Horage Mission Independence – what you need to know Horage Mission Independence – what you need to know

Horage Mission Independence – what you need to know

Zach Blass

Have you ever dreamed of designing your own watch? I sure have, but as much of an enthusiast as I am, I do not have the tools or knowledge to do so. If I could, the best-case scenario would be the ability to create watches uninhibited and unencumbered by conglomerate politics and red tape. Full independence, and the autonomy to realize exactly what I envisioned. This is the current status quo over at Horage, Switzerland’s youngest movement developer and an independent manufacture, and they want to keep it this way. While they internally have a clear sense of direction and development ethos, they are also one of the most transparent watch manufacturers in the world – often democratically involving their fans in every step of the design process of their projects and very clear about the origins of their parts and who their partners are. Of course, the project that really put Horage on the map was their Tourbillon 1 watch, in which they were able to offer watch buyers an in-house tourbillon watch for under CHF 10,000. Further projects like the Mission Tourbillon, Supersede, and Lensman cemented their watchmaking abilities that much more. Horage has unveiled a new trio to their fans and newcomers, the Mission Independence, hoping to secure their independent future.

Horage Yi

Horage have always been ambitious. Not everyone has the stones to develop watches with such specs and prices. The new Yi watch is arguably their most ambitious design yet. Its name, stemming from “Yi Ching – The Book of Changes”, embodies their mission to break the status quo of the industry – a rogue squadron resisting against the tradition of the Swiss watchmaking empire. Horage is not the first brand to look towards lab-grown diamonds and incorporate them into a watch. 100 fancy, internally flawless baguette diamonds are set invisibly into its 18k white gold case with a whopping 17.48 total carat count. CVD lab grown diamonds such as the ones used in the Yi are not only on average 20% less expensive than natural diamonds, but also far more ethical and sustainable in production and sourcing.

Horage Yi

Horage explains: “Diamonds symbolize beauty, yet are tainted by unethical mining and environmental destruction. We solve this with technology using lab-grown diamonds. The heat and pressure over millions of years can be replicated in a lab, producing real diamonds with identical atomic structures as natural stones. Our Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) diamonds are indistinguishable from mined diamonds in appearance and structure. Even expert jewellers can‘t tell the difference.” Also embodying the sense of change is its vertically brushed rainbow nano-printed dial. While I initially thought the rainbow gradient was meant to convey the prism of colours as light reflects within a gem, it is actually a symbol of change – the colours changing with each vertical stripe across the dial. Furthermore, Horage could have stuck a basic quartz calibre inside – but that is not Horage. Instead, they used the K1 automatic movement first introduced in 2015, with 65 hours of power reserve and a rotor decorated with a motif of a diamond’s atomic structure. The nature-based engravings are a nod to their sustainability efforts.

Brand Horage
Model Yi
Case Dimensions 35mm (W) x 36mm (LTL)
Case Material 18k white gold, diamonds
Water Resistance 30 metres
Crystal(s) Domed and bevelled sapphire, AR-coated exhibition caseback
Dial Brushed nano-rainbow printing
Strap Bangle or leather strap with buckle
Movement K1, in-house, automatic
Power Reserve 65 hours
Functions Hours, minutes
Availability Piece unique
Price POA


Horage Tourbillon 2

Familiar yet fresh, Horage gives a new face to the tourbillon watch that gained them notoriety amongst watch nerds. In response to the community’s wish for a more refined dial, Horage has deviated away from the skeletonisation to two new configurations. The first is a blue Book of Durrow dial with what appears as a randomly warped grid texture. To be fair, its muse is random – chosen by Horage simply because they liked the look. The illuminated manuscript, which comes from Ireland and dates to the 8th century, contains various illustrations and a unique lined pattern to its pages.

Horage Tourbillon 2 collage

The numerals, originally drawn by hand, compliment the look and feel of the dial, while adjacent to each numeral is a component of the tourbillon movement as a nod to their engineering feat. As a matter of personal preference, I do not particularly love the power reserve indicator, but it does have utility considering the hand-wound nature of the five-day calibre.

Horage tourbillon 2 gold

If the textured blue dial isn’t quite your speed, there’s also a more premium option in a classic grand feu white enamel. You will find the same layout, power reserve indication, and numeral set along with the cut-out aperture for the titanium flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock. This offers a polar opposite aesthetic to the original, modern-looking openworked grid dial of the Tourbillon 1. You also have a choice of 904L stainless steel or 18k gold for the case, with the enamel dial attracting a premium over its blue counterpart. While the stainless steel option is offered on a new and handsome four-piece link bracelet, the precious metal offerings are strictly offered on salmon skin leather straps with case-matching folding clasps offering 7mm of micro-adjustment. Of course, inside all configurations is their proprietary, hand-wound K-TOU flying tourbillon movement. I have already noted the five days of power reserve, but it is also worth mentioning the calibre has a silicon escapement and is chronometer certified.

Brand Horage
Model Tourbillon 2
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 11.8mm (T) x 47.8mm (LTL)
Case Material 904L stainless steel
18k 3N yellow gold
18k white gold
Water Resistance 100 metres
Crystal(s) AR-coated sapphire front and back
Dial Grand feu enamel, blue Book of Durrow
Strap 904L steel bracelet or salmon skin leather with case-matching hardware
Movement K-TOU, in-house, hand-wound, silicon escapement, chronometer
Power Reserve 120 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, power reserve, flying tourbillon
Availability Seven-day pre-order period starting from 10/10
Price Starting from CHF 8,990


Horage Autark Tourbillon

Horage Autark Tourbillon 2
Note: This is a rough render and is not final

The project that personally excites the most within this Mission Independent announcement is the Autark Tourbillon. Autark, which translates to independence or self-sufficiency, is not a new collection name, but the Autark Tourbillon marks the first time Horage will work to merge the K-TOU tourbillon with their K2 micro-rotor- offering a micro-rotor flying tourbillon watch for the first time. Adding to the appeal, Horage have their sights on executing the watch in a mixed-finished grade 5 titanium case affixed to a case-matching bracelet. While I was able to actually handle both the Yi and Tourbillon 2 during my press trip with Horage, the Autark Tourbillon is still in the early development stage with no physical prototype exhibited for us. This means the renders you see above and below are subject to change.

Horage Autark Toubillon back profile
Note: These are rough animations and not final

What we do know is that this will be a grade 5 titanium watch, with dimensions listed at 39.5mm in diameter, a thin 8.8mm height, and 48.3mm lug-to-lug. As with the Supersede, the water resistance is currently listed at 100 metres, but Horage will work to try and hit 200 metres if possible. Its bracelet will taper down from 22mm to 16mm and feature a 10mm micro-adjustment in 1mm increments within the clasp that will allow you to find your perfect fit.

Horage Autark Tourbillon movements 2

The resulting calibre of the merged movements, the K-TMR micro-rotor tourbillon, has been pledged to have at least 72 hours of power reserve and offer customisation options to match the dial colour. It will also continue the usage of a silicon escapement and chronometer regulation as we have seen from the other announcements above. To maximise micro-rotor density, and in turn efficiency, Horage will use platinum for the micro-rotor mass. With all of this considered, when it does eventually become available for pre-order, the pricing will somehow be below CHF 10,000 – an amazing value opportunity in my book. With this still in development, there will be a dialogue within the Horage community as this piece is designed and developed. I mentioned the idea of removing the power reserve complication from the dial, and they expressed that if enough people also shared the sentiment, it is something they could absolutely end up doing – at least as a configuration option. By unveiling it now and taking orders ahead of production, Horage will be able to build up the capital to acquire the tooling and machinery required to produce these watches. This, in part, is why it will be offered with such an attractive initial price.

Please note these specifications are subject to change

Brand Horage
Model Autark Tourbillon
Case Dimensions 39.5mm (D) x 8.8mm (T) x 48.3mm (LTL)
Case Material Grade 5 titanium
Water Resistance 100 metres, goal of 200 metres
Crystal(s) AR-coated sapphire front and back
Dial Stamped gradient grey, more colours to follow
Strap Grade 5 titanium bracelet with micro-adjustable buckle
Movement K-TMR, in-house, micro-rotor tourbillon, silicon escapement, chronometer
Power Reserve 72+ hours
Functions Hours, minutes, power reserve, flying tourbillon
Availability TBA
Price TBA, targeting below CHF 10,000