Marvel comic villains looking for a dramatic statement piece used to measure the countdown to interplanetary destruction will be pleased to learn of the newly announced HYT Skull Pocket Watch – a wild reinterpretation of the humble pocketwatch that would have its inventor, clockmaker Peter Henlein, rolling in his Nuremberg grave.

In somewhat self-congratulatory fashion, the Skull Pocket is being called “groundbreaking” and “unexpected” by its creator, co-founder of HYT Vincent Perriard. But he’s not entirely wrong, either. Characterized by the Swiss watchmaker’s faceted skull centerpiece, this highly “interpretive” pocket watch marries HYT’s signature fluid-based time-telling technology with a self-powered mechanical light source, yielding a sinister, yet wildly creative twist on the annuls of traditional watchmaking. Innovative? Not entirely, especially when compared to past HYT wrist-mounted offerings featuring the same emblematic skull motif, like the Skull Bad Boy. But wicked? Delightfully.

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Before diving into what’s actually new with the Skull Pocket Watch… we should quickly review what makes HYT’s offerings special. At the heart of each creation is a hand-cranked, HYT-developed mechanical caliber (the guts of which are visible through the watch’s sapphire glass caseback) that hums along at the traditional 28,800Vph (4Hz) and carries a 65-hour power reserve. But instead of driving a traditional handset, this retrograde movement uses a bellows-like mechanism to push a green fluid through a capillary around the skull indicating the time by the corresponding luminous numbers in the outer bezel. Like other HYT Skull watches, the slow-moving fluid indicates only the hours on the HYT Skull Pocket – not that useful for counting down to plans of apocalyptic destruction after all.

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However, the Skull Pocket is also packing an interesting feature: a fully mechanical LED illumination system that operates without a battery as we saw in the HYT H4 that we went hands-on with here. Granted, this isn’t exactly revolutionary technology per se, but it’s a definite departure within haute horology. Over 80 highly miniaturized components comprise the LED lights’ generator and power-storing unit, specially designed to fit inside the watch’s curved, 59mm case. Once the generator is powered up, the push-piece at 4:30 activates two blue LEDs positioned at 6:00, bathing the skull in an eerie blue light – an effect that lasts for a full five seconds, after which the dynamo needs to be manually re-charged by turning the same crown at 4:30.

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Rather than reverse-engineer an existing case, HYT designed an entirely new case for the HYT Skull Pocket Watch, opting for a DLC-coated titanium that’s as stealthy and lightweight as the size and incredulity of the design might allow. Probably about the only design cue on the HYT Skull Pocket reminiscent of a traditional pocket watch is the cover (and the chain, but we’ll get back to that in a moment) – which hinges at 12:00 after being released via the raised rider tab at 6:00. Speaking of the aforementioned, should your nefarious plans actually include carrying this thing around, the Skull Pocket is finished with a faceted titanium chain – a veritable metallic “spine” that can be easily attached to the villainous costume or adamantium exoskeleton of its owner – assuming there’s a pocket into which it can be stashed.

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The HYT Skull Pocket will be made in an extremely limited run of only eight pieces, and you’ll need more than just a great costume and dreams of world domination – you’ll also need the bankroll of a super-villain to be able to add one to your collection, at a price of $115,000 (same price in CHF/EUR/USD). hytwatches.com

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