HYT H1 Hydro Mechanical Watch

HYT H1 Hydro Mechanical Watch

Allow me to officially debut liquid timekeeping to you. I teased the HYT H1 watch here recently by showing off the movement and the teaser video (more images there too). Now I can show you the full watch and discuss all that it is. In short, the HYT (Hydro Mechanical Horologists) brand will be dedicated to producing watches with liquid in them. The debut model is called the H1.

HYT CEO Vincent Perriard called the first "new" Concord watch the C1 when he was the CEO there a few years ago. There is a lot of similarity here in terms of the modernist conceptualization and presentation of the concept. Though the H1 is something altogether new. The watch uses a liquid filled chamber to display the hours using luminescent green goo in a circular tube. Two bellows are used to push and pull the liquid to show the time on the scale. These bellows are operated by the movement. The minutes are displayed in the center of the face with a dedicated dial, and there is a water turbine style subsidiary seconds hand to the left of it. On the right is a power reserve indicator for the mechanical movement.

Nothing like this has been done before. HYT claims that there are seven pending patents for this watch alone. The brand worked with a number of consultants to produce the movement. They have fancy names like Preciflex and Chronode - and are among the elite group of horological engineers in Switzerland that are able to make stuff like this a reality. This is probably one of the most interesting watches to view while adjusting the time.

Pistons in the movement move the bellows. As one expands the other one compresses which moves the liquid. The green colors comes from "fluorescein" which I am going to venture to say is not safe to drink. According to HYT the watch is designed with as much shock protection as possible to ensure the systems are kept safe and that you can wear the watch as normal.

The HYT H1 is a pretty sizable watch. Wear this and you'll get noticed for sure. Especially by the TSA while traveling in the airport. Anyone other than an elite group of watch lovers around the world are going to be mesmerized by this mechanonaut on your wrist.

Coming in three case styles the H1 will be available in titanium, DLC black coated titanium, and 18k red gold. The case will be 48.8mm wide and a pretty massive 17.9mm thick. Actually that is small considering it has bellows in it. Design-wise the case reminds me a lot of the Clerc Hydroscaph. It isn't a 1:1 clone by any means, but if you compare the two you will see obvious design influences. Then there is the rubber-coated crown and the crown protector. It looks a lot like the crown and crown protector layout on the Bremont Supermarine watch. Nothing wrong with that, it is just interesting to see where the HYT team gathered influence to make this otherwise very unique creation.

The movement has a power reserve of 65 hours and is visible through the rear of the watch. I think it looks very nice and the functions are acceptable given the complexity of the liquid system as well as the price of the watch. This is going to be a cool watch to get some hands-on time with at Baselworld 2012. Price was surprisingly not uber-crazy. The HYT H1 in titanium will be priced at $45,000. No word yet on the price in 18k red gold.

Technical data from HYT:

Movement:           mechanical hand-wound, exclusive HYT calibre, 28,800 vph, 4 Hz, 35 jewels, bridges hand-chamfered and adorned with Côtes de Genève, rhodiumed bellows, 65-hour power reserve

Functions               retrograde fluid hours, minutes, seconds

Case:                     titanium; diameter: 48.8 mm, thickness: 17.9 mm brushed, bead-blasted and satin-brushed finish

rubber-clad screw-lock crown

titanium crown guard

screw-locked added lugs

metal dome at 06:00

cambered sapphire crystal with glareproofed interior

screw-down sapphire back

Dial:                       unstructured, silver-toned opaline

fluid hours, luminescent hands and hour-markers regulator at 12:00

small seconds wheel at 09:30

power-reserve indicator at 02:30

Strap:                     hand-sewn leather-lined canvas, pin buckle

Other versions:      black DLC-coated titanium case, black subdial

5N 18K red gold case, black subdial

  • Eric S

    Ariel, do you have any video footage to share of this in action? And there is no mention of it being water proof. Why? Lastly, regarding the TSA, those shmucks checked my 1-year-old son’s diaper, while he was wearing it! Never in a million years would I try to take this on a plane in America.

    • cshepley

      @Eric S From looking at the pictures, the case back claims 100m water resistance.

      • Eric S

        @cshepley Good catch! Your eyesight is much better than mine. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • cluedog12

      @Eric S From what I can see, liquid volume is less than 3.4 ounces, so I imagine you could get this watch though security unless you are stereotyped.

      • AtSeaWatch

        @cluedog12 @Eric S
        It may be less than 3.4 ounces, but it looks like a bomb from a 60s spy movie and is the size of a landmine. You’re not getting on a plane with that.

      • AtSeaWatch

        @cluedog12 @Eric S
        It may be less than 3.4 ounces, but it looks like a bomb from a 60s spy movie and is the size of a landmine. You’re not getting on a plane with that.

        • andyksimmons

          @AtSeaWatch

          If you can afford this watch, you can afford your own private plane.

  • Kris C

    Wow, that’s just way too cool. I want to see some actual pictures.

  • cshepley

    I’m amazed that this is a watch within reach of a much greater swath of the population than most crazy horological inventions. Before getting to the bottom of the article, I was thinking, “Oh, great, but another 400k watch I could never afford”. 45k is not cheap by any means, but I could actually save up over a few years and afford this, not a few decades.

  • shinytoys

    Yes, I want one…

  • MichaelG

    Allow me to gather my thoughts after witnessing these pictures and understanding the concept behind them…

  • gojiB

    love it and love the pricing too.. however, what’s the point of a seconds wheel if there isn’t a marker…. seems a bit retarted….

  • CG

    Wow! very neat…. hopefully some of this technology will filter down to us mere human consumers with normal wrist size…. where there is fluid there grows bacteria…

  • JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

    45k isnt bad, though I would imagine it would look like you’ve got a double cheeseburger strapped to your wrist.

  • JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

    I found a small marketing video of the watch in action if anyone cares: http://youtu.be/6zn1fTtbp84

    It kind of reminds me of the movie Wild Wild West with Will Smith and Kevin Kline, for some reason.

  • nateb123

    I like the idea but the minutes dial looks like a Fossil Twist. Just gross design-wise.

  • thesixthsun

    how much will this watch cost?

    • andyksimmons

      @thesixthsun It’s in the article above, US$ 45,000.

  • _mi_ni

    @Gazyu ???????????????

    • Gazyu

      @_mi_ni 45000?????????????400??????????

      • _mi_ni

        @Gazyu ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????(?)

  • miyagawa_t

    @t_arika ???(?^?)?

  • MichalMihalo

    woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowwww nice nice watch

  • http://www.bellowsandgaiters.com/ machine bellows

    According to a description quoted by Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing, “Pistons in the movement move the bellows. As one expands the other one compresses which moves the green Fluorescein liquid. Fluorescein even has applications in forensics to detect latent blood stains but this is likely a first and only use in horology!”

  • Perci

    I have
    seen such bellows in industrial applications, But, it is an innovative idea
    with small flexible bellows to prove that analog watches are still the best. http://www.avbellows.com/bellows-elevatingplatform.php

  • Pingback: HYT H1 Air RC44 Watch Unveiled In Porto Cervo | aBlogtoWatch()