Watches: Hysek IO 45mm Chronograph Tourbillon (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on March 31, 2015

Just like last year, Hysek was presenting their latest creations in a spacious pavilion conveniently located next to the “Palace” where most of the “independent watchmakers” are located. In a quiet atmosphere bathed in sunlight, the extremely friendly team welcomed us once again for a delightful journey through Haute Horlogerie and contemporary watch design.

Our expectations were high as we truly appreciated last year’s introductions but the small Manufacture did not disappoint and we even ended up more impressed than we were in 2014 as we came to understand the extraordinary attention to details that goes into the creation of an Hysek timepiece.

Given the quality and diversity of the newly unveiled pieces, we thought it would have been a shame not to highlight each and every one of them in a standalone article with the right amount of pictures (and sometimes videos) to fully appreciate its mechanical beauty. The readers of Watch Agora can therefore expect more Hysek stories in the forthcoming weeks. But for today, let us just concentrate on the IO 45mm Chronograph Tourbillon.

Limited to just 88 pieces, this newcomer in the “IO” collection shares the same refined round case as the IO 49mm Skeleton TourbillonWatches: Hysek IO 49mm Skeleton Tourbillon (+live pics) that we loved so much last year, albeit in less exuberant proportions. With a diameter of 45 mm for a thickness of 13 mm, this rose gold frame with a beautiful polished finish and characteristically hollowed lugs becomes suitable for every wrist without losing its avant-garde aesthetic.

Despite its relatively sober white dial with refined dusted finish and traditional black or brown alligator strap, the watch retains the visual identity of this Maison thanks to the presence of three apertures forming the “3-6-10” tri-compax layout one would expect from the brand. What makes it particularly striking in this instance, though, is that beyond its graphic effect, this design trademark also serves a purpose: it draws your attention to the three main technical characteristics of the watch!

Indeed, the 45-minute counter at 3 o’clock reminds you that the IO 45mm Chronograph Tourbillon houses one of the most demanding complications in Haute Horlogerie: the chronograph. With the central seconds hand and this unique register, it is presented here in its purest form but its mechanical complexity can be fully appreciated from the sapphire crystal of the back.

Rotating on a plate covered with “Rose des Vents” decorations, the 22-karat gold micro-rotor located at 6 o’clock provides a playful element to the dial but also stands as a reminder of the ultra-thinness of the in-house HW41 calibre that powers the watch. Here again, the watch connoisseur will have to flip the watch over to get the measure of its originality. The watch is in fact equipped with a double micro-rotor, with a platinum one placed on the back. Both connected by a single shaft, they ensure optimal winding capabilities while still saving a great deal of space compared to a classical oscillating weight centrally mounted.

Breaking the symmetry for an intriguing visual effect, the last aperture is placed at 10 o’clock instead of 9 o’clock. Larger than the other two, it is also the one that provides a better view of the inner workings of the movement. This is home to a magnificent skeletonized flying tourbillon and the small seconds ring. The view is absolutely stunning as every tiny piece of the intricate escapement has been flawlessly hand-finished. Despite the overall thinness of the calibre, the sense of depth is also remarkable and confirms the Haute Horlogerie status of this timekeeper.

All in all, the IO 45mm Chronograph Tourbillon is an outstanding example of fine craftsmanship but what makes it more interesting than high-end models from competitors is this artistic dialogue that has been created between technical elements and design: it is difficult to imagine a better example of harmony between form and function!

For more information please visit the Hysek web site.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: