The “hydro-mechanical horologists” at HYT are expanding their collection of skull-themed timepieces with three new titanium-cased models, each with a new galvanized, opaline-varnished skull dial in green, red, or blue, to match the hue of each watch’s fluidic hours display.
Housed in 48.8-mm cases made of titanium, with satin and sandblasted finishes, the watches, like their predecessors, use a colored fluid — flowing through a thin capillary and controlled by the expansion and contraction of two vertical bellows in the movement — to keep track of the hours with the aid of a numbered scale around the dial. (For a full explanation on how HYT watches keep time, read our article on the original HYT watch, the H1.) In the HYT Skull, this fluid-filled tube conforms to the outline of a skull, i.e., bending at four angles, rather curving in the semicircular arc found on earlier HYT watches, like the H1 and H2. Also making the Skull models distinct from these predecessors is the absence of a separate hand to indicate the minutes. Also unlike those other two models, which offer the wearer a large glimpse of the eye-catching movement from the dial side, the HYT Skull mostly hides it, focusing instead on the dominant skull icon on the front — here in eye-catching varnished color, thus differentiating them from HYT’s previous Skulls, which had more metallic versions of the skull— and showing just a peek of the vertical bellows, which expands and contracts continuously to force the fluids to move through the sharply angled tubing in order to tell time accurately, beneath the top jaw.
As in previous iterations of the HYT Skull watch, the right eye of the dial’s skull serves as a power-reserve indicator for the watch: using a series of translucent colored inserts, each with a subtly different color variation, the eye gradually darkens as the movement nears the end of its 65 hours of energy. In the left eye is the only other time indicator other than the fluidic hours: a continuously rotating seconds indicator. Both eyes have a subtle honeycomb pattern that adds to their depth. The 48.8-mm case, measuring 17.9 ,, in thickness, is slightly trimmed down from the 51-mm case of the original Skulls, and features a black rubber-sheathed titanium crown flanked by a titanium crown protector and a domed, nonreflective sapphire crystal over the dial.
Outfitted with HYT’s manual-winding, 28,800-vph movement, whose hand-beveled bridges, rhodium-plated bellows, and côtes de Genève decorations are visible through a clear sapphire caseback, each watch comes on a gray technical fabric strap, with a rubber core in green, red, or blue to echo the predominant color of the skull dial and a titanium folding buckle. Each model is limited to 50 pieces, available at retail in October 2018, and priced at $65,000.