Hysek A brand apart
Hysek has promised that its next launch will be big news, both for the brand and for the watch industry. WorldTempus takes a look at what makes Hysek tick, and why the brand is so highly sought-after by the most discerning collectors.
You won’t find it in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Le Locle or Geneva. The Hysek manufacture is in Lussy-sur-Morges, a little village of barely 600 inhabitants, just outside Morges, where Vincent Calabrese is also based. What do they have in common? They are both fiercely independent visionaries who prefer to take the less well-trodden paths. And they have a reputation for punching above their weight, with a discretion equalled only by their talent.
When a watch hands merits as much attention as a tourbillon
Hysek is an unusual case. Despite the manufacture being established less than ten years ago, Hysek, unlike many other brands, didn’t take long to find its niche. The brand’s powerful identity and technical maturity ensured that word spread quickly. Another advantage, a rare quality in the watch industry, is that staff turnover is extremely low, giving Hysek’s perennial collections a unique consistency and coherence.
Has Hysek found watchmaking’s promised land? That’s a matter of opinion, but in any case the brand has a very distinctive style. Its watches are bursting with a plethora of small but exquisite details that deserve closer inspection, like the hands, which are made entirely in-house. At a time when subcontractors are raising the prospect of supply bottlenecks and standardisation of this crucial element of a watch’s identity (it’s the first thing you look at, after all...) Hysek designs and produces its own hands.
Nothing is ordinary. Let’s look at the Abyss, one of the company’s best-sellers: it features a particularly bold 3D power reserve pointer, open-worked, polished, chamfered, filled with red and on two levels. In Hysek’s hands it becomes an haute horlogerie element in its own right, just like a tourbillon or a large date display.
Hysek’s four cardinal points
Hysek treats its complications with exactly the same individual attention. First, their location is significant: all the complications are placed at 1, 5, 7 and 11 o’clock. Power reserve, tourbillon, micro-rotor and date: Hysek systematically touches on these four cardinal points. The Verdict Automatic Double Tourbillon provides the most striking example, with a tourbillon at 5 o’clock, another at 7, a micro-rotor at 11 o’clock and the date at 1 o’clock. The composition is utterly original, yet remarkably easy on the eye.
The tourbillon is another of Hysek’s favourite motifs, but its treatment is always distinctive. Whether single, double, central, skeletonised, automatic or manual, for Hysek a tourbillon is as much a technical element as a decorative one. It also provides a structural anchor for Hysek’s style, for example in the Abyss, with its three-armed three-dimensional cage, whose design echoes elements of the power reserve hand. Coherence is the theme that ties everything together.
Designs on the future
And then there are those features that the watch industry sometimes throws out and seems to forget. Take, for instance, the metallic sapphire crystals we have seen in German haute horlogerie, which Hysek has borrowed for several models including the Abyss and the Furtif. Or the pivoting lugs, which feature on almost all of the manufacture’s watches, ensuring unequalled comfort on the wrist.
What will the future bring? Hysek is currently preparing for its most important haute horlogerie launch in years. The highly technical and perfectly mastered design glimpsed by WorldTempus will be unveiled in early 2017. And once again, it could redefine some of the tenets of fine watchmaking
The company's founding principles are a combination of the unconventional with technical prowess. Each new timepiece is not simply the modification of an existing aesthetic model, but is completely designed from scratch. This perpetual calling into question leads to the creation of audacious timepieces that are not afraid to surprise.Find out more >
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