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Hysek - Furtif Skeleton

Hysek Furtif Skeleton

New calibre, new design, new finish; with the latest line of Furtif Skeleton watches, Hysek gives its collection a makeover, while simultaneously strengthening one of its signature elements: uniqueness and customisation.

The Furtif collection isn’t new to Hysek. Its angular architecture has already graced several 44 mm men’s timepieces equipped with manufacture movements, such as the automatic 2-handed models, the 2016 skeleton tourbillon, the large date chronographs of 2018, plus the 37 mm women’s models. This autumn, Hysek is enriching the collection with a new 2-handed skeleton watch, the Furtif Skeleton, which comes with a new hand-wound 100% manufacture movement, available in four versions.

Furtif Skeleton

Furtif Blue et Purple © Hysek

Hysek provides its square watch with a movement that fits it perfectly – a square movement – and it’s one of the rare independent watchmakers to continue to do so. The new HW34 calibre was developed by watch designer Laurent Besse. He graduated from the Besançon watchmaking school in 1991, and went on to work for Zenith and MB&F, among others. He joined Hysek last year, and this is the first calibre he has created in his new role. 

Furtif Skeleton

Calibre HW34 © Hysek

Laurent Besse’s primary focus for the new Furtif Skeleton and its movement was aesthetic rather than technical. His aim was to give the watch a 3D design and complete transparency. The first thing you notice about the watch is that the entire escapement is visible on the dial side. It’s an aesthetic choice first and foremost, but one that has multiple technical repercussions, including making it more difficult for watchmakers to make adjustments, as Laurent Besse points out. In order to produce the three-dimensional effect he was after, the designer had to rethink how the volumes were handled, and to do this he adopted a multi-level architecture, which provides a fascinating effect of depth. “The skeleton isn’t flat,” explains Laurent Besse, as he shows the spread-out components of the movement. “All the movement parts have been designed with an eye to three-dimensionality, such as the balance bridge, for example, which isn’t flat.” All five bridges were individually designed to build volume into the timepiece.

Furtif Skeleton

© WorldTempus / Michèle Brunner

Another feature of the HW 34 calibre is a particular decorative finish that is seldom seen in watchmaking. If you didn’t know any better, the first idea that probably springs to mind when “charcoaling” is mentioned is that it’s something to do with colour. But it isn’t. “’Charbonnage’ or charcoaling is common in jewellery making, but it’s rare in watchmaking because it can’t be implemented on an industrial scale,” Laurent Besse points out. Picking up a block of jeweller’s charcoal, he shows how the artisan cuts out a kind of thick crayon. The point is applied to the brass plate in small circular movements, which creates a texture on the surface. The result of this gentle abrasion is a subtle but harmoniously irregular pattern that the light can bounce off. A galvanic treatment then fixes the texture on the surface of the metal. This manual procedure makes each movement a unique piece, “Limited to... infinity”, because each one is different.

Furtif Skeleton

© WorldTempus / Michèle Brunner

The new Furtif Skeleton comes in four versions, each with a different movement finish, with or without a PVD colour option. Alongside the full black model with its titanium and black PVD case, there are blue and purple variations, also in titanium and PVD, which give the watch an almost luminous intensity. A piece in rose gold and titanium completes the range of the new Furtif Skeleton. All four timepieces come with an alligator strap with folding buckle, and are priced at CHF 23,600 (including taxes).

Furtif Skeleton

Furtif or rose et titane © Hysek


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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.

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