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HYT - A Triumphant Return?

HYT A Triumphant Return?

After a brief hiatus, HYT is back. Under the leadership of Davide Cerrato, the brand is steering a new course back into the stratosphere (a metaphor that works on several levels!)

All CEOs, when they join a new company, want to make a mark. Typically, they will take one of two paths; they will either return to the brand’s original DNA, from which it is deemed to have strayed; or they’ll step on the gas in an effort to accelerate the brand to where it ought to be.

Davide Cerrato has too much imagination to limit himself to this false binary. Like many Italians, (including the team at Bulgari, HYT’s Neuchâtel neighbour), Cerrato has a talent for improvisation and a gift for seeing the big picture. That vision has helped to infuse the conservative Swiss watchmaking establishment with new blood, and a fresh, coherent and forward-looking perspective.

A New playing Field

After steering the fortunes of three industry behemoths (Panerai, Tudor and Montblanc), Davide Cerrato is making the most of the freedom that goes with managing a small, 100% independent watch brand, to utilise his experience to the full, free of the constraints that come with operating within a big publicly traded group or a major institutional player.

The first thing he noticed was that the decision to make the HYT brand more accessible had not worked out. That wasn’t a hunch, it was a fact. HYT is therefore raising its prices again, and returning to its average price point of CHF 75,000. But the price increase must go hand-in-hand with a recalibration, and a corresponding increase in product quality and creativity.

Enter the Moon Runner.

A Triumphant Return?

Moon Runner SuperNova Blue © HYT

Astral Projection

The name speaks volumes. HYT’s new territory for exploration will be outer space. Hello, Blue Origin, SpaceX and James Webb. The Moon Runner takes the module designed by Eric Coudray and executed by Tec Groupe (formerly Tec Ebauches), with the same circular capillary. With this new generation of galactic-inspired timepieces, 60% of the movement has been modified. 

But today the movement drives a watch that has been totally revamped to make it more wearable. With a diameter of 48mm and a depth of 13mm (compared with 20mm in the past), it now weighs around 80g. The case is fiendishly complex but its much slimmer profile and reduced weight make its 48mm seem less imposing. Numerous cavities have been created, evoking the craters on the moon and other planets. Today, the complexity is a reflection of modularity, possibilities for evolution and thus the opportunities for customisation that are possible in the future.

A Triumphant Return?

Moon Runner SuperNova Blue © HYT

The Wow Factor

The movement of the Moon Runner certainly merits a close inspection. In the spirit of the “donut calibre”, the circular form factor focuses attention on the central void. Today, the gap has been filled by a moon phase. Today, it might be something different – another animation, another complication – but we can definitely expect to see something new before the end of 2022.

In the Moon Runner, the immense central black and blue moon is topped by a circle, held in place by a broad, arching lateral bridge anchored at 12 o’clock. The circle is fixed, and the moon rotates underneath it according to the lunar cycle. The day and month are read opposite a single suspended index at the 6 o’clock position.

The time is read concentrically around the edge, with the minutes on the inner flange, indicated by a white triangle, and the hours, as always, on the capillary. The fluidic display has been reworked to make it more legible and to minimise the jump at 6 o’clock that was found in the first models. The indices are clearer, and the luminescent background ensures that the blue fluid is visible at night. The watch has a minimum 72 hours of power reserve, and will be produced in a limited series of 27, available through a slimmed-down network of around 20 retailers.

A Triumphant Return?

Moon Runner SuperNova Blue © HYT

Who is it for?

This highly technical timepiece is fully expressive of the HYT spirit, while opening up the field for complications, a feature absent from the brand’s offer up to now. The Moon Runner is intended for a broader audience than HYT previously targeted, although this is still very much a niche product. A high net worth is assumed, given that the price will be around CHF 120,000. HYT’s two iconic pistons have been pushed into the background, now barely visible under the date and month discs – a development that might upset some collectors, given that the pistons have always been a strong aesthetic marker for HYT.

The XL diameter of 48mm is well balanced by its XS weight and reduced depth. We can certainly count on the creativity of Eric Coudray to take the next HYT on even more breathtaking adventures into outer space. 

A Triumphant Return?

Moon Runner SuperNova Blue © HYT


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