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HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

While I still can’t quite afford them, I continue to find the “hydro-mechanical” watches from Swiss HYT very cool and desirable. The newest limited-edition “fashion” models are known as the HYT H1 Colorblock and come in very limited numbers in red, yellow, or blue. Intentionally bold, people who look closely will notice that the prices for these watches are actually a bit lower than the HYT H1 was originally when aBlogtoWatch debuted it back in 2012 (here). That is good news, as well as a sign of the times when luxury watches prices are, finally, dropping.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

While retailers and brands that used to make windfall profits from sales at prices that some of us might consider “too high for the market to sustain,” those days are rapidly coming to an end. In fact, those days might be almost totally over already, but not everyone seems to have received the memo. The luxury watch industry continues to produce beautiful, cool stuff, but they are experiencing a deserved existential crisis when it comes to what they are making, who they are making it for, and how much they charge for it. As this trend continues, I anticipate a few things happening.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

First will be a softening of pricing as traditional manufacturer-to-retailer margins relax. Next will be a total overhaul of prices as watch brands sell directly to consumers, investing in marketing both offline and online with watch magazines like aBlogtoWatch. The question is what the formula will be for consumers like you to read about a product you like here and then contact the brand in order to buy one. I think you’ll agree with me that a lot of it comes down to pricing.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

Anyhow, this article was supposed to be about the HYT H1 Colorblock watch collection, so let’s get back to that. I think what works so well here is unabashed boldness. The H1 watch, and the HYT brand overall have always been about making a big statement. The core concept of the brand is to use liquid-based indicators to help express the time. In the H1 and most other HYT models, a thin sapphire crystal “capillary” is used in conjunction with a mechanical bellows system to move the liquid across a scale to indicate the hours. In these particular watches the liquid is black, but HYT also offers the liquid in colors such as green, red, blue, and perhaps a few others.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

The last HYT H1 watch I wrote about was very different from these light-weight titanium primary color characters. It was the HYT H1 Full Gold in solid 18k rose gold, and it represents a very different type of watch, in my opinion – for a different type of customer. That model is almost exactly twice the price of the HYT H1 Colorblock – so I think you know which one I would recommend, assuming you are like most luxury watch consumers these days in being price and value conscious. In other words, as much as I love precious metal… it is a sad time now to be gold.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

If you already own an HYT H1, I am not sure that this is a must-have addition to your collection, unless you particularly love these. I have to say that each time I get to put one on, I am happy. Not only is the large case deceptively comfortable, but it just looks so cool. This is what modern mechanical horology is all about. It values tradition, it encapsulates the spirit of traditional watchmaking technique, but it also injects a very healthy serving of all that is contemporary.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

Speaking of contemporary, “color block” is a fashion term that relates to a particular look where outfits are assembled from blocks of solid, bright, and totally contrasting colors. It is actually a sort of misnomer here because the watches are really only a “color block” when seen as a set (as contrasting colors). Individually, the colors are quite harmonious as the strap and dial accents clearly match. These would more accurately be color block watches if each strap segment were a different color, as well as the dial. It might be ugly as hell, but it would technically be a more accurate application of the term.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

The name aside, the red, yellow, and blue versions of the HYT H1 Colorblock limited-edition models are going to each have consumer appeal depending on your specific tastes. As I mentioned, I am partial to the yellow model. What I further appreciate is how HYT has continued to tweak and refine the H1 on a regular basis. Why not, right? It isn’t enough to just make new colors, but fundamentally playing with even little things like the scales for the time helps keep things fresh.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

The cases are 48.8mm wide and 17.9mm thick – just the right size for something with this much visual depth and assertive appeal. The HYT H1 Colorblock models are in a “gunmetal-toned,” PVD-coated titanium with a new fabric strap that HYT says is both allergen- and water-resistant (matched to a titanium buckle). Inside the watch is the HYT caliber H1 manually wound movement which remains a joy to look at and play with. Operating at 4Hz (28,800bph), it has 65 hours of power reserve and displays the hours via liquid indicator around the periphery of the dial, a traditional minute hand, a turbine-style subsidiary seconds dial, as well as a handy power reserve indicator.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

The design of the dial as well as the case itself reflect the space needs of the bellow system, but that is a good thing because there is a welcome level of view into the movement. There is also luminant on the dial, which is cool. Given that the liquid is black, there is a strip of Super-LumiNova behind it, as well as additional points of luminant on the dial. It’s a well-done design which feels both functional and highly artistic. It is of course in a different league and does not share the same level of durability, but I get a similar sort of joy wearing the HYT H1 Colorblock as I do from a boldly designed and colorful Casio G-Shock watch.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

On the rear of the case over the sapphire crystal is a “Colorblock” logo graphic that I could, frankly, live without. It doesn’t really add anything artistically, but I understand that brands like HYT want to help make their limited edition models as distinctive as possible. The most subdued version is the HYT H1 Colorblock blue, which will find a lot of love from men not comfortable with bright red or yellow, and who wear a lot of blue jeans.

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

HYT H1 Colorblock Limited Edition Watches In Red, Yellow, Or Blue Hands-On Hands-On

Fun and joyfully not for everyone, the HYT H1 Colorblock watches are each limited to just 10 pieces each. The collection is made up of the reference 148-TT-80-NF-FR in red, the reference 148-TT-80-NF-FY in yellow, and the reference 148-TT-80-NF-FB in blue. Price for each is $39,000. hytwatches.com

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  • Bill W

    The HYT is a clarion call…for all those fat-wristed 11-year-old millionaires out there…

  • laup nomis

    Fun, but definitely moon-touched. I like the clever movement, and the whole idea of a traditional balance wheel regulating a liquid system is bonkers.
    Maybe should have done a black one. I’d wear it for fun, but I couldn’t wear it as a daily wear.

    • I think that’s a good way to approach any HYT watch. Not your daily wear watch but something for fun it it kicks your wheels.

  • Bill W

    Picture #46 is a little too “migrainey” and picture #50 is a little too “murdery” for my tastes.

  • IanE

    Brash – but could challenge some, particularly ugly, G-Shocks for those who live in wall-to-wall cushioned environments and who never learnt what money is.

  • Bill W

    For all y’all extreme homo erecti out there, don’t take the obvious path and go Gorilla. Instead, consider HYT. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e972aad4f092b2aba9403f15723d920b8f7e5936719808a0c0f50ff681f39ee1.jpg HYT. Humans. Yetis. Together. Since 2014.

  • iividoc

    Who the heck makes a fun “fashion” series of 40k watches. It’s like ferrari coming up with the frivolous tutti fruity line….for 200k. Like all the other comments, for those who have no concept of money or other fine pieces that could be had for the same money even if one wanted to spend that.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Just,…………………………….Awful.

    • Bill W

      Would you say it’s an overpriced piece of sHYT?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Nothing to do with the price ( although with 40k to spend i would walk right passed these without a glace ).They are large , ugly, and garish.

  • goju1

    Straps look as though they won’t wear well.

  • Bill W

    I shudder to think what could happen to HYT’s desirability once those clumsy womenfolk started wearing these. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b13511f2d8b81755cfc1f1d8b1201e43d732a8f5f438f61568c8d3bf85be3eaf.gif

  • It just dawned on me that the company’s name isn’t a set of initials, but is instead meant to be pronounced phonetically as “Height”. As in “The height of technology,” or the “Height of fashion”.

    I’m probably completely wrong, but there’s not much else to say about a piece that looks like Kikuo Ibe channeling Piet Mondrian.

    • Bill W

      So it’s not sHYT. It’s sHYTe. Got it.

  • Bill W

    Limited Edition? Strap one of these on and it will be more like unlimited a-douche-in’.

    • Ariel Adams

      You are being pretty unduly harsh on these watches. I understand that they are expensive and that it means a lot of people won’t be able to wear them. But you are making unnecessary value judgements about the people who wear them and like them. If you don’t like them aesthetically that is fine, but I am going to ask you right now to stay making qualitative remarks about design that merely reflects your personal taste. It turns off other commentors from participating, creates a less than inviting environment, and doesn’t appreciably add to the discussion of this or other watches. Thanks for your passion, but please consider being productive in your commentary.

      • Bill W

        It was a joke, a play on words, not a value judgment. And not to be combative but I doubt that I’m driving other commenters away. But if you’d like I’ll delete it.

  • Bill W

    I can’t tell with the way the threads have been going lately if we were to cover this whole watch with a big date window whether that would be horologically criminal or a welcome relief.

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Very good review Mr. Adams. I would never consider one of these, but now I know quite a lot more about them.
    A “lume” shot would be a good addition to the piece. And, it appears that the Yellow model is best for actual legibility.

    • Ariel Adams

      If you click on the link to the article with the gold one there is a lume shot I took which more or less represents what this one will look like in the dark.

  • Adam Young

    I like them. The bold colours are well suited to the bold design and technology of the watches, and as for the price? Yeah more than I could afford, but on a technical and mechanical level (which is one of the main levels I enjoy mechanical watches) there’s a lot of very nice custom mechanics going into this so you’re getting something for your money. With my budget, however I’ll stick to a G-Shock.
    My favourite is the blue one, and I would have liked to see ABTW swap the coloured straps between the watches for the true Colour Block look. Though I imagine HYT would have been a bit peeved if the lugs of their 10 piece limited edition got scratched up by a springbar tool 🙂

  • Bill W

    Lego called and they DON’T want their watch back. “You can keep it. And don’t even ask us how to service that thing.”

  • ??????

    I have hard time seeing the technological marvel of these watches which they definitely embrace. I just cannot see it because of the design: they look like fun cheap watches to me, like Swatches or G-Shocks. So when I see 40k price tag – I get confused even understanding that its because of the unique approach and technological originality. But really – can you compare these with golden Patek Philippe from the previous article? I believe its whether you’re more desperate (adventurous?) inside or more conservative (traditional?).

    P.S. But I cannot forgive such poor lume application at the price point!!! Just look at it closer.

  • BNABOD

    drop a zero and you might actually see one in the wild one day. Seriously though, the liquid filled thing is entertaining but one cannot see it. If you are going to do this go bold and make the liquid stand out. The movement side is decent until they slapped that ugly color block sticker thing. I will speculate that these things will fall out of fashion (assuming they every were in at some point) and disappear in the abyss of the watch industry. Just don’t see 40K anything even tech wise in them.
    one more thing, HYT you want to use liquid then put regular numerals all around the dial then using the same mechanism fill up the numeral you want w liquid to represent the hour. that would be better in my view than the ring of goo going around.

  • Marius

    As the Pontiff AC3 eloquently argued: “A shitter watch will always be a shitter.”
    The big problem, though, is that this watch is not even a shitter — it`s a shitter`s shitter.

    For more information on HYT watches, please check out Archie`s latest video: LIFE AND DEATH IN BANGKOK – Tuk Tuk Ride In The Rain.

    • Bill W

      I do appreciate that they used a polished eyelet catheter for the time indicator. It’s the more expensive choice and shows that HYT doesn’t skimp on materials.

    • Berndt Norten

      Yes Arch is in “Bangers” at the moment. See his recent vid, “Conversation with a Madman.” No, it’s not an introspective, it’s Archie toying with some wayward man apparently trying to sell him some lifestyle-enhancing book. Avant-garde. That Arch–he’s the Man Ray of our times.

  • Bill W

    I could see the Biebs wearing two of these at the same time. The ketchup and mustard look.

  • Lol these have certainly upset people!

    I love HYT, and while these editions have quite rightly been criticized for their power-ranger/Lego/fashion slant, and the markings on the caseback crystal are a visual nuisance, I STILL have not grown tired of seeing these things pop up in every colourway of the rainbow. When you reinvent the wheel I think you deserve to milk the cow on big-bang levels. I personally would have kept the variants much lower and continued to focus on new displays and movements on a 2-4yr cycle.

  • Omegaboy

    No one’s commented yet on the droplets of liquid that have broken free in the capillary tube. You can see them in the close ups of the red version. They make it look cheap, and also cause me to wonder what happens if you happen to drop the watch, even if onto carpet. Does the mass of liquid break up into pieces? I still puzzle over how to read time between 5:30 and 6:30.

    • Thanks. The droplets were the topic of my next question.

    • Very good spot, and that is not good.

      Re the time reading I recommend you check out: https://youtu.be/lHjw-h7axL8

      It’s pretty easy (and fun) to tell the exact time throughout.

    • laup nomis

      The blue one in the picture beneath, has an air gap then another ~2mm black liquid. You’re right it looks terrible and cheap. There must be a way to sort it out because it would be too irritating to wear. Its like a bezel that clicks half way between second markers.

      • Maybe those kinds of problems are sorted out during routine oil changes?

        • I read through the instruction manual for these a while back, because, well because that’s just something I do ok!?
          The liquid indicator is sensitive to a combination of force and temperature, that’s why some of them had thermal indicators. The rule in the manual is that you need to wear it for a few minutes to get it to body temp before you change the time.
          My theory is that these specific models have been doing the rounds with the press and many people have been messing with them when the liquid is sub-optimal temp. It’s just like messing with a repeater when it is chiming, or using too much force with a Ressence and screwing the transmission.
          Long story short, when the instructions are followed this would not be a problem and you can be sure it would be something that the warranty would cover – so do go ahead and buy one now…

          • You bet ya Ryan! Now all I have to do is find someone in Texas who sells them. 🙂 Thanks for the detailed explanation.

          • laup nomis

            Okay, cheque in the post 🙂

  • I don’t have any experience with these watches. So pardon a basic question.

    Is this watch telling me the time is 2:10 ‘ish?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/26769e6078bb60b65ba34dc3540769aa09a88f9fab746c7912cc6154e7af3dd8.jpg

    • Raymond Wilkie

      What fun ! For $40,000…….You have to guess the time.

      • And with a $100,000 watch, your guess will be wrong!

    • It’s 2:11. Pretty straight forward when you get the hang of it.

  • Berndt Norten

    When this company goes bankrupt, as it will in our lifetimes, who ya gonna call? Who’s going to fix these toys? I suppose it’s not a pressing concern of HYT’s clientele! Liquid in your watch? That don’t impress me too much.

    • Bill W

      Thanks, Shania. “So you’ve got a car…” 🙂

      • Berndt Norten

        Well, she does live in… Switzerland!

    • Bill W

      So the answer to your first question is Wristbusters.

  • DanW94

    I like HYT for it’s unique approach to telling the time, but it seems it’s singularity of mechanical design could ultimately be its undoing. You can only bellow the same song (save different case materials, colors and novelty skull editions), from the rooftops so many times before people start to tune you out. I suppose they’re in way to deep financially and otherwise to table (at least temporarily) the hydro-mechanical concept and try something different? That being said, I love their H2 Tradition watch and would gladly wear it, so what the hell do I know….

    • I think they have their movement making spun off into a separate company. Probably in hope of doing “hydro-mechanical” for others at lower price points down the road. And I know they are working to make the bellows system smaller which is a good thing as it may allow for smaller models or what I’m really hoping for – a liquid minutes indicator. While these color blocks are a bit bright for my tastes, I do admire that they cracked a tough nut technically from day one and are continuing to develop the tech (even though it doesn’t show in these references). These are funky and large watches. But like Ariel, said, you put one on and it makes you smile. Sure it may not be the most practical watch, but its so amusing to wear – even if only for a few minutes at BaselWorld.

  • David Wallace

    Did I read the price right or did someone add a zero my mistake?

  • Shawn Lavigne

    those straps sure look frayed.

    • Bill W

      Frayed of what? Offering value?

      • Shawn Lavigne

        check out the straps closely and you’ll see that the material is fraying. perhaps this is the nature of the material but it is unsightly.

      • Omegaboy

        They’ve been stone-washed to go with frayed $250 jeans.

  • SuperStrapper

    I saw a banner ad here showing these and knew an article was coming soon. I think they are well executed and interesting. I actually think the vivid colour options thing is better done here than on the Omegas from last week. I don’t like how only the red one is ‘all red’ and the yellow/blue variants hav red accents on the dial. It only hurts the appearance as far as I see it.

    • Yeah, I noticed the non-replaced red on the blue and yellow ones right off too.

  • I find that these look cheap and toy like. The colored portions look like plastic, and the straps look poor. I don’t understand the “market” for this sort of thing. I guess it’s the same sort of fellow that puts a stupid “8-bit” Nyan cat graphic on his Ferrari. Which I also don’t understand. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2dbd48bef7a09bb78bed4b727f98d8b45f7e13fba88586facf4778b55e9ce747.jpg

    • awildermode

      Agree. They do look cheap and plastic like.

    • Kuroji

      That’s Deadmau5, and it’s an easily removed vinyl wrap.

      • I know who he is. The point being people with pre-adolescent tastes do child like things with their money.

        • Kuroji

          Musicians are strange people. In any case, this was done on a lark for a rally, not because he thought it looks great and wants Nyan Cat on his 458. Your argument is specious.

          • http://jalopnik.com/ferrari-sent-deadmau5-a-cease-and-desist-about-his-purr-1627640534

            What argument? My opinion is that the car and watch both look ridiculous, and he’d be the type of “strange” person who’d think this watch is neat-o. If you indeed feel that the car / watch don’t look childish, then yes, I suppose we’ll have divergent opinions.

          • Kuroji

            And as a world famous EDM musician, what will you be putting on your rally car? It was all worth it just for the video of him driving crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford to Tim Horton’s.

  • WINKS

    The Swiss are discovering crayons…!

  • Ulysses31

    How to make a mechanical work of art look like a plastic toy turd in three easy colours. Drop the toy-look, bring back the dignity.

  • cg

    What! No Green?

  • Kuroji

    The first HYT I don’t like.

  • Larry Holmack

    An April Fools watch article in October???? Or is this on October surprise??? I don’t know…but $39 grand for this thing??? They look more like the toy watches we kept in the classroom to teach the kids how to tell time when I was working with Autistic children back in 2006-2009.

  • Yojimbo

    $38500 too much, but I’m sure it will be popular in the Hamptons

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