FLUID AND NO­BLE

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Basel Report | Highlights -

Time and tide may wait for no man, but that hasn’t stopped them from com­bin­ing to cre­ate won­ders like the HYT H1 Full Gold

Ar­guably 21st cen­tury clep­sy­dras, HYT watches are con­ceived to tell time not with the use of reg­u­lar hour and minute hands, but with liq­uids, hence the brand’s tagline “Hy­dro Me­chan­i­cal Horol­o­gists”.

The H1 – the watch that started it all – has a sub-dial at 12 o’clock, whose sin­gu­lar hand in­di­cates the min­utes. The hour hand is ab­sent, re­placed by a cir­cu­lar tube that runs around just in­side the dial’s cir­cum­fer­ence. In­side this tube are coloured and clear liq­uids whose rel­a­tive lev­els are con­trolled by the al­ter­nate com­pres­sion and ex­pan­sion of two pis­ton-driven bel­lows at 6 o’clock. As the hours pass, the coloured liq­uid ad­vances to mark the hour, while the clear liq­uid si­mul­ta­ne­ously gives way to it. Twice a day at six o’clock, the coloured liq­uid un­der­goes a ret­ro­grade mo­tion and re­turns to its start­ing po­si­tion, to be­gin a new cy­cle all over again.

HYT had nu­mer­ous chal­lenges to over­come to achieve such a dis­play sys­tem. Ob­vi­ously, the liq­uids had to be con­tained, with no al­lowances for evap­o­ra­tion or other such losses. The fluid sys­tem also had to be gov­erned through au­tonomous time­keep­ing, yet al­low ma­nip­u­la­tion when the crown is op­er­ated to set the time. Then, there’s the ex­haust­ing re­search re­quired to de­velop the liq­uids to have the re­quired colours and vis­cosi­ties. As if that’s not enough, the en­tire sys­tem needs to be re­sis­tant against vi­bra­tion and tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tion as well.

The H1 re­mains in pro­duc­tion to­day, and HYT has played with it in nu­mer­ous ways to con­stantly of­fer some­thing new, yet fa­mil­iar. Take ma­te­ri­als, for ex­am­ple. The new H1 Full Gold has a case made en­tirely in pink gold, which is a first for the brand. This 50-piece lim­ited edi­tion also has a gal­vanic coat­ing in the same hue on its minute sub-dial, small sec­onds wheel, power re­serve in­di­ca­tor, and the hour ring to com­pose a picture of per­fect uni­for­mity. In­stead of the usual flu­o­res­cent liq­uids for the hours, the one used here is opaque black, which alone re­quired al­most a year of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and fine-tun­ing. In the dark, the Su­per-lu­mi­nova coat­ing un­der­neath the liq­uid cap­il­lary (i.e. glass tube) emits green light, which the opaque black liq­uid blocks off ac­cord­ingly – yet an­other new de­tail that wasn’t pre­vi­ously done. The fi­nal re­sult ex­udes se­ri­ous­ness and solem­nity un­like any other in the col­lec­tion. MOVE­MENT Man­ual-wind­ing HYT cal­i­bre with fluid in­di­ca­tor and 65-hour power re­serve

CASE 48.8mm in pink gold, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 100m STRAP Pale grey al­li­ga­tor with ti­ta­nium de­ploy­ant buckle PRICE $119,000

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