A Look at the Latest from Horage in Spain

When writing about brands, we often use the words “micro” or “independent” to describe any brand that is not a Swiss luxury powerhouse or part of a mega conglomerate. Think of Rolex, Richemont or the Swatch Group for example. Most micro and independents we write about are, more often than not, brands that are more about design and a certain lifestyle philosophy than engineering and manufacturing. 99% of brands I love are the former. This doesn’t mean, however, that the latter don’t exist. Instead, an independent brand can be qualified as being one which goes beyond design to create stuff. A lot of new and cutting-edge stuff. This brings us to Horage, the Swiss that has been covered in these pages extensively, and more recently, most recently when Ed Jelley reviewed the Lensman 2. What we know about Horage is this: they make their own movements, good ones at that, and unique looking watches.

I recently attended an event hosted by Horage through which I discovered that the brand actually does much more. Not only does Horage make its own movements, but it’s also at the forefront of technology to make watch manufacturing more sustainable. Or, should I say, watch collecting more sustainable. Through the discovery of their newest model and caliber—which I will tell you about in a second—I realized that everything in life does indeed work in cycles. Think about this: Rolex started as what we now describe as being a microbrand. It bought parts from many places to make watches sold under its name. Hey, Seiko started exactly in the same way. And in 2023, most micro and independent brands I enjoy supporting and writing about have a similar modus operandi.


In other words, most brands that currently exist do not make their own movements. Either a brand designs watches and then buys movements to put inside said watches, or a brand focuses on making movements which are sold to other brands that don’t make them (Sellita, Soprod, and Ronda are some quick Swiss examples). Rarely, then, does a brand do both at the same time. Which, again, brings us back to Horage. To make a long story short: the brand released its first model in 2009 and the same year started working on its first in-house movement, the K1, which they released in 2015.

Horage, therefore, should be seen as being a movement maker first and a watch brand second. So, without further ado, let’s talk about Horage’s latest novelties.

The Star of the Show: the Autark K-TMR Micro-Rotor Tourbillon

To date, Horage has designed and engineered three calibers: the K1 Automatic, their first movement that started it all; the K2 Micro-Rotor through which they kicked things up a notch; and the K-TOU, their first Tourbillon and most advanced movement to date. At least, that was the case until now. So it was only a matter of time before Horage combined all of its most advanced technological developments together into one single movement: the K-TMR, their first micro-rotor Tourbillon. This marvel of technology will be paired with a brand new model called the Autark Tourbillon. The German word “Autark ” more or less translates to “self sufficient” which perfectly describes the brand’s entire philosophy. What was neat about the event was to learn how much time, ingenuity, and boldness were required to develop the K-TMR caliber.

Indeed, Florian Serex, one of their engineering leads, gave a detailed presentation on the development of the K-TMR and the common challenges that have precluded many other brands from developing such calibers in the past. (Though it should be noted that Bell & Ross released a micro-rotor tourbillon in 2017, the BR-X2, in an ultra limited edition of 99 units and for the modest sum of 59,000 Euros.) To summarize—and simplify—years of research, the engineering and watchmaking teams at Horage had to start from scratch to create a reliable, advanced, and I might add gorgeous micro-rotor tourbillon. The fact that the brand has been making its own movements for years did not make the task of developing the K-TMR that much easier.

It seems that two major drawbacks of making micro-rotor movements are low power reserve and poor accuracy. In order to have a power reserve larger than a few hours, the rotor assembly must occupy more or less a third of the physical space of the movement. And to meet

COSC-requirements for accuracy, the balance wheel assembly (the flying tourbillon) must be engineered and built to the highest standards possible. In this case, the titanium flying tourbillon is made up of an in-house silicon pallet fork, escape wheel, and hairspring. Yes, Horage developed all of that stuff in-house. The result is a chronometer grade micro-rotor tourbillon with 72 hours of power reserve that measures a mere 3.6mm in thickness.

The watch itself is no less impressive. Specs-wise, the Grade 5 titanium timekeeping device will measure 39.5mm in diameter, 48.3mm lug-to-lug, 8.8mm thick, and come with a 22mm lug width. The face of the watch showcases a matte, gradient gray dial, gold-finished hands and applied hour markers filled with BGW9 lume, and a sandwich sapphire construction. The watch also has 100 meters of water resistance, and is mounted to an integrated titanium bracelet. Though pre-orders for the Autark Tourbillon won’t open until late 2023, we learned that full retail will be 15,000 CHF. As you can tell, it will be much more accessible than the Bell & Ross BR-X2.

P.S. “K-TMR” is a placeholder name.

The Second New Model: the Tourbillon 2

Following the success of Horage’s Tourbillon 1, a release which was duly celebrated for two reasons—the brand’s in-house manual-wind tourbillon caliber and an open-work dial—Horage listened to its fan base which demanded a more traditional-looking tourbillon. The brand went back to the drawing board, but instead of simply delivering the same model with a different dial structure, decided to create something truly different. First, a sporty looking timepiece made of 904L stainless steel, showcasing a deep blue dial with a Livre de Durrow texture (the texture you see on the dial mimics that of an 8th century manuscript) and, of course, the K-TOU tourbillon caliber beating at 25,200 BPH (3.5Hz) and coming with an impressive 120 hours of power reserve. Point of interest: the uneven dial texture is created using a FEMTO laser that has a precision of 3 microns (that’s 0.003 millimeters!)

The second model, which comes in two variants—white and 3N yellow gold—is endowed with a gorgeous white Grand Feu enamel dial. Enamel dials are notoriously difficult to produce with a staggering 75% failure rate, and the Grand Feu method (“Great Fire” in French) means that the manufacturing process is even more tedious and precise. In short: several layers of powdered silica (a mixture of silicon and oxygen) are deposited onto a blank dial and fired at high temperatures in different stages. The addition of each new layer increases the potential for imperfections which would mean the dial would have to be thrown out. Then the hand-drawn Arabic hour markers and corresponding symbols are pad-printed in black to create contrast. The thin and elegant blue hands have been heat-treated to increase their resistance to corrosion and tarnishing.

Here’s the kicker: one can pair a blue dial Livre de Durrow with a yellow or white gold case, or a Grand Feu enamel dial with a 904L stainless steel case. In total, there will be six combinations to choose from.


Specs-wise, all models measure 41mm in diameter (39mm at the case) 47.8mm lug-to-lug, and 11.8mm thick and come with a 22mm lug width. As mentioned above, the sportier version is made of 904L stainless steel which is more resistant to corrosion than traditional steel, while the yellow and white versions are made of 18K gold. Only the 904L steel version comes with a bracelet, while the gold versions are offered on a salmon skin leather strap. All models will be available for pre-order starting October 10th with a discounted price good for five days (add 2,000 CHF for full retail after that) and a delivery estimated for early 2024. Prices range from 8,990 CHF for the Livre de Durrow with a blue dial and steel case and bracelet, and go all the way up to 19,470 CHF for the variant with a Grand Feu enamel dial and gold case.

What Comes Next

A lot more was announced during the Horage event I was lucky enough to attend. Things which I hope to be able to write about soon. There is no denying that the brand has a lot it could brag about—should it care to do so—as rarely do we hear of a relatively new brand that got started by making its own in-house calibers. This, as a reminder, required a lot of money (millions and millions of dollars over a period of seven years), a Zen-like patience and commitment, as well as an inherent talent for finding the right folks. The right engineers, watchmakers, and thought-provoking scientists and designers who each brought a unique talent and vision to the mix. The breadth of Horage’s collection and engineering and manufacturing prowess speak to this variety of talented people who work there.

And more than being able to only speculate about the inner-workings of Horage, I can confidently tell you that indeed, there’s something different about this brand. In an unusual fashion, Horage invited a lot of its employees to the event, to the point where we journalists were outnumbered 3-to-1. In other words, I was able to delve into the details of their processes by way of conversing with their engineers, designers, and watchmakers. Each one being as generous with his or her time as any French person would be talking about food. And while brands typically cloak their secrets behind thick layers of smoke and mirrors, Horage was unapologetically transparent about what it does, how it does it, and what’s in store for the next few years.

So stay tuned for future articles on Horage and its next big thing. To learn more about Horage and its new creations, check out the brand’s website here.

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Vincent is a French native who spent 13 years on the East Coast of the United States. After working in the cultural sector for a decade, he decided to transform his passions for horology and the written word into a full-time career since 2021. Vincent is obsessed with under-the-radar tool watches and the idea of a one-watch collection.