Back in 2012, HYT introduced a watch that was a real blast in the world of watchmaking, by integrating a liquid directly into the movement and using it as an instrument to indicate time. One year after this first attempt named HYT H1, the company came back with a new watch, even more exiting and technically advanced, called the HYT H2. On the Monochrome-Watches blog, successor to both of these timepieces: the HYT H3, which is even more complicated. Is it still horology?
For this new edition, the team at HYT Watches is still working closely with one of the most renowned manufacturers, APRP. The HYT H3 is, of course, again using the concept of a fluidic indication of the time. However, while the H1 & H2 are based on a circular tube with a retrograde fluid, the new HYT H3 comes with a brand new architecture called ‘fluid portrayal of time.’ The brand wanted to have a linear indication that results in a rectangular design, with the bellows at opposite ends.
Once the idea of having the fluid on the top and in a linear way was decided, the rest of the design comes in a natural (but highly complicated) way. The watch thus follows this linear shape with a case measuring 62 mm x 41 mm. It is made of charcoal gray PVD-coated titanium and platinum with a micro-blasted, satin finish. The sides are shaped like a drop, meaning that the top is substantially curved. This curved shape, combined with a reasonable width of 41 mm and screwed offset lugs, should be easier to wear than the 49 mm of the HYT H1, for example.
Even if this new shape is quite impressive, the piece de resistance of the HYT H3 is the movement and its totally crazy mechanics. The upper part of the dial is occupied by the two bellows/pistons that drive the fluids. The first, on the left, drives the progression of the fluid and therefore the time display. Its counterpart, on the right, compensates for this progression in the capillary. The glass tube, operating in a vacuum, still contains two fluids: the first (water-based) yellow fluid serves to tell the time; the second (viscous-based) translucent fluid works in opposition. As in the HYT H1 & H2, the liquid works like a retrograde indication, meaning that when it reaches the end of the tube, it goes back in a few seconds to its original place to start its journey again.
The fluid however here is made to indicate only six hours. As you can see, below the glass tube sits a time scale graduated from 0 to 5. This scale is, in fact, a rotating dial with four faces that rotate at the same time the liquid goes back to its original position, in order to be ready for next six hours. Because this cube scale has 4 faces, it’s a 24-hour indicator. This bar is set via a push-button on the left side of the watch. With each press, the central time display bar turns on itself by one quarter of a turn. The exact hours and minutes are classically adjusted by the crown.
The minutes are located on the right side of the dial and are also displayed in a linear way, to ensure the technical and stylistic cohesion of the HYT H3. It’s a twin articulated arm, which sweeps across a graduated rule. At its end, the retrograde mechanism instantaneously returns to its starting point. The rest of the dial is occupied by the regulating organ, the crown position indicator and a crazy load of mechanical sweetness (gears, levers and wheels). As in the HYT H2, the mechanics are parts of the watch and fully exposed.
The back reveals two barrels for a 170-hour power reserve (approximately seven days) and a power-reserve indicator. The movement is finished with micro-blasted, charcoal gray PVD-coated titanium bridges with titanium-colored, satin-finished accents, rhodium-plated bellows, and all the respect due to haute horlogerie.
This first edition of the HYT H3 is, for the moment, only available in a combination of charcoal gray PVD-coated titanium and platinum with a black alligator leather strap. It will be produced in a limited run of 25 watches and available from September 2015. The price for this amazing piece of modern horology: 280,000 Swiss Francs.
- Charcoal gray PVD-coated titanium and platinum with a micro-blasted, satin finish
- Length: 62 mm
- Width: 41 mm
- Height: 16 mm
- Screw-down dynamometric crown sheathed in rubber
- Screwed offset lugs
- Domed sapphire crystal (box) with nonreflective coating
- Open screw-down caseback in titanium
- Water-resistant to 30 meters
- Retrograde fluidic hours
- Retrograde minutes indicator
- Crown position indicator (T-N-W) – Power reserve indicator (on back) – push-button for hour rotation
- Mechanical with manual winding, exclusive HYT caliber
- 21,600 Vph, 3 Hz, 53 jewels
- Decorated, micro-blasted, charcoal gray PVD-coated titanium bridges with titanium-colored satin-finished accents; rhodium-plated bellows
- 170-hour (7-day) power reserve
- Sapphire minutes dial
- Aluminum hours dial
- Black alligator leather
- Charcoal gray PVD-coated titanium folding buckle