There is something reminiscent of some fantastical mad science about HYT, and it is an image which, if anything, the company postively plays up to and which also suits their brand of mysterious wizardry right down to the ground. The charismatic CEO Vincent Perriard positively exudes the image of the boffin-like scientist, and the wonderful timepieces created by master watch-alchemists Bruno Moutarlier and Jean-François Mojon are a mixture of futuristic concept and science-fiction-esque design.
Since first breaking cover – and completely new ground – only a couple of years ago in 2012 with their award winning H1, we have had plenty of time to become familiar with its seemingly other-worldly workings, yet still, each time we see it, our ingrained horlogic perceptions are challenged, and its array of unusual components stretch the imagination as we wrestle with the alien technology on display before us.
Iceberg ahead !
Just announced is a new, 50-piece limited edition HYT H1 Iceberg, made in a 48.8mm titanium case with intricately brushed, shot blasted and satin-finished surfaces, a cambered sapphire crystal and a transparent exhibition caseback.
The main point of notice however is that in a departure from the luminescent green available of previous H1 models, the new H1 Iceberg sports a crystal clear azure blue liquid coarsing through its transparent glass vein as it circulates around the edge of the dial, marking the passage of hours as it passes above the hour indices, before being forced backwards by an invisible viscous fluid at 17.59.59, in classic retrograde fashion, retreating to its ‘zero’ point, hidden beneath the titanium tab at 6 o’clock.
Such is the minute attention to detail and the obsessive pursuit of perfection that even the aqueous blue fluid here has been almost two years in the making to nail precisely that particular hue, which has been inspired by the colours of the clear blue sky and the sea.
HYT HI Icerberg – Bright ice
Elsewhere, the dial is much lighter in colour than we have seen before thanks to the icy shot peen finish, which sharply accentuates the blue of the fluid and detail under the small seconds wheel at the 9 and the power reserve scale near the 2. The regulator dial in palladium grey hovers dominantly in the upper hemisphere, and beneath the bellows, which ‘exhale’ slowly over 60 minutes and ‘inhale’ rapidly in the hourly retrograde phase, are lightened with rhodium plating.
Viewed through the reverse, the meticulous finishing by hand of every surface, using various time consuming techniques, makes for almost as engaging a vista for the technophobe as the frontal aspect is for all. The movement’s dual personality is visible with classic horlogic traits such as perfect chamfering and Côtes de Gèneve decorating the upper mechanical section and a sharper, almost industrial effect given to the fluid’s hydraulic propulsion elements downstairs.
The HYT H1 Iceberg is available on either a white rubber or blue gummy aligator strap with titanium tang buckle. The HYT H1 Iceberg is a limited edition of 50 pieces, and will be available from the end of August 2014 for € 52.000 Euro.