HYT Watches is not known to be shy. The brand’s creations are both visually extreme and technically spectacular. For instance, take a massive (but wearable) 49mm case, extremely complex in its design and case in it a movement indicating the time with a watch’s worst enemy: liquid. This is clearly not traditional watchmaking. For their latest creation, Vincent Perriard and his team have pushed their concept to a new extreme: welcome the HYT Skull, the mad side of one the maddest brands.
Here at Monochrome-Watches, we’ve been following HYT from its very beginning. The introduction of the HYT H1 in 2012 (yes, keep in mind that this brand is still an infant) was a total blast, as this watch – concept, thing, horological UFO – came with a world’s first, a mechanism which uses fluid to tell the time. One year later and after a few meetings together with the creative minds of APRP (Audemars-Piguet Renaud & Papi), HYT came with another, even crazier watch. The HYT H2 was again a striking creation. In order to really understand how these concepts work, we’ve been testing a H1 Red2 for a few weeks, a review that confirmed us how rational and accomplished these watches really are. (we also had a H2 for a couple of weeks and the review will come soon). In 2014, the brand focused mainly on production matters, in order to please clients. HYT presented only new editions of the H1 and H2. However, 2015 is here and HYT has some pretty cool novelties to introduce. The first one (because, yes, there is more to come) is a pure concept, something not focused on wearability or legibility but, believe us, it’s mad!
Actually we are talking about two editions of a new watch, a black DLC titanium one with green liquid – called Green Eye – and a black DLC titanium and 5N gold one with red liquid – called Red Eye. While this watch is based on the famous H1, it brings several novelties. First, the movement had been updated to give the watch a Skull face. The capillary used is not round anymore but shows some angles close to 45° or 90° (which considering the complex manufacturing process of the capillary, it has to be seen as quite an achievement). HYT decided to get rid of the minute sub-dial and to only focus on the indication of the hours via the liquid. Whereas the HYT H1 was showing parts of its innards on the bottom of its face, the Skull only suggest it with a small aperture to show the pistons, hidden with a stylized skull face, where these pistons play the role of the teeth.
Time is not the only indication as the eyes are showing more than a red or a green glow. The right eye indicates the power reserve of the watch. Using a series of subtly different translucent coloured inserts, the eye gradually darkens as the piece nears the end of its 65 hours of power (just like the HYT H1 that shares the same base movement). The left eye hides a barely visible seconds dial which rotates continuously. The other update concerns the case, with a new design, new finishes and a new size. While the H1 and H2 were already big at 49mm – with however a very appreciable comfort, even for small wrists – this one comes with a 51mm (!) case. To be very honest, it could seem enormous and only a test on the wrist will tell us what to think about this size.
So the case is bigger. Its shape is also slightly different, with lugs now integrated to the casebands (not attached to the case anymore but part of it). The HYT Skull also takes inspiration from the HYT H2, with the lack of bezel. The finishing details are also new, with a brushed finish on the flat surfaces and polished beveled angles on the side of the case / lugs. To give a cleaner design, the crown protection has been removed. Lateral inserts have also been added to the case, allowing multiple future combinations.
From the back, we can easily recognize the movement made together with Chronode. Visible through a tinted crystal (in green or in red), we find the same dual-construction, with a proper horological module on the top and a fluidic module on the bottom, linked together by a intelligent cam system.
With its Skull watch, HYT presents a proper concept, totally useless and unpractical – it is big, time reads approximately, design is extreme and audacious. However, it’s exactly what we’re expecting from young and innovative brands like HYT. It is a watch to dream and to captivate attention, not an usual daily beater. Our only concern is regarding its size, but we’ll have it soon on the wrist and we’ll get back to you with live thoughts.
The HYT Skull Green Eye is a limited edition of 50 pieces and the HYT Skull Red Eye is a limited edition of 25 pieces. Price are CHF 90.000 for the Green Eye and CHF 100.000 for the Red Eye. More details on HYTwatches.com
- Black DLC titanium with brushed or black DLC titanium and 5N gold, micro-blasted and polished finishes
- diameter: 51 mm
- height: 17.9 mm
- rubber coated screw-down crown
- black titanium dome at 6 o’clock
- cambered sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the dial side – screwed sapphire back
- water resistant to 50 metres – diamètre : 51 mm
- Retrograde green fluid hours; seconds
- Movement : Mechanical with manual winding, exclusive HYT calibre
- 28,800 vib/h, 4 Hz, 35 jewels
- bridges hand-chamfered and adorned with Côtes de Genève, rhodium plated bellows
- 65-hour power reserve
- Unstructured, fluid hours
- black hour dial, grey anthracite indices and grey numerals or 5N hour dial, grey anthracite indices and grey 5N numerals
- seconds dial (left eye)
- power reserve indicator (right eye)
- Black leather alligator, black DLC titanium pin buckle