Flash News: HYT H3

By Thierry Ané on March 2, 2015

With their retrograde liquid technology, the “Hydro Mechanical Horologists” better known as HYT have brought an entirely new way of displaying the time to the world of Fine Watchmaking. Despite being technically complex to manufacture and adjust, the capillaries surrounding the dial of the H1 and H2 models and their yellow, red, or blue liquids provided extremely intuitive and utterly fun indications ensuring the instant success of these unusual timepieces.

With its V-shaped bellows and more sophisticated movement developed in partnership with Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (APRP), the H2 model clearly helped anchor the brand in the Haute Horlogerie segment but visually did not really represent a departure from their introductory H1 model. Watch aficionados around the world were therefore very anxious to find out what the brand would come up with for their third opus. A little more than two weeks before Baselworld, HYT finally ends the suspense as they officially unveil the H3 today.

This time around, you don’t need to be an expert watchmaker to notice the changes! Still building on the fluid technology, this innovative timepiece now plays with a linear representation of time. Instead of relying on a round case like the H1 and H2, this H3 boasts a refined rectangular 62 x 41 mm case crafted in platinum and charcoal grey PVD titanium. Extremely ergonomic, its drop-shaped profile is just 16 mm thick to ensure comfort on the wrist. Its complex architecture made it almost as difficult to machine as the convex sapphire crystal that protects the dial of the watch!

There, an open-worked construction with elements that can be traced back to the H2 (it is after all developed with APRP once again!) showcases the new portrayal of time. The upper part of the dial provides an ingenious and innovative display of the hours of the day. Two bellows face one another in the top corners of the watch just above a linear capillary of less than one millimetre in diameter.

The one placed on the left drives the progression of the water-based yellow fluid working in opposition with a viscous-based translucent fluid to indicate the hours on the linear rotating dial below. Made of four faces, each graduated with 6 hours, it allows the reading of time on a 24-hour scale. At the end of a 6-hour period, the right-hand side bellow triggers the retrograde liquid movement and at the same time, the dial jumps semi-instantaneously to reveal the following 6-hour segment.

To ensure a perfect stylistic harmony, the watchmakers also opted for a linear indication of the minutes. On the central lower part of the dial, a twin-articulated red arm sweeps linearly across a graduated sapphire rule to indicate the minutes. When it reaches 60, this retrograde arm goes back instantly to its starting point to describe the same linear movement over the following hour.

The regulating organ is placed on the left-hand side and an extremely useful function indicator (Neutral, Time Setting, or Winding Mode) occupies the right-hand side. Since this high-end manually-wound movement offers an impressive 7-day power reserve (170 hours to be exact), a sectorial power reserve has also been placed on the back of the watch.

Aesthetically, the decorated micro-blasted charcoal grey PVD-coated titanium bridges with titanium-coloured satin-finished accents of the open-worked movement work wonderfully with the two-tone case. The rhodium-plated bellows are also tastefully evidenced without destroying the overall design harmony. The watch is mounted on a black alligator strap secured by a charcoal grey PVD-coated titanium folding buckle.

Limited to just 25 pieces, this H3 model was well-worth the wait! While preserving the fluid technology at the very core of HYT’s DNA, the watch offers an entirely different, more sophisticated way of presenting the time and dividing the periods of the day. It is an extremely accomplished model proving that HYT has reached a certain maturity and that the initial innovative concept of the brand was clearly not its unique technical and aesthetic idea. Beyond the publicity coup of the H1 model, each new collection, the H2 and now the H3, brilliantly underline that HYT is here to stay: the brand has unambiguously proved it deserved the place it created in the Haute Horlogerie segment…

I look forward to discovering the H3 model in Basel and be able to bring you our own pictures and videos!

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: