Flash News: HYT H1 Iceberg and Velvet Gun
By Thierry Ané on July 8, 2014
It was only two years ago, during Baselworld 2012, that HYT introduced the world’s first timepiece to ever combine mechanical and liquid engineering. The compression and expansion of two pistons located at 6 o'clock pushes a green fluorescent liquid in the tube surrounding the dial to indicate the time. Since the launch of this hydro-mechanical wonder, a dozen variations have been presented including the classic Pink Gold and Black DLC Titanium versions and the more avant-garde Azo Polyepoxyde and Blue Aluminium renditions. A H1 Red2 featuring a red fluorescent liquid (not just an aesthetic change but a true technical challenge according to the brand) has even been unveiled at the Basel fair earlier this year.
Despite being aesthetically pleasing and representing design or technical innovations none of these models stroke me as a true customized piece: they achieve a different look through different case materials and dial colours but without a central theme. And what makes a limited edition really special is the story that goes with it. With the H1 Iceberg officially unveiled less than a month ago and the H1 Velvet Gun presented this week, though, HYT offers what I consider to be the very first two limited series based on their successful H1 model.
The H1 Iceberg is HYT’s answer to the recent interest for “white” men’s timepieces (I refer you to my recent articleWatches: A Selection of “white watches” for this summer for a nice selection of such models). This summery model features a 48.8 mm titanium case, a white rubber strap and a white dial with a blue fluid hour indicator. This fluid colour, also used for the H2 Blue Titanium and White Gold model, represents another technical achievement and brings to three the number of liquid colours HYT has managed to use for their hydro-mechanical marvels. I tried the H1 Iceberg on and found it hard to take it off as the watch looks fantastic on the wrist. It is by far my favourite H1 model so far!
The official picture does not do justice to the H1 Velvet Gun model and unfortunately the brand did not want us to take pictures when we saw the watch so unfortunately you won’t be able to fully appreciate the beauty of this piece and have to believe me when I say that the Velvet Gun PVD coating looks good on the titanium case. The unique metallic purple shades were apparently inspired by Jimi Hendrick’s Purple Haze. Together with the grey and black openwork dial and black alligator strap, they give this timepiece all its rock-and-roll spirit. Too bad the brand did not have a pink or mauve fluorescent fluid as it would have been probably more appropriate for this model.
The H1 Iceberg and the H1 Velvet Gun are each limited to 50 pieces and the suggested retail price for each of these stunning creations is CHF 56,000. They are truly different from the previous H1 models and, if they are any indication of what to expect in terms of limited editions for the future, I can’t wait to discover the next HYT beauties.