March 1, 2015
by Ariel Adams
At Baselworld 2015, HYT (the hydromechanical horologists) will present their third major new release – the HYT H3. A few months ago, HYT presented the Skull watch (here), which, while being a new watch, was closely aligned with the original HYT H1 (hands-on here). Unique, weird, and controversial, the HYT Skull was merely a fun distraction from what would be the main attraction for 2015 – this new HYT H3 timepieces. In a nutshell, this 25-piece limited edition watch in titanium & platinum that will have a linear liquid indicator for the hours along a rotating cubic linear hour scale, along with a retrograde minute hand.
HYT is clearly friendly with fellow Geneva-based futuristic high-end micro-brands such as MB&F, Urwerk and others. While the H3 resembles the DNA HYT has already been adept at developing, you see a lot of references to their industry colleagues in the design of the H3 watch and its more angular rectangular-shaped case that is 62mm wide by 41mm tall. Sitting wide on the wrist, the HYT will offer unparalleled visibility into its exclusive mechanical movement which was developed in collaboration with APRP (Audemars Piguet, Renaud & Papi). APRP also worked with the company for the movement in the lovely and very cool HYT H2 watch (hands-on here).
The HYT H3 dial will display the time in a 24-hour versus 12-hour format. To understand how the time is read, you need to realize that all 24 hours are put on a line of six cubes that turn each six hours to display a new row of numbers. This is viewed in junction with the liquid indicator bar which moves thanks to the bellows system that can be seen at the top right and left of the movement. A pusher on the side of the case manually turns the row of hour marker cubes to help set the time. Under the hour indicator area is a view of the balance wheel to the left and a retrograde minute indicator to the center-right. Further right is a function indicator that changes as you pull out the crown.
The mechanical movement inside of the HYT H3 watch is manually wound and will offer about 170 hours of power reserve. There is a power reserve indicator visible on the rear of the case on the movement. No doubt that this new HYT design will prove just as controversial as their past high-end watch releases, but, at the end of the day, will work to vulcanize the brand’s many fans.
I was personally hoping that the third major watch from HYT would make ever more use of the innovative system that uses liquid in the thin tubes to indicate the time. I thought it would be very cool to have liquid indicators for both the hours and minutes. The HYT H3 seems to actually use less liquid than previous models such as the HYT H1 and H2 which use longer, curved liquid indicator tubes. Perhaps the HYT H4 watch will prove to be more “wet.”
I also look forward to seeing the various version of the HYT H3 watch that HYT will release such as those with different liquid colors, as well as being offered in various metals such as titanium, 18k white and rose gold, platinum, as well as black-coated metals. For now, this initial version of the HYT H3 watch is a case that uses both titanium and platinum elements with green liquid and will be part of a limited edition set of just 25 pieces. I also understand that for 2015 there will be a platinum version of the HYT H3 available (also limited to 25 pieces). This is also the more expensive HYT watch made so far. The price of the HYT H3 watch in titanium is 280,000 Swiss Francs (currently about $292,000 USD). hytwatches.com
H3 Watch Tech Specs From HYT: