Liquid time: HYT’s new H0 line forms its own horological universe
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While the ‘D’ word – ‘disruptive’ – swiftly joined ‘iconic’ and ‘DNA’ for overuse, its application is justified when HYT employs it in a watch context. This is the brand that introduced wristwatches with hydraulic fluid displays, consisting of a minuscule-diameter circular tube surrounding the dial, filled with a luminous two-colour liquid that stops at the relevant hour mark. It must be the first hydro-mechanical mash-up since the water clock – and that dates back to the 16th century BCE.
HYT had to devise a system with a pair of unimaginably tiny bellows to pump the fluid. What it gave them, however, was an instantly-identifiable look, a perfect example of form following function. The bellows and liquid-filled tube define the watches’ layouts, however varied the styles or case shapes HYT may issue.
H0 Orange with titanium case, unstructured, fluid hour display dial and rubber strap with titanium deployant buckle
New for 2017 is the H0 line, arguably the best-looking range yet (though we’ll understand if you disagree because you fancy Axl Rose’s skull face HYT). Its lug-less case is reminiscent of Marc Newson’s Ikepods while other details recall Ressences, but the look is utterly fresh thanks to a dial covering all but the bellows.
HYT has prepared three versions, varying in colour schemes, and all are less cluttered than the more tech-y predecessors which reveal most of the structure. The H0’s mien is futuristic rather than steampunk – the attitude of the earlier models. The glass tube still encircles the dial to show the hours, with minutes indicated by a hand on a subdial at 12 o'clock and seconds with a small subdial at 9 o'clock. A cutaway at two o'clock shows the power reserve.