June 22, 2019
by Ariel Adams
For 2019, the Swiss brand Hysek introduces an interesting new member of the IO watch collection family with the Hysek IO Double Orbitale. Hysek is one of the rare brands that produces many of its components itself, including the movements. This gives the brand a large amount of freedom when it comes to crafting unique time displays and other complications. The focus of the IO Double Orbitale is to present a distinctive and visually compelling display for the time, combining a traditional jumping hours window with a new type of hand — the “double-orbital” hand, if you will.
Let me also say that one of the uncommon elements of the jumping hour display is that it is based not on a 12-hour format but a 24-hour format. I don’t know for sure, but I can’t think of any other 24-hour/ jumping hour timepieces out there. An interesting visual trick is how the hour digits appear to “float” off the dial a bit in the window. This is because the hours are printed on a transparent disc and because the top of the hour window is actually slightly recessed. Around the periphery for the dial is a traditional minutes hand, but one that points inward to a minute track as opposed to the traditional pointing outwards of most minute hands. The minute hand is also interesting because built into it is a petite seconds hand. The double-orbital(e) name of this IO collection watch has to do with the case, in which the minute hand orbits the dial, while within it is a small orbiting seconds hand. Why do this? Because it looks cool, of course, and offers an inspired visual animation when looking at the watch dial.
The movement inside the IO Double Orbitale is the in-house-made Hysek caliber HW63 automatic. It has an impressive visual architecture that benefits from using a micro-rotor, as well as having a distinctive form of skeletonization on the bridges. I further like that, even though the movement applies traditional mechanical techniques, it also has a modern look that mimics the overall modern design ethos of the brand, which started with the original brand founder, Mr. Jorg Hysek.
The HW63 movement has a power reserve of 50 hours and operates at 4Hz. It is produced from 265 parts, and some people might actually prefer looking at it through the sapphire crystal caseback versus the watch dial, itself. Speaking of the dial, Hysek debuts the IO Double Orbital with two dial colors in black or white. The black dial is actually perforated, which offers a slight view of the mechanical movement sitting right underneath it. The white dial has a more geometric patternand is paired with a purple hand and matching strap. It is actually quite unisex in its design, as a matter of fact.
What is also impressive about the IO Double Orbitale is the thin nature of the case. The IO collection case is 43mm-wide by just 10mm-thick. Even though it is a traditional round-shaped case, a series of small details around the case give it a lot of character, including the bezel and lug design. This IO case is water resistant to 30 meters and is offered in either 18k rose gold or polished titanium. The two dial colors are offered in both the titanium and 18k rose-gold case material options. Attached to the cases is an alligator strap with Hysek’s own style of fold-over deployant clasp.
Hysek as a brand is not new, but it has generally focused on its retail business and not as much on media. That means a lot of watch enthusiasts may have not heard about it, but this luxury watchmaker should be on the radar of any collector who wants something well-made and original that doesn’t fit the mold of most “standard” high-end mechanical watches. Price for the IO Double Orbitale watch is $29,600 USD in titanium and $36,800 USD in 18k rose gold. Visit hysek.com to learn more.