HYT pulls a watchmaking u-turn ahead of SIHH 2016

Hang on a minute! What are Roman numerals, guilloché finishing, blued hands and lacquered dials doing on a HYT watch? Vincent Perriard, CEO of HYT, famously said that his company would never create a classic piece, and yet its new piece, the H2 Tradition, has several classic touches. What’s going on? More than meets the eye, of course.

HYT says it has pulled a retro contemporary U-turn with its H2 Tradition.

HYT says it has pulled a retro contemporary U-turn with its H2 Tradition.

HYT introduced its H2 collection back in 2013, and since then the company has produced a number of different references, most recently the H2 Full Bronze followed by the H2 Aviator. Those watches were complicated and pretty insane to look at, and so were perfectly in line with what the brand has been delivering since it came into being. With the H2 Tradition, HYT is trying a different tact, it is combining modern watchmaking know-how with traditional touches. The results are beautiful.

The watch boasts HYT’s calling card – a capillary that encircles the open-worked movement, which indicates the time via a liquid moving past the hour indicators on the circumference of the dial. This incredibly cool system is driven by two rhodium-plated bellows that are positioned on either side of the six o’clock position. This system represents HYT’s 21st century know-how, while the diamond guilloché main plate, lacquered minute dial (12 o’clock position), seconds sub-dial, and blued hands are traditional watchmaking touches.

HYT wanted the H2 Tradition to be classical and easy to read, with the most subtle of aesthetics. The brand has even done away with the crown protector.

HYT wanted the H2 Tradition to be classical and easy to read, with the most subtle of aesthetics. The brand has even done away with the crown protector.

While this marriage of past and present is elegant, it was far from simple for the brand to execute. The watch’s manually-would movement, an exclusive mechanism produced for HYT by Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi, had to be reengineered extensively. The balance wheel had to be re-centred to make room for the minute dial, and this in-turn meant that huge chunks of the movement had to be re-designed.

Even the traditional finishing of the movement, in particular the diamond guilloché finish in rhodium-plated nickel silver on both sides, required that the main plate of the calibre had to be made a little thicker. The bridges too were modified, reconstructed, polished and hand-beveled but the results, based on the pictures we have, look impressive.

The incredible movement offers a power reserve of 192 hours.

The incredible movement offers a power reserve of 192 hours.

Like other HYT pieces, this is a chunky timepiece. In this instance, the H2 Tradition’s white gold and titanium case measures 48.8mm in diametre and 17.9mm in height. The watch also has a bit of a blue theme going on, with the capillary liquid, minute and second hands, and alligator strap working with the chunky dimensions to give the piece a catchy, bold look.

HYT will be at SIHH this year, and we’re sure you’ll be able to see the H2 Tradition (ref. 248-TW-10-BF-AB ) at the exhibition first hand. Limited to 50 pieces, the watch carries a retail price of approximately US $190,000.

You can see the HYT H2 Tradition in action in the video below.

To learn more about HYT, click here.

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