HYT is one of our favourites here at Monochrome-Watches. The watches they’ve been creating for 3 years now are impressive, bold and unique in both their design and technical approach. Whether we’re talking about the HYT H1, the HYT H2 or the HYT H3, they’re just the kind of creations by independent watchmakers we love to share with you. Wait, we forget a watch in the collection, the HYT H4. No problem there then as here is the review of the latest creation of the brand, the Gotham.
Because images are always better than words to explain the way a watch works, we kindly invite you to take a look at the video below, just to see the retrograde fluid indication in action.
Instead of focusing on all the technical aspects of the watch – for that, you can have a look at the reviews of the HYT H1 Red2 and of the HYT H2 Black DLC Titanium, where we explain in details the whole concept, how HYT came to the idea of a fluidic indication of time and how they managed to create these unique watches – we’ll focus here on the differences between the HYT H4 Gotham and the first creation of the brand, the HYT H1.
Basically, the H4 is a modernized, skeletonized and cleaned edition of the H1. It means that both are technically identical, sharing the same display and the same base movement (that is also shared by the HYT Skull). The evolution is essentially focused on the visual aspects, materials and on the colours. If we had to sum up, the HYT H4 is a mix between the movement of an HYT H1, the case (at least the shape of the case) of an HYT Skull and the colour combination of an HYT H1 Dracula.
The evolution of the movement
Technically speaking, there is no evolution. The movement still has the exact same specifications with the same parts used for the gear train, the storage of energy or the regulating organ. However, evolutions can be seen on the finishing side. All the parts on the top had been opened to offer a view of the technical elements, with the dial having also been removed and replaced instead by a sapphire plate.
This movement, created together with Chronode, has a specific shape. Indeed, the horological part is only located on the upper side of the movement. The second part of the movement that sits on the bottom part is composed of the fluidic mechanism – the bellows and the tube, plus the mechanical element that links these two modules. Now, the whole gear train is visible through the regulator-style minute dial at 12. Also visible are some parts of the barrel, the second indicator at 8 and the power reserve indicator at 2.
The use of a non-treated sapphire crystal is a wise choice. Depending on the angle, it creates reflections that partially hides the movement behind but on the other hand emphasizes the legibility of the dial printed on this crystal. Due to that, time-reading is still very good – something that is not always the case with open-worked watches.
The other improvement we noticed is the accuracy of the hour-indication. The watches we reviewed previously were not always very precise – the liquid was not perfectly aligned with the hour indexes. This issue (due to the expansion of the liquid, depending on pressure and temperature, certainly present with the prototypes we had in our hands) is now over and the HYT H4 shows a liquid that is perfectly aligned with the markers.
Case and design evolutions
As said before, the HYT H4 Gotham is a mix of several previous watches from the brand and we found some clues of the H1 and the Skull here.
The HYT H1 was already a big boy on the wrist with its 48.9mm case. The case was also quite a complicated one, with multiple parts: a round central part with an added and open-worked crown protection, some separated lugs (also machined, with two different polishings and not sleek) and a notched bezel.
The HYT H4 Gotham features the new case’s design already introduced in the HYT Skull. It now measures 51mm and shows a simpler shape and construction. The central part and the lugs are now machined from a single block and the flanks are smooth. The bezel is also narrower and flat. Finally, the crown protection device had been removed. Thus, the HYT H4 Gotham looks much cleaner and sleeker than the rugged HYT H1. Now comes the question of such a size. How can a 51mm watch be wearable? Let’s agree on a simple fact: the HYTs are all big watches. However, due to an integrated strap that goes directly downward and coupled to very short lugs (even shorter here than on the H1), the watch feels comfortable and ‘wearable‘. For sure, it requires a robust wrist but it doesn’t feel monstrous.
The other novelty comes from the material used. The H4 Gotham is the first piece by HYT to have a case made entirely from super-rigid 3DTPTM carbon. This material is used in aeronautics, sailing, and motoring industries because of the superb rigidity-to-mass ratio. It comprises carbon threads which are woven to a maximum diameter of 7 microns and with a thickness layer of 0.15 mm. Depending on the angles, it shows straight patterns (on the sides) or randomly aligned fibres (on the lugs or the bezel). Not only does it give a very technical look but it also increases the comfort, due to its very lightweight.
Design-wise, the HYT H4 Gotham uses some clues from both the Skull – with its larger dial and hours that are indicated on the inner bezel rather than on a flange inside the tube – and from the HYT H1 Dracula. It brings back this same black and red combination that fits perfectly the whole concept. One last detail: the caseback sapphire crystal is tinted and reflective, meaning that it acts like a mirror on the dial side (to prevent the transparent effect that shows your hair through the watch) and it also darken the movement from the back side, just for it to match better the case and dial.
The strap also uses new technologies. The HYT H4 is fitted on a technical strap, combining rubber and NomexTM technical fibre, a high-performance synthetic fibre that is used for racing drivers’ suits and helmets. The watch we had did not come with it but instead featured a strap mixing rubber and alligator leather, with red stitching. You can see the technical strap here.
The HYT H4 Gotham mixes two feelings. It feels first sportier, more technical and even bolder than its siblings (the H1 and H2) as the case is larger, the dial is opened to reveal some of the horological parts and the material used are more technical. However, on the other hand, it also feels cleaner and more achieved, like if the H1 was a (very well executed) draft and this H4 the final product. It is a superb piece of modern horology, again made without compromises – but who cares!
The new NYT H4 Gotham comes at a price of CHF 77.000 Swiss Francs / € 77.000 Euro / $ 79.000 USD and is a limited edition of 50 pieces.