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.