by Kyle Stults on March 10, 2014
HYT the “hydro-mechanical timekeeper” are revealing several new variations of their H1 and H2 models at Baselworld 2014. With two core designs settled upon, HYT is broadening the H1 and H2 collections with a variety of new fluid colors (red, blue) and case metals (titanium/Ti, aluminum alloy, Ti-bronze, DLC-ti, etc.) – there are some really cool new combinations coming!!! Above is a photo of the H1 that I took at Baselworld 2013. You can see all the 2014 combos in the video below, and as pics of several of them as well. Check ‘em out below
Below is a nice video walk-through (2 videos in total) of HYT’s fluid-time technology which, among other details, uses a liquid-filled capillary and bellows. I’ve also included some photos of HYT watches that I took at Baselworld 2013 earlier this year.
Bringing such unconventional timekeeping technology to market has not been easy for HYT but they have a solid product – functionally and aesthetically – that they continue to improve upon. Keep in mind that this is still a small-scale technology — HYT is shipping around 40 watches per month. As I see it, the opportunity is substantial if larger scale production (and lower price points — current models sell around $45,000 – $50,000) can be brought to bear on their fluid-timekeeping methods.
Super-cool watches, no doubt!
HYT recently unveiled its second “hydro-mechanical” wristwatch, the H2, and it is every bit as original as it looks. The H2 essentially builds off of the H1 which was introduced last year, using the same core technology, with some changes. Unlike the H1 which was done in collaboration with Jean-François Mojon/Chronode, the H2 was created in collaboration with AP Renaud & Papi.
The hydro-mechanical concept uses “normal” watch mechanics as well as a system of reservoirs and bellows which force liquid through a capillary. The position of the liquid indicates the time. It is an excellent concept, very intriguing. Though I also read that there is room for improvement (or a need, depending on whom you ask) in the accuracy of the liquid display system. HYT is a very forward-thinking, avant-garde type of product, upwards of a decade since first envisioned — explore more, below.
Limited edition 50 pieces
48.8mm black DLC finished titanium case, caliber by AP Renaud & Papi (retrograde fluidic hours, minutes with jumping hand at 30 minutes, crown position indicator (H-N-R), temperature indicator)
As to the crown function indicator – H, N and R - at three o’clock: pressing the crown allows the wearer to wind (R) or set the time via the crown (H), there is no need to pull it out. “N” refers to the neutral position. The dial has a lot of depth and detail, for exampl the nicely curved bridges which anchor the escapement and other features.
As mentioned above, I recently read some discussion about some “issues” with the technology, namely that the liquid time display is impacted by temperature variations (on the wrist, off the wrist, ambient air temperature). Not that the watch doesn’t keep time properly, but the liquid capillaries do not display time properly if the temperature is too high/too low. While HYT seems aware of these issues, even going so far as to place an indicator on the H2 which tells the wearer if the temperature is optimal or not, the problem of how exactly do compensate for an improper temperature remains an issue that I would like to learn a bit more about. Read more of this debate in the comments section of Monochrome, here>>>
Price is around 90,000 CHF.
These things said, I like what HYT is doing and I hope they are able to further refine their liquid time display system. I am yet to experience the HYT technology hands on, but I will be doing so later this month and will report my learnings back to Perpetuelle readers.
Check out more at http://www.hytwatches.com/
According to the HYT website, the is the brainchild of former nuclear engineer Lucien Vouillamoz — he conceived of the hydro-mechanical concept of timekeeping almost a decade ago. In his quest to commercialize his vision, he linked up with Vincent Perriard, a well known personality in the watch industry who has been involved in the development of a number of avant-garde timepieces. Today Vincent Perriard is largely the “face” of the brand, but really the brand is not driven by any on person, but rather its hydro-mechanical technology.
The secret force driving the reservoirs is two bellows made of a highly resistant, flexible electro-deposited alloy, each driven by a piston. And this is where watchmaking comes in to activate the system. The two reservoirs at 6 o’clock. While the first compresses, the second expands, and the other way round, resulting in the movement of the liquid in the capillary. The two bellows made of a highly resistant, flexible electro-deposited alloy, each driven by a piston. Every microlitre counts, and the total volume in the closed circuit is extremely precise, as the system has to have a nanotechnology-worthy level of water resistance. Due to the unusual link between the crown and the liquid, a special time-setting system was designed in order to avoid the liquid moving around too fast and damaging the meniscus. source: HYT.
For your viewing pleasure: a cool new “trailer” from Vincent Perriard’s HYT Watches! The trailer was produced by http://etude-style.com/ of Neuchâtel – Switzerland. If you are not familiar with HYT, it is a new brand launched early 2012 with the HYT H1 watch. HYT lays claim to the world’s first hydromechanical watches — the concept is equally intriguing and cool. The HYT H1 has already it has stacked up a huge list of PR accolades, and most recently it was awarded the Best Concept Watch Award at the prestigious Salon Internacional Alta Relojeria (SIAR) show in Mexico City. Of course Perpetuelle’s been on the scene from day 1 — you can learn more about HYT in my previous posts HERE (HYT New Brand Intro) and HERE (HYT 1 Watch). And be sure to check ‘em out at http://hytwatches.com/.
HYT H1 Watches (2012)
Baselworld 2012: Here is a new short video of Vincent Perriard’s new HYT H1 watch that I previewed a few weeks back. As a quick refresher, the HYT H1 is a hydro-mechanical watch with the hours indicated by liquids. There is a green fluid as well as a clear fluid inside the tube, and two bellows (visible at six o’clock) drive the fluids. The minutes and seconds are displayed with hands. 3 different case options will be available.
HYT Watch Video Overview
When I previewed the new watch brand HYT just yesterday, I did not know that the brand’s first official watch release, the H1, was right around the corner. So consider my timing fortuitous — because here is the new HYT H1, and it is a pretty damn cool looking watch. But even greater, HYT represents a new concept in watchmaking — HYT stands for “Hydro Mechanical Horologists” and the brand will be dedicated to producing watches that not only contain liquid in them but use the liquid for a functional purpose. HYT claims seven pending patents for various aspects of the H1, further underscoring the new ground that HYT CEO Vincent Perriard is breaking with this watch.
The HYT H1 watch will be made in 3 case styles — titanium, black DLC-coated titanium, and red gold. It is a very case size — 48mm x 18mm thick — but the minimalist, tapered bezel may help it wear smaller than that (we’ll see). Of course the most notable aspect of the watch is the luminescent greenish-yellow liquid ring you see around the dial. The H1 uses the liquid to display the hours on a circular tube around the edge of the dial (must watch the video below for a good look at the watch in motion). The two piston looking devices you see on the bottom of the dial are used to push and pull the liquid to show the time on the scale. The minutes are displayed on the medium-sized sub dial set near the center-top watch, with a cool paddle-wheel style seconds hand to the left. On the right you can see there is also a power reserve indicator (65 hours) for the manual-wind mechanical movement. Even though this is a new concept in watchmaking, the watch design itself is not too far “out there” — which is a good thing. The HYT H1 watch price is $45,000 for the titanium model (the titanium DLC and red gold models with be meaningfully higher). Check it out!
HYT H1 Watch
48mm titanium case (17.9mm thick) (DLC-titanium and red gold also available), manual-wind mechanical exclusive HYT calibre (28,800 vph, 4 Hz, 35 jewels, bridges hand-chamfered and adorned with Côtes de Genève, rhodiumed bellows, 65-hour power reserve)
HYT H1 VIDEO
Dial close up:
Red gold and Black DLC-coated Titanium cases:
note the 2 liquid/hydraulic pistons
by Kyle Stults on January 09, 2012
OK, you’ve got my attention Vincent Perriard. A visionary, Perriard has a knack for thinking outside the proverbial box (check my May09 interview of him for a look at the Concord C1 QuantumGravity watch). Now he brings us this: the first timepiece ever featuring Mechanical and Liquid time indications. I suspect Perriard has been thinking about this concept for a couple years now given that the C1 QuantumGravity also employed liquid (the world’s first liquid power reserve meter), but who knows. We’ll know more in just a few months (Baselworld 2012). HYT Watches is officially on the Perpetuelle radar…stay tuned…
HYT, the Hydro Mechanical Horologists
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