The “hydromechanical horologists” of indie watch brand HYT were among the first-time exhibitors at this year’s SIHH in Geneva. After making a splash at recent Baselworlds with pioneering timepieces like the H1, H2, and H3, the brand headed by watch-industry veteran Vincent Perriard wowed the SIHH crowd with the new H2 Tradition — the first HYT to meld cutting-edge technology with horological classicism.
The HYT H2 Tradition is the first HYT watch with such classical refinements as guilloché finishes, delicately lacquered dials, black Roman numerals for the hours, and blued Breguet-style hands, but it retains the now-familiar HYT hydro-mechanical aesthetic thanks to the capillary around the dial’s periphery, filled with blue fluid that moves forward with the passing of the hours. The liquid is driven by two bellows positioned on either side of the 6 o’clock marker, a system developed for the original H2 watch in 2013. With the fluid in the capillary displaying the hours, a white lacquered subdial at 12 o’clock with a blued, openworked hand indicates the minutes; a smaller blued hand on a smaller, intersecting subdial ticks away the seconds. The case, which measures a hefty 48.8 mm in diameter, is made of white gold and titanium; the titanium case middle is coated with a light anthracite gray PVD coating.
Both the case and the movement of the original HYT H2 had to be modified in order to create this watch’s more classical appearance. The crown protector, an element of the original H2 case, was removed in order to create a more streamlined, classical case design. The movement’s balance, was re-centred to provide room on the dial for the minutes — a shift that necessitated an overhaul of a large part of the movement. The movement mainplate had to be made slightly thicker to allow for a diamond guilloché finish in rhodium-plated nickel silver on both of its surfaces, which in turn meant new tolerances had to be calculated for the finished movement. All the bridges have been modified, reconstructed, polished, and hand-beveled. Also noteworthy is the movement’s power reserve, which is an impressive 192 hours, or eight days.
The HYT H2 Tradition (Ref. 248-TW-10-BF-AB) comes on a patent blue alligator strap with a deplyant buckle made of titanium. It is limited to 50 pieces worldwide and priced at $179,000.