The world of luxury watches is changing, and what was once an elite group of Swiss brands now consists of a wide variety of young horologists willing to push the envelope. HYT Watches has been praised for being one of these innovators. Considering themselves the “ultimate alchemists,” the HYT team has engineered a way to tell time using water, and mastered the technique behind hydromechanical watches. Their latest piece is the H3, a titanium and platinum treasure that uses a liner fluid bar to keep time.
At first glance the H3, or any of HYT’s watches for that matter, may be difficult to read. They are devoid of traditional hands to indicate the time. Instead they’ve reinvented the watch face to allow a moving vial of liquid to be the hour indicator. In previous models, including the H2, H1 and Skull collections, this fluid line was curved, and went around the face in a transitional circular pattern, but in the latest H3 they challenged themselves to create a modern, and more complex mechanism. Due to this desire to design a timepiece featuring a straight vial, the face needed to be changed for this edition, and now features a rectangular casing that more clearly offers a view of its inner workings.
And its mechanics are a masterpiece. Using a complex system of glass tubes, fluids and vacuums this “living sculpture” operates by a system of bellows, housed on opposite ends of the watch face, that push liquid through to display the correct time. To keep the fluids in check, the two bellows work within a vacuum and with two separate liquids—one water based (green) the other viscous based (clear). The one on the left moves the green fluid to the indicated marker, while the one on the right compensates by pushing just enough to keep it stable and allow a meniscus between them.
Of course, the H3 is much more than a study in hydraulics. It also boasts a 170-hour power reserve, a titanium and platinum coating, and 24-hour numerical display. While the piece will not be available until September of this year, it will be shown at BaselWorld, in Switzerland later this month. HYT has already confirmed that the H3 is going to be limited edition with only 25 of these timepieces made, with pricing at 280,000 CHF (approx. $290,370).