|Case||Black DLC Titanium with brushed, micro blasted and satin finishes. 48.8mm|
|Crown||Black DLC Stainless Steel|
|Dial||Black Opalin Dial, engraved markers and numerals, white super-luminova. Brushed and microblasted counters, white markers and numerals, white super-luminova. Green minute and second hands, white super-luminova.|
|Crystal||Scratch resistant sapphire|
|Waterproofness||Waterproof to 30m / 100 ft|
|Power Reserve||Approximately 65 hours|
|Functions||Green fluidic hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve|
|Bracelet||Rubber, black DLC titanium deployment clasp.|
Despite being the ‘entry level’ creation from HYT, the Swiss watch manufacturer that uses liquid to tell the time, at £33,000 including VAT, the HYT H0 Black is certainly not cheap. Such is the world we live in however that, even at that price point (not far from the average deposit for a home in the UK), there are numerous other watch manufacturers fighting for our attention.
So why choose HYT over more established brands such as Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin?
Firstly, in order to even be in a position to choose an HYT watch, you need to know about it. Having sold its first watch in 2012 it’s an embryo to any of the aforementioned maisons’ fully developed Olympic athlete, but in that time it has grown steadily and produced some incredible pieces in the process. What’s more exciting is their models are continuing to evolve, through the use of skeletonization and soon to be unveiled complications.
But what of using liquid to tell the time and, specifically, in the H0? Frankly, I think the former is superb. Powered by a mechanically wound modified movement, two bellows filled with liquid (green and clear in this case although there are other colours available) are put under pressure to move said fluid around a capillary housed on the dial; at just the right pace to mark the hours. In some of their other watches HYT stops there; after all, who really needs to know the exact time anyway… but in the H0 it is joined by minutes and seconds sub dials as well as a power reserve indicator. You might think that such a system would be somewhat unintelligible, but actually it is outrageously intuitive, clean and attractive on the eye.
Beneath the sub dials is a ‘droplet effect’, intended to create the impression that liquid flows from the centre of the dial outwards, over the sides of the case. I’m not entirely sure this quite works as planned on this version (it is more effective on the silver and gold alternatives), but nevertheless it provides added intrigue into an already thought-provoking piece.
The key component for me though is the ‘box-domed’ sapphire crystal. It is this that truly opens the wearer (and anyone they meet) into the world of HYT. Despite not being a skeletonised piece, it gives the watch depth and a three-dimensional appearance. Trust me, you’ll find yourself at inopportune times just peering into it from all angles in an effort to catch the light as it reflects off the green liquid, flowing around the dial.
The added benefit of all that sapphire crystal, coupled with the very comfortable rubber strap and deployment clasp, is that this watch is incredibly light and easy to wear. Thanks to the case’s shape, it can be worn with a suit, as it is curved just enough to sneak under a loosely fitted cuff, but my view is that is not the environment in which it works best. This timepiece fits perfectly with casual outfits; standing out enough to be seen as something very different but retaining an elegant modernity.
So we come back to the question posed at the beginning of this review: why choose this over another manufacturer? To answer that question you have to get into the mind of a watch enthusiast, not just a collector; one who is not into the subject purely for speculation, ‘bullet proof investments’ or because it matters to them that others know / can immediately identify what timepiece they are wearing from the other side of the room. Once you get past that, you start to realise the magic of HYT.
I believe the choice of which watch to wear is a deeply personal one and reflects one’s character. So what better way to do that than choose something very few others will have heard of, never mind have in their collection: put it this way, since I first heard of HYT two years ago, I have not met one other person wearing one of their watches. Not surprising given they only make around 420 a year. But in my books that makes the H0, entry level or not, the individual’s choice. And that’s priceless.
The H0 Black has an RRP of £33,000 and is available in the UK through The Limited Edition. If you are interested in this piece and get in contact with them, be sure to mention The Peaked Lapel. There are very few on the secondary market and I would suggest caution should be exercised if going down this route.