Time flies — or, in this case, flows. HYT unveiled its original “hydromechanical” watch, the HYT H1, all the way back during Baselworld 2012. In the years since, we’ve seen the iconoclastic brand introduce new technical updates, new colorways, and a variety of other innovations. This year, HYT showed its wares not at Baselworld, but at January’s SIHH watch salon, with its headliner being the new HYT H20 watch.
Following the design trend that the company established with with last year’s HYT H0 Origin, the H2O — offered in two different cases with two different-colored liquids for the fluidic timekeeping — has a much more streamlined and minimalist look than its predecessors; HYT describes the case shape as “resembling a smoothed stone that has weathered time to perfection.” The case — made of either black PVD-coated stainless steel or polished and satin-finished stainless steel — measures a rather voluminous 51 mm in diameter, which is typical for the brand’s timepieces, It also is covered by a large, box-shaped sapphire crystal that offers a view of the intriguing micromechanical technology inside. Fans of HYT can expect yet another take on the “hyrdomechanical horology” timekeeping system, in which a pair of angled bellows propels a colored fluid through a capillary to indicate the motion of the minutes, while the hours are indicated with a central jumping hand. (For those who are perhaps less familiar with how this complex system works, and curious about the technological details, we’d urge you to peruse our in-depth feature on the original HYT watch, here, as well as our profile of the HYT company, here.) What’s notable about the H2O compared to other models are the design of the “floating” hour numerals and markers, which are visible from the side thanks to the shape of the crystal (as seen below).
The H2O model with the black PVD case features a bright green liquid for its flowing minutes display, while the silver-colored steel version (below) keeps time with the aid of a deep blue fluid. The proprietary movement that powers the watch boasts, in addition to the module that drives the hydromechanical elements, a number of haute horlogerie bells and whistles, including microblasted titanium bridges, black DLC or blue PVD coating (depending on model) on prominent movement parts, rhodium plating on the bellows, and an impressive 192-hour power reserve. Like several of its predecessors, the H2O also includes a crown-position indicator, at 3 o’clock, which shows the wearer which position the screw-down, black rubber-coated crown is in — “H” for setting the time, “N” for neutral, and “R” for winding (remonter in French). Another innovative element of note: the addition of a thermal indicator, a tiny bellows filled with its own special liquid and placed inside one of the two larger bellows, which serves to regulate the effect of temperature changes on the liquids inside the tubes to maintain timekeeping accuracy.
Both HYT H2O models are mounted on black rubber straps with folding buckles (in black PVD coated steel for the black case/green fluid model, in titanium for the silver case/blue fluid model), both are limited to only 25 pieces worldwide, and both are priced at $95,000.