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HYT

The Hydro Mechanical Horologists at HYT have realised an impossible dream: combining mechanics and fluids in a wristwatch.

About

The 2002 Swiss national exhibition was held around the lakes of Neuchâtel, Bienne and Morat. It was amid this profusion of large lakes that the idea of a water watch was born. The idea of returning to liquid indications in a sealed wrist watch – some three thousand years after the Pharaohs' first water clocks – was captivating from a technical point of view alone.

Mindful of the challenges involved in bringing this idea to fruition, a shareholder model was set up to provide the resources to put it into practice. The project would bring together two different worlds: on the one hand, that of chemicals and medical technology – which alone had the capabilities for dealing with the fluid aspect – combined for the first time with the world of traditional watchmaking.

The team was expanded in 2010.

Bringing together designers, chemists, mechanics and microtechnicians, the H1 concept finally came into being.
Based on a process that uses fluids to indicate the time, the HYT team of engineers brought together two elements that had hitherto been completely opposed: liquids and watches. Whereas formerly it had been synonymous with corrosion – and the source of major problems with watertightness – here liquid is controlled and channelled inside a capillary tube that runs around the case of the H1.

HYT has worked hard to ensure that this fluid remains visible and chemically stable: making sure, for instance, that it does not expand or contract according to the ambient temperature, rendering the time indication inaccurate.

The H1 is a unique timepiece in a unique collection that relies on the fundamental principles of watchmaking – but even as it obeys the precepts of physics and watchmaking, it also features a unique complication that opens up the way for many further developments.

2002
The initial idea of creating HYT and a fluid-display watch is first discussed
2010
HYT founded
2012
Launch of the H1, winner of the GPHG Grand Prix for Innovation the same year
Philosophy

The Hydro Mechanical Horologists at HYT have realised an impossible dream: combining mechanics and fluids in a wristwatch. By carrying off the insane challenge of displaying the time with water, they done much more than add another outlandish item to the watchmaking universe; they have confounded every imaginable stereotype by bringing together two worlds that were formerly diametrically opposed to each other. Never since the clepsydras of the Pharaohs had anyone succeeded in breaking free from the laws of gravity and transposing this source of energy into a portable watch. HYT has achieved this feat.

HYT's leitmotif is fluid mechanics – the ultimate hybridisation. Its formula is avant-garde watchmaking developments, comprising engineering pushed to its limits, high-tech materials, and a stirring design. This inspired, rebellious style imposes its own codes, underscoring the distinctive temperament and creativity of the whole.

Collections

H1

launched in 2012, the H1 was the first hybrid mechanical fluid watch. Time is read off by means of two fluids – with different densities and thus immiscible – contained in two separate bellows as well as in the capillary tube. A traditional hand displays the minutes in a subdial at 12 o’clock. The entire system is driven by a mechanical hand-wound movement. The collection comes in several versions: titanium, black DLC-coated titanium, pink gold and DLC-coated titanium, pink gold, Alumen Blue, Iceberg, etc.

H2

the H2, developed in cooperation with Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi, presents a new structure of the mechanical fluid movement, notably featuring V-shaped bellows at 6 o’clock reminiscent of a car engine, a sprung balance at 12 o’clock, a jumping minutes hand and a thermal indicator8. 2016 saw the launch of the Tradition version of this model.

H3

the revolution in fluid mechanics continued in 2015 with the H3 and its wealth of innovations: a rectangular case, a horizontal and retrograde display of the fluid for the hours, and a linear and retrograde double articulated arm for the minutes. The pistons work in linear mode and in opposition. This 15-piece limited edition once again stemmed from a vision shared by HYT and Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi, orchestrated by Giulio Papi.

H4

the H4 models are skeletonized timepieces providing immersive views of the movement’s heart. For the first time, the offset hours display appears on the bezel and no longer on the inner bezel ring. The H4 Gotham features a red fluid, while the H4 Alinghi and the H4 Metropolis feature a mechanical light source ensuring night-time visibility: a micro-generator that floods the dial in light for around 15 seconds at night when a dedicated pusher is pressed.

Skull

the provocative models in this collection feature a dial occupied a large skull rimmed by the hours fluid capillary in red, green – or black for the Bad Boy version. The skull’s right eye houses the 65-hour power-reserve display, while the left one shows the running seconds. The watch does entirely without minutes, instead offering a more “philosophical” view of time…

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