window at 3 o’clock, and it comes on a pink alligator strap – a reference to the tournament colours. Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk were presented with Kilada models.
Abyss 38mm in the championship's colours © Hysek
This kind of partnership is an exception for Hysek; in fact, it’s the only one. The decision to add the Ladies Championship Gstaad to the WTA calendar coincided with the launch of the watchmaker’s new Kalysta collection for women. The watchmaker decided to partner with the tournament on the basis of their shared values. The authentic, family-focused and independent nature of the Ladies Championship Gstaad echoes the values of the independent watchmaker, which employs 30 staff on two sites: the manufacture itself, and the design, marketing and assembly division in Lussy-sur-Morges.
The IOC Automatic Manufacture and its base calibre
The sports event also provided Hysek with the perfect opportunity to launch the latest IO Automatic Manufacture, driven by its first in-house base movement, which was two years in development. With the exception of the balance spring, anchor and barrel spring, every component of the HW31 calibre is made in-house, and all the decorating, finishing and chamfering is also done internally.
HW31 in-house base calibre © Hysek
The IO collection sports an unusual case that represents a break from the watchmaking norms: the lugs, lug insert and case body are machined in a single block, and come in a choice of all the usual watchmaking finishes – polished, satin-finished and sandblasted. The micro-rotor, made of a single piece of heavy metal, can be admired through the sapphire caseback.
As head of marketing Céline Dessimoz explains, the reasoning behind the creation of this timepiece and its new automatic in-house movement was to make “an entry-level model without compromising on quality”, to attract buyers of non-manufacture products to manufacture products. The watch is currently available as a three-handed model with small seconds, but the base movement has been designed to accommodate complications such as a calendar, chronograph and jumping hour. The design was also optimised to reduce the depth of the movement, to ensure it can incorporate complications without becoming too cumbersome.
Nod to the Hysek Pen
Unlike traditional minimalist satin-brushed or sanded dials, the dial of the IOC Automatic Manufacture reproduces the layered honeycomb structure of graphite molecules. The pressed motif is a nod to the brand’s origins and the Hysek Pen, the first writing instrument created by Jörg Hysek 20 years ago. “Through the graphite molecule, on which the pattern is based, we have an echo of the history of the firm, which grew out of writing instruments. It’s also a nod to the idea that all projects begin with a pencil sketch on a piece of paper,” confides Loris Benoît, Hysek’s artistic director.
Hysek Pen © Hysek
The arrangement of the dial remains faithful to the brand’s aesthetic codes, and will be retained for all the complication models we can expect to see in the future. The markers, in rose gold or titanium, comprise the iconic four Arabic numerals, arranged in a rectangle at 1, 5, 7 and 11 o’clock. The location of the small seconds at 6 o’clock was also the subject of considerable reflection, and helps to strengthen the vertical axis between 12 and 6 o’clock.
IO Automatic Manufacture in rose gold © Hysek
This timepiece with its strong identity and authenticity pays tribute to its heritage, and will no doubt appeal to a broad audience of watch enthusiasts, with its “accessible” version in titanium and a higher-spec variant in rose gold, both available in diameters of either 43 or 41 mm.
IO Automatic Manufacture in titanium © Hysek
The firm’s foundational principles are avant-gardism and technical prowess. Each new timepiece is not simply the modification of an existing aesthetic model, but is completely designed from scratch. This perpetual calling into question leads to the creation of extremely audacious and contemporary timepieces.Find out more >
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