HYT H2 Tradition

The HYT H2 Tradition combines ‘hydro mechanics’ with haute horlogerie, fusing seemingly disparate concepts to glorious effect.

This detailed review of the HYT H2 Tradition Ref. 248-TW-10-BF-AB includes live images and specification details.

HYT_H2_Tradition_wrist1 - ESCAPEMENT Magazine - watch reviews by Angus Davies

On the morning of her wedding, an English bride-to-be either wears, or carries about her person, ‘Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue…’. She will typically travel to the church in the wedding car with her father. Thereafter, the soon to be married lady will walk up the church aisle, linking arms with her father and he will ‘give her away’.

After the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds and guests travel to a suitable venue and partake in the ‘wedding breakfast’. Once the meal is consumed, the bride’s father, the groom and ‘the best man’ deliver speeches, in that order.

The reason for mentioning the usual protocol when ‘tying the knot’ is that traditions provide a framework by which many choose to live. Indeed. it is the notion of ‘tradition’ which mitigates risk and bestows a sense of familiarity.

HYT is not a brand I would immediately associate with ‘tradition’. The styling of its timepieces could be aptly described as avant-garde. The promise of ‘avant-garde’ or ‘cutting-edge’ design, setting aside conventional wisdom, can often lead to breathtaking freshness and technical advancement. However, by its very definition, a ‘cutting-edge’ idea denotes a degree of risk. Moreover, by renouncing convention and the knowledge acquired over generations, a new idea, despite being technically brilliant and well executed, may simply prove a step too far for conservative thinkers.

Since its foundation in 2012, HYT has consistently released innovative products which brim with modernity. The courage that the company has shown by taking its own unique route along the crevasse-riven commercial pathway is laudable. The judicious bravery of this Swiss brand has garnered much critical acclaim and has led to the enviable position of demand outstripping supply.

Now, HYT blends its ground-breaking neoteric styling and ‘hydro-mechanical’ ingenuity with a reassuring dose of ‘tradition’.

The dial

The glass capillary circumscribing the dial area will be familiar to fellow fans of HYT. The Neuchâtel based company proffers an array of models, each featuring an optimally paired and vibrantly hued liquid, denoting the prevailing hour. Personally, I have always found the blue aqueous liquid particularly alluring and still harbour acquisitive ideas about the H1 Iceberg.

HYT_H2_Tradition_dial4 - ESCAPEMENT Magazine - watch reviews by Angus Davies

The white lacquered hour ring on the HYT H2 Tradition provides the first flurry of classicism. The chaste appearance of the pure white surface provides a wonderful foil for the black Roman numerals to communicate with measured tone. Adjacent the white ring, golden detail resplendently gleams, heightening the perception of luxury.

HYT_H2_Tradition_dial1- ESCAPEMENT Magazine - watch reviews by Angus Davies

Normally, the minutes on an HYT H2 are indicated with a centrally positioned hand in combination with a minute ring encircling the dial area. However, the HYT H2 Tradition presents its minutes on a white lacquered subdial, detailed with 4N gold. The subdial exhibits a lustrous shine and employs black Arabic numerals and slender strokes to show the minutes. This element of the dial appears reminiscent of timepieces from a bygone era. This vintage character is reinforced by the inclusion of an open-worked blued hand.

A small running seconds indication sits on a plane slightly below the minutes display. This masterful manipulation of heights bestows a sublime three dimensional allure to the vista presented. Again, white lacquered detail, 4N gold and a blued hand collaborate to reinforce the sense of tradition.

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HYT has always indulged its clients with a spellbinding view of the bellows pumps, positioned in the southern portion of the dial, industriously moving up an down. The HYT H2 Tradition upholds this reputation but, in this instance, presents an enchantingly decorated main plate. The rhodium-plated nickel silver surface features diamond guilloché. Again, HYT respectfully doffs its hat to artisanal craftsmanship of yesteryear and, in so doing, delivers a spectacular aesthetic in the process.

Located adjacent 2 o’clock is a crown position indicator, presented with sparkling bevels and another blued hand.

Despite the unconventional delivery of hours, minutes and seconds on the HYT H2 Tradition, the dial proves very clean, lucidly communicating with the wearer.

The case

Measuring 48.8mm in diameter and with a case height of 17.9mm, the HYT H2 Tradition exhibits behemoth proportions which may frighten some would-be buyers. However, before dismissing the watch as too large, try it on. Surprisingly, the watch accords a very comfortable fit. I use the word ‘surprisingly’, but in all honesty, I have felt the friendly nuzzling embrace of several HYT timepieces before and have always appreciated the very agreeable wearer comfort the marque’s models confer.

HYT_H2_Tradition_side - ESCAPEMENT Magazine - watch reviews by Angus Davies

Part of the secret to achieving the pleasing union between wearer and watch can be attributed to the short case lugs and the tendency of the integrated strap to aim downwards, clearly eager to encircle the wrist.

HYT_H2_Tradition_crown- ESCAPEMENT Magazine - watch reviews by Angus Davies

The case is constructed of white gold and titanium. It has a reassuring mass without being unwieldy. The array of case treatments include polished, microblasted and satin-finished surfaces which harmoniously co-exist to deliver a superb synergistic outcome.

Wearers are invited to step close to the case and observe the dial via the box-glass sapphire crystal. The lateral views provided entice inquisitive eyes to study the various components presented within the dial area.

The crown, positioned at 2 o’clock, has a knurled grip which tapers near its leading edge, terminating with a vertical plane. Similar to the case, the crown is large, however, it does not impinge on the wrist. The size of the crown proves helpful when winding the watch or setting the hands.

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On the reverse of the watch, an exhibition caseback allows wearers to view more of the movement.

The movement

The ‘exclusive calibre’ powering the HYT H2 Tradition is identical to the hand-wound movement within the HYT H2 Full Gun, albeit in this instance it features different surface decoration, including more of the aforementioned diamond guilloché. The bridges are stainless steel with a mix of microblasted and polished finishing. This material is incredibly difficult to work with, making the flawless finish of the hand bevelled internal angles even more impressive.

HYT_H2_Tradition_movement - ESCAPEMENT Magazine - watch reviews by Angus Davies

The movement within the H2, with its V-shaped bellows arrangement, was conceived by the creative talents of HYT and Audemars Piguet Renaud and Papi. Amazingly, despite the movement needing to propel the two bellows pumps it delivers a prodigious power reserve of 192 hours.

Discussions about contemporary and classical aesthetics extend to the movement within the HYT H2 Tradition. On one hand the bellows pumps demonstrate ingenuity and an enviable technical prowess. Conversely, the guilloché on the main plate and the notable finissage draw on the finest of traditional Swiss haute horlogerie expertise.

Closing remarks

While the HYT H2 Tradition shares much of its mechanical know-how with its sibling, the H2 Full Gun, its appearance is very different. The off-piste styling of the H2 Tradition cleverly fuses modernity and classicism.

The risk of boldly embracing blue-sky thinking is that, in the pursuit of uniqueness, functionality can be compromised. Thankfully, despite its unusual mien, the H2 Tradition is a practical ownership proposition ideally suited to daily wear.

The dial is simple and instinctive to read. The wearer comfort is excellent, allowing free motion of the wrist.

Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects I found with the H2 Tradition was the finishing of the stainless steel bridges. They necessitate much more time to chamfer than brass or silver surfaces, but deliver a unique appearance which can be refurbished more effectively.

‘Tradition’ yields comfort, whilst ‘modernity’ proffers excitement and ingenuity. In this instance, HYT has intelligently blended these seemingly disparate traits and produced an exceptional timepiece.

 

Technical Specification

  • Model: HYT H2 Tradition
  • Ref: 248-TW-10-BF-AB
  • Case: Titanium and white gold; diameter 48.80 mm; height 17.90 mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and case back.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds crown-position indicator.
  • Movement: Exclusive HYT calibre; frequency 21,600 vph (3Hz), 28 jewels; power reserve 192 hours
  • Strap: Blue alligator leather strap presented on a titanium deployant.
  • Limited Edition: 20 pieces.

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