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.