The “hydromechanical horologists” at the iconoclastic Swiss watchmaker HYT are well known for their unique and fascinating style of design. Last week, the luxury brand again showcased its penchant for the avant garde, expanding its portfolio with a new collection known as Flow.
The Flow collection, described by the brand as “enlightening, dynamic, and technical,” is initially comprised of two watches — one of which opts for a central diamond dome aspect and the other gearing towards a gem-less vortex display. The signature trait of each, and by extension the collection at large, is the incorporation of a “flowing” LED light display activated on demand via a 4 o’clock pusher on the second of the watch’s two crowns.
Both Flow models offers a silhouette that should be familiar to many who have seen the timepieces in HYT’s catalogue, with a large 51-mm, satin-finished steel case sitting prominently on the wrist at 20.6 mm tall. The case features interesting polished engravings on its side, as well as the aforementioned double crowns, with the upper one used to adjust the time, and the lower to activate the LED display.
Underneath the massive, domed sapphire crystal is a three-dimensional display most prominently characterized by the asymmetrical, grill-like look of the rhodium dial, whose openworked design is meant to provide the viewer an impression of flowing waves. On the outer edge of the dial is the watch’s hallmark fluidic minutes display, with the diamond version using blue and clear liquids in its capillary tube while the non-diamond version opts for a more familiar green-and-black combination. Other features include the 2 o’clock power-reserve indicator, 12 o’clock subdial for the hours, and of course the collection-specific 6 o’clock LED display. For the jeweled version, the watch uses 73 baguette-cut gems (totaling 1.7 carats), which are illuminated on-demand via thirteen LED lights; the jewel-less vortex model opts instead for only eight LEDs.
The Flow watch is powered by a new HYT in-house movement, which borrows some of its technology, like the bellows-controlled fluidic timekeeping, from previous models developed by the brand. What makes this specific movement so interesting is in its ability to generate electricity to power the dial’s LED display without affecting the overall 65-hour power reserve of the hand-wound mechanism. According to HYT CEO Grégory Dourde, this is accomplished via “one of the smallest micro-generators ever conceived,” which he also calls “a true masterpiece in terms of extreme miniaturization.” The micro-generator uses its own barrel for power storage, releasing the energy in flowing waves to light up the dial.
Like all HYT watches, the Flow models pair sportier, techie elements with classical aspects of high-luxury watchmaking. The diamond model (Flow Blue Fluid) possibly best exemplifies this dynamic and longstanding tradition of the brand, with its royal blue luminous elements and diamond dome contrasting attractively with the steel, rubber, and titanium aspects of the case and bracelet. The vortex version (Flow Black Fluid) similarly gives an impression of being both mysterious and mechanical, with its darker colors and sleek metallic surfaces.
The HYT Flow models are available now via authorized boutiques, with the diamond-set version marked at $149,000, while the vortex version will retail at $79,000.
For more information, you can visit HYT’s website here.