After it was founded in 2012, HYT quickly gained recognition for its unique use of liquid to indicate the time on the dial. The company produced striking and distinctive timepieces that blended art and engineering. Still, as often happens in independent watchmaking, it hit a rough road, which resulted in bankruptcy in 2021. However, HYT was quickly resuscitated and seems on the right track, orbiting high once more with the Hastroid and Moon Runner collections leading the way. Please meet the Moon Runner Ghost and Moon Runner Desert, two new additions to the family comprised of limited editions only.
The Moon Runner series utilizes HYT’s foundational technology in all their watches. It features a capillary tube containing two fluids that can’t mix, one coloured and one clear. These fluids are propelled by a bellows system, where one expands while the other contracts, moving the fluid through the tube. The system relies on perfect hermetic sealing of the bellows and capillary to function correctly, so the fluidic modules are permanently sealed, and the company claims the airtightness is a few thousand times greater than that of a conventional diver’s watch. One of the bellows incorporates an internal thermal compensation system to accommodate temperature changes and protect against fluid expansion and contraction.
This system maintains the correct fluid pressure and boundary position between the two fluids. The cam and lever system that regulates the bellows’ expansion and contraction operates extremely precisely, advancing the fluid by 1.5 microns per minute. It takes 12 hours for the liquid to complete a full rotation around the dial, and at the end of each 12-hour cycle, the bellows reset to their original positions. The coloured fluid works as a retrograde hour display. There’s a track on the dial’s inner flange for reading minutes via the triangular pointer. Two concentric and rotating titanium disks around the moon phase display are engraved to show the date and month next to the 6 o’clock index. However, the standout feature of the Moon Runners is the central 3D moon phase display, with an aperture showing Moon’s illuminated portion.
The highlight of the Moon Runner Ghost and Desert models is the hand-painted hemisphere representing the Moon, a first for the series. The miniature artist meticulously paints the half-sphere in the dark under UV lamps, taking a full day to complete. Each model showcases different patinas, with white-coated craters and Super-LumiNova for luminescence. The Moon Runner Desert features beige pigments for a sandblasted effect, while the Moon Runner Ghost boasts a sleek and minimalist aesthetic inspired by twilight.
The new iterations arrive as limited editions, 15 pieces each, priced at CHF 125,000 (taxes excluded). Moon Runner Desert and Moon Runner Ghost are supplied with a black rubber strap with either beige or black microfibre embossed decoration, closed with a titanium pin buckle. For more information, please visit the brand’s website at www.hytwatches.com.