Angus Davies discusses the HYT H2O, recently launched at SIHH 2018.
This detailed review of the HYT H2O includes live images, specification and pricing.
HYT burst onto the watchmaking scene in 2012 with its inaugural model the H1. I remember my sense of amazement, seeing this watch for the first time. The use of a coloured liquid to ingeniously indicate the hours seemed extraordinary.
However, I also pondered whether HYT could build on the H1 and, moving forward, showcase new timepieces exhibiting a wholly different aesthetic. My concerns were allayed with the release of the H2 and, thereafter, the H3, H4 and Skull watches. The capacity of HYT to reinvent itself and launch new models has been very impressive.
In 2017, HYT unveiled the H0, a new ‘entry-level’ model featuring a glass-box type sapphire crystal affording lateral views of the brand’s innovative fluid-filled capillary. Its appearance created a new three-dimensional vista and, in my opinion, represents some of the brand’s finest work with its pure, uncluttered design.
At SIHH 2018, HYT, once again, demonstrated its creative prowess, releasing a new model, the H2O. Positioned above the H0, the H2O features a more complex movement housed within a dome-like case. The HYT H2O is offered in two limited edition variants, one with a ‘green fluidic hour indication’ and the other with a ‘blue fluidic hour indication’. Personally, I prefer the latter model.
Similar to other HYT watches, a glass capillary encircles the dial area. In this instance, the meniscus formed between the blue fluid and the clear fluid denotes the hour. Minutes are conveyed with a bold, red skeletonised hand and indexes surrounding the dial. The indexes alternate between Arabic numerals and red batons. In addition, the indexes have a notable depth, a fact which can be discerned when viewed from the side.
A further red hand is used for the crown position indicator, ‘H’, ’N’ and ‘R’. Interestingly, the wearer is able to see the mechanical manoeuvres of the movement components, courtesy of the openworked dial area.
Unusually, the watch is equipped with a ‘thermal indicator’, a function which shows when the liquid is at its optimal temperature range.
The display shares much in common with the H2 but, owing to the dome-like sapphire crystal, appears different. Each component is flooded with light. Another characteristic of the movement is the judicious application of blue PVD coating to bridges. This application of colour enlivens the horological landscape presented.
Numerals also grace the vertical flank of the sapphire crystal. Each numeral, indicating the hours, is delivered in three dimensional form, adding to the visual allure.
Although the dial area is festooned with movement parts, everything remains simple to read thanks to the blue liquid and the ebullient red minute hand which stand out prominently.
HYT timepieces have a tendency to be large and the H2O proves to be no exception, measuring a behemoth 51mm. Nevertheless, despite its scale, the stainless-steel case did not prove too large, owing to the absence of lugs. The textured, black rubber strap arcs sharply downwards, encircling the wrist neatly.
The crown is positioned at 2 o’clock, mitigating the risk of gouging the wrist.
Adorning the case-back is a sapphire crystal affording views of the hand-wound HYT movement within.
The two bellows pumps can be seen via the case-back. Furthermore, the area adjacent the bellows pumps affords views through the movement.
The bridges are sandblasted titanium with blue PVD coating. The open-worked spring barrels grant views of the mainsprings. A power-reserve indicator is presented on the movement.
The frequency of the balance is 21,600 VpH (3Hz) and the movement contains 28 jewels. The movement has a power reserve of 192 hours.
HYT has created another highly original timepiece. The H2O subscribes to HYT convention, displaying hours using a brightly coloured blue liquid, but the appearance of this timepiece is noticeably different to its siblings.
The various movement bridges are stylishly embellished with blue PVD coating. This use of colour causes the minute hand and crown position indicator hand to stand out, aiding interpretation. In addition, the appearance of the bridges proves especially eye-catching.
The dome-like sapphire crystal allows light to illuminate the movement components presented centre-stage of the dial. The balance wheel, escapement, as well as other movement components typically hidden from view, are freely disclosed.
A key attribute of the HYT H2O relates to the lateral views of the dial area. The design of the watch confers sight of the bellow pumps etc., from the side of the case. Furthermore, the hour markers, sitting adjacent the capillary, bestow a delightful depth which is especially noticeable when viewed via the case-band.
This timepiece cleverly plays with light, colour and depth to great effect. The sight of the various movement components proves enchanting but not at the expense of legibility. The HYT H20 further illustrates the ingenuity of this avant-garde company and makes for an interesting ownership proposition.
- Model: HYT H2O
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 51mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistant to 3 ATM (30 metres)
- Functions: Hours; minutes; power-reserve indicator; thermal indicator; crown position indicator
- Movement: Hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 VpH (3Hz); 28 jewels; power reserve 192 hours
- Strap: Black rubber with titanium folding buckle (coated in black DLC)
- Price: £80,000 including VAT (RRP as at 26.2.2018)