HYT An earthy H20
HYT recently unveiled the latest addition to its H20 collection in Geneva.
The H20 expands on the concept introduced by the H0, picking up its main aesthetic features and the central concept of showcasing liquids rather than the movement. In 2017, the young HYT took a step back to rethink and magnify its original idea of fluid time. The result of these reflections was a more minimalist H0, designed to allow the eyes to slide over the watch and focus on the liquids. Thanks to the rounded dome that covers the case, there’s an excellent view from every angle, opening up a three-dimensional approach to time. And that’s the key. The concept of three-dimensionality which is so important to HYT is also a watchword for the current generation (in the form of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and 3D cinema), which helps to explain the H0’s genesis, from a reflection on contemporary life and a desire to bring a 3D vision to the watch.
H20 Brown © HYT
The H20, launched at the SIHH earlier this year, features the same dome. The construction of this essential component owes nothing to chance, as we might expect from a watchmaker that specialises in fluid time, and for whom watch design is not just about timekeeping. “The crystal of the H20 mirrors the crystalline aspect and transparency of water,” explains HYT’s creative director, François Nunez. “It’s midway between museum and laboratory, between a bell jar and the windows in a cabinet of curiosities. Both the arts and the sciences are incredibly important to the development of an HYT watch. We seek out references in architecture and modern art, in an effort to express a world that is far larger than the watch industry alone; out of curiosity, out of interest, and also out of a desire to be highly contemporary.” The streamlined case with its soft, rounded angles was also designed with water in mind: like a pebble, it remains comfortable on the wrist despite its 51 mm diameter and 19.95 mm thickness.
H20 Brown © WorldTempus / Michèle Brunner
But the new H20 Brown, the fifth model in the series, is also intended to be grounded. Its PVD-treated stainless steel case comes in an unusual shade of brown that continues onto the titanium bridges – also PVD coated – and the rubber strap. On the dial, the chiselled markers in galvanic brown alternate with large cream-coloured Arabic numerals. HYT, which has so far developed four different colours for its liquid – red, green, blue and black – has judiciously chosen blood-red to display the time on this warm H20 Brown. “When people think of HYT, they think of liquids and water, but we’re nevertheless anchored in a world where the earth has considerable meaning,” notes Grégory Dourde, HYT’s CEO. “What we wanted to say was, ‘No, HYT isn’t just about liquids and the ocean.’ We wanted to make a watch that acknowledges this contradiction and complementarity.”
Grégory Dourde and François Nunez during the presentation of the H20 Brown at Les Ambassadeurs, Geneva © WorldTempus / Michèle Brunner
The colour red also features on the articulated minutes hand, which jumps over the gap between 59 minutes and zero at the base of the dial – and the sapphire caseback. The rear crystal projects a rosy glow over the workings of the hand-wound movement, developed exclusively by Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi for HYT. The calibre beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph and has a 192-hour power reserve, which is eight days.
The H20 Brown is available in a limited edition of eight pieces, priced at 95,000 Swiss francs.