Looking Time in the Eye: Two New HYT Skull Watches

HYT Skull Green Eye - frontSkulls are a popular motif in luxury watches lately — check out our list of some of the most notable ones — and now HYT, one of the most unconventional watchmakers out there, gets in on the act in its own unique “hydromechanical horology” style with the release of the HYT Skull, available in two colorful versions.

To create the new HYT Skull Green Eye and Red Eye models, HYT CEO Vincent Perriard gave his watchmakers a simple but challenging goal: make a timepiece that has a totally original look but still maintains the HYT watch brand’s signature style. “Simply taking an existing movement, giving it a vague skull shape and presenting it as an entirely new piece is not really our style,” Perriard says. The watches, like previous HYT models, 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 HYT H1.) In the HYT Skull, however, this fluid-filled tube was particularly difficult to execute because it needed to conform the the outline of a skull, i.e., bending at four angles, rather than the round shape of previous HYT watches. Also making this timepiece different from its predecessors is the fact that the fluid-filled, skull-shaped capillary with hours scale is the only indicator of time on the watch; unlike the HYT H1 and H2, there is no separate hand for the minutes. And 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, and showing just a peek of the vertical bellows under the “nose,” which expands and contracts continuously in this new version to force the fluids to move through the sharply angled tubing in order to tell time accurately.

HYT Skull Green Eye - front
HYT Skull Green Eye, front (above) and back (below)

HYT Skull Green Eye - back

There is more going on in the HYT Skull than just the hours indication, however. 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. And in the left eye, a close look reveals a continuously rotating seconds indicator. Both eyes have a subtle honeycomb pattern that adds to their depth. HYT has created a new 51-mm case for the HYT Skull, with new, crisply angled lugs. The crown protector of previous versions has been removed, and the single-assembly push-button crown, which is used to adjust the time, has been placed between 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock. The HYT Skull case also has incorporated lateral inserts, meaning many combinations of materials can be used in future models. For now, the HYT Skull is available in two versions, both limited editions. The Skull “Green Eye,” with a black-DLC titanium case and green fluid, is limited to 50 pieces; the “Red Eye” version, with red fluid and a case combining DLC titanium with 5N rose gold, is limited to 25 pieces. HYT says the first of the HYT Skull watches will “head” to the market in May 2015.

HYT Skull Red Eye - front
HYT Skull Red Eye - back
Leave a Reply