HYT is a brand that really needs no introduction. Many people don’t even have to look twice to identify the Hydro-mechanical Haute Horology pieces known as HYT. Their unique fluid display of hours has given them a distinct presence in the watch world, and with all deserving rights. This, to me, is still one of the most unique expressions of time you can possibly have on your wrist. The “mad scientists” behind HYT have introduced some lovely new examples of their liquid luxury timepieces, two of which were introduced back in January at SIHH. One of those two is the HYT H2 Tradition.
“We have always said that we would never create a classic piece. Having said that, this is exactly what we’ve done!” said CEO of HYT, Vincent Perriard. For something as modern and industrial looking as HYT, the thought of making something more “traditional” looking is hard for most to fathom. In this instance, HYT did an excellent job with their own interpretation of a traditional watch, while still retaining their own signature look and of course, hydraulic hour display.
The DNA of the brand stays apparent, yet this is the first HYT to use classic guilloche work, white lacquered dials, and blued hands. While it may not seem fitting for a brand like this, HYT manages to pull off an outstanding look using blue and clear liquid, being pushed from the V-shaped bellows near 6:00. As one of the reservoirs (constructed of a special alloy) is collapsing and pumping one fluid in one direction, the other is expanding and retracting the fluid into the reservoir. Only 50 pieces will be made. MSRP is $179,000.
The HYT Skull Bad Boy was another model introduced at SIHH 2016, but we got to experience a little hands on time in Basel, so why not include it as well? The Bad Boy is the first HYT model introduced that uses an opaque black liquid. While colors of the fluid seem like they are easily interchangeable, this is simply not the case. The use of the black fluid took nearly a year of R&D, and not just to see what looks the coolest.
The black fluid is only one of the many interesting attributes of the HYT Skull Bad Boy. The use of Damascus steel for the skull in the center of the dial is one of the most eye catching details found on this model. In actuality, the skull is coated in a new composite material, layers of steel and carbon that are then folded 256 times, which was created at a foundry in the Neuchatel region. Giving the resemblance to Damascus, the grey color stems from the steel, whilst the black color from the carbon comes from a chemical abrasion process. The skull has many small cracks and crevasses which is then made smooth by a layer of translucent varnish. Inside the eye sockets lie the power reserve indicator at 9:00 side which darkens as the power reduces, and the continuous seconds running at the 3:00 side.
The remainder of the dial is finished is rhodium-plated with Clous de Paris stud pattern, gothic numerals, and comes packaged in a 51mm microblasted titanium case with DLC treatment. The movement, as with all HYT, is hand-wound with a 65 hour power reserve, 35 jewels, hand beveled bridges with Geneva striping, a rate of 4hz, and rhodium plating on the bellows. The strap is a buffed slate grey alligator, with velcro keeper inspired by a motorcycle jacket. Again, only 50 pieces will be made in total. MSRP is set at $95,000.
The H1 Ghost is the latest announcement from HYT. This new model is again utilizing the black fluid for hours indication. As I mentioned previously, the black fluid used is not something that came easy. HYT’s sister company Preciflex developed this completely opaque fluid, which is unlike any of the other fluids used. In other models, the colored fluid reflects light, giving the watch some legibility in the dark. For this opaque fluid, it is impossible to see in dark situations, so new measures had to be taken in order for night time legibility.
The use of super luminova behind the length of capillary gives the Ghost the night time legibility necessary and the ability to see where the black fluid has stopped, so you will actually be able to read the time. The minutes hand and numerals also uses luminova, with the seconds using a ring around the counter.
The case for the Ghost is also in DLC treated titanium, 48.8mm in diameter, and has its protected crown located near the 2:00 position. The movement is also at a rate of 28,800 bph, has 35 jewels, hand beveled bridges, and a 65 hour power reserve (which is indicated on the dial). This movement is also finished in an anthracite NAC treatment, giving it its darker color. Another piece limited to only 50 globally, the Ghost will retail at $62,000.
The HYT H1 Full Gold was also launched with another more “classic” inspiration, this time capable due to the black fluid. The 48.8mm case on this model is composed of 5N 18k rose gold, which has higher portion of copper content compared to other versions of pink/rose gold falling in the 3N or 4N category. The microblasted and satin finish still give this more classical styled piece a modern look, though that is not hard to achieve with its fluid display and bellows at 6:00.
Like the Ghost, the H1 Full Gold uses a Super Luminova backing against the length of its capillary. The black and clear fluids are housed in this tube, with only 1mm of inner diameter, which is incredible in itself. The dial is coated is a matching 5N rose gold with luminova for the minutes indexes, minutes hand, and tip of seconds counter. The strap is dark grey alligator with 18k deployant clasp and the rubber gripped crown is again located near 2:00 with protector underneath. Yet again only 50 pieces will be made world wide. MSRP on the H1 Full gold is $79,000.