5 minutes on the wrist - The HYT H3
Can a revolution be, in turn, revolutionized? It sounds like a contradiction but the answer is “yes”, if HYT and Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi get together, and the result is called HYT H3. The two brands already collaborated when they came up with the HYT H2, the second chapter of the fluid watchmaking invented by HYT, but the origin of the H3 has a different meaning, and it no doubt represented a bigger challenge than the previous one. After consolidating the idea of a fluid visualization of time, and having effectively created a totally new branch, HYT has set the bar even higher transforming that which in the H1 and H2 visualizes time, into something that in the H3 actually measures it; this is the real challenge of this new adventure, that comes full circle and carries the brand towards the field of traditional visualization, albeit digital, unstructured and retrograde, of hours and minutes.
Put it this way, it may seem like a mere evolution of something already existing, but transforming the fluid from the carrier of “the information”, to the actual great wheel of time, of its precision, has requested a complete redesigning of the existing architecture. In a nutshell, if in a H2 mechanics activates the fluid, it is now the micro-fluid dynamics that activates the mechanics. A role reversal that represented the project’s real challenge, whose target was of creating the first HYT with the hour’s linear visualization. Several of the components of the H1 or H2 have been rethought, repositioned and integrated with new components.
The two bellows, that operate the active fluid and the contrasting one, obviously not miscible, have been mounted in phase-contrast: the left one governs, like in the past, the active fluid, the other represents the contrasting fluid within the capillary. The fluid system has been the object of improvements to guarantee its functioning in a range of temperatures compatible with the normal use of the timepiece.
Suffice it to think of the effect that temperature has on the viscosity and the expansion of a fluid. The advancing of a fluid governs the rotation, four times a day, of six prisms, each with four sides for measurement in 24 hours. A second scale, retrograde, allows us to read the minutes through a piston rod-crank handle system that draws inspiration, according to Vincent Perriard, CEO of HYT, from Meccano!
The result is an extraordinary time-machine, a synthesis of micro-mechanical engineering and micro-fluid dynamics with 170 hours of power reserve, that is visualized on a small indicator placed at the back. Aesthetically it is a timepiece that reminds of some distinctive traits of the geometrical design of the ‘70s, such as the rectangular platinum and titanium case, covered in grey PVD and 62mm long, 41mm wide and 16mm high, and a push-button on the left side to activate the hours slide. The movement developed by HYT is a 3Hz, whose bridges have the same decoration of the case. The HYT H3 places itself in the hyper-watch category, thanks to its characteristics, extremism and price, and on the same level of a URWERK UR-1001, of which we have spoken only last week. The bravery and the appeal of these creations represent the true innovation in high-end watchmaking. Aesthetically it is the more mature HYT timepiece, in antithesis with its traditional models and, in its own way, more classical and reassuring. It will probably also serve as the basis to reach, in future, other classical complication in high-end watchmaking, all in accordance to the spirit of HYT.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter - Watches & Luxury