HYT - H1 Black DLC
HYT - H1 Black DLC

H1 Black DLC

HYT | 54'000 € Tax inc.

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The fluidic revolution !

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H1 : HYDRO MECHANICS

We knew about clepsydras or water clocks. The oldest found thus far dates back to the age of the pharaohs. It took 3400 years to overcome the force of gravity and indicate the time with a liquid in a mechanical wristwatch. Many have dreamt of it – HYT has done it.
The principle
An encounter between Fine Watchmaking and fluid mechanics. One might say a utopia. Shattering all certainties, steamrollering conformity, the idea that led to the H1 was simple and consisted of two flexible reservoirs fixed to each end of a capillary. In one was an aqueous liquid filled with fluorescein, and in the other, a transparent viscous liquid. To keep them separate: the repulsive force of the molecules in each liquid, with a meniscus to mark the boundary between the two.
The two reservoirs at 06:00. While the first compresses, the second expands, and the other way round, resulting in the movement of the liquid in the capillary. As the hours go by, the fluorescent liquid advances. The meniscus, in the shape of a half moon, marks the breaking point with the other fluid in the tube, indicating the time. At 18:00, the fluorescent liquid comes back to its original position, going backwards. The secret that gets the reservoirs going? Two bellows made of a highly resistant, flexible electro-deposited alloy, each driven by a piston. And this is where watchmaking comes in to activate the system.
A mechanical movement to activate the hydro system
Orchestrated by Bruno Moutarlier, alongside Jean-François Mojon and his Chronode SA team, a mechanical movement is situated in the upper part of the watch, and propels a cam, which pushes the piston and activates the bellows.
The main challenge lay in finding an interface between the mechanical movement and the hydro system in a closed, waterproof circuit – a task further complicated by the limited space available to house them both. They had to be assembled separately to keep them independent, and then made to operate simultaneously. This is a highly delicate modular integration, which involves other constraints, such as the installation of the dial in two parts, through the sides.
From concept to reality: the convergence of two worlds with a common aim
While the basic idea is simple, realising it is highly complex. Led by Bruno Moutarlier, two teams worked together. On the watchmaking front were Jean-François Mojon and his supporting team at Chronode. Working on the fluid operation was Preciflex, the patent registration company created by the founders of HYT – Patrick Berdoz, Lucien Vouillamoz and Emmanuel Savioz. Supporting Preciflex was Helbling Technik, from the medical world, where fluid motion is used in certain treatments. An incredible human adventure that propelled two worlds in principle at odds with each other towards a new joint era – that in which a unique technology would rock not only watchmaking but also medtech, because the pump system would lead the way for brand-new applications in that field.
 
Step 1: develop liquids that obey a set of watchmaking specifications. Colour, homogenous texture, resistant to vibrations, shocks and temperature changes, no alteration in the long term, foolproof water resistance. Needs that require the development of a number of innovations. Up till now, seven patents have been registered for the technology and one for the design. This was a steep plunge into the unknown, which led to technical watch- making feats bordering on nanotechnologies.
Mastering the energy requirements
Hydraulic force means pressure. When the fluorescein-loaded liquid has done a complete round and gets to 06:00 – 18:00, the issuing pump compresses, while the bellows receiver expands, generating resistance and consequently an increased energy requirement. To fix this, Preciflex developed revolutionary bellows made from an extremely fine alloy and which are highly supple and resistant. They are in fact inspired by the sensors used by NASA and their design had to be adapted to watchmaking requirements. Their specially researched shape allows for the reduction of energy required for their compression, absorbs shocks and ensures rock solid waterproofing.
Metaphysics of fluids
During the entire development process, alongside the engineering, the amounts of liquid were the focus of great attention. Every microlitre counts, and the total volume in the closed circuit is extremely precise, as the system has to have a nanotechnology-worthy level of water resistance. Due to the unusual link between the crown and the liquid, a special time-setting system was designed in order to avoid the liquid moving around too fast and damaging the meniscus.
An emotional accelerator
The taut, aggressive design by Sébastien Perret dictates the testosterone-laden nature of the H1. A completely non-standard construction. Three-dimensional architecture viewed just as well from the front as from the side or three-quarters through a sculptural 5mm sapphire crystal carved from the block, itself topped by a dome at 6 o’clock imposing its own rules. Particles of fluorescein spring from it, like sparks flying off the passing hours. The industrious pistons and bellows converge toward it. The apparently unstructured upper part of the watch dictates a geometric design composed of strata and reliefs. In the centre sits the minute regulator, overlapped by a spectacular small seconds display resembling a water wheel. At 02.30, a 65-hour power-reserve hand indicates the remai- ning energy available across three arcs of a circle. And meanwhile, the fluids follow their course around the case. This “monster” measuring 48.8 mm in diameter and 17.9 mm thick nonetheless sits impressively lightly and well on the wrist. The notches in its caseband visually extend the applied baignoire-type hour-markers, while the crown dovetails at 02:30, as is thrust against the case by its sturdy crown guard.
Case : titanium in black DLC with brushed, shot-peened and satin-finished surfaces

Technical specifications

Case :
  • diameter: 48.8 mm
  • thickness:17.9 mm
  • rubber-clad screw-lock crown
  • crown guard
  • screw-locked added lugs
  • metal dome at 06:00
  • cambered sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating on the inside
  • screw-down sapphire back
  • water-resistant to 100 meters.
Functions :
  • retrograde fluid hours; minutes, seconds
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
Dial :
  • unstructured, fluid hours
  • black dial, grey indexes and numerals, grey minute hands
  • luminescent hand and hour-markers
  • regulator at 12:00
  • small seconds wheel at 09:30
  • power-reserve indicator at 02:30
Strap :
  • rubber, titanium black DLC pin buckle
Ref. :
  • 148-DL-21-GF-RU
 

Who's who

FLUID TIME

 

HYT was born of a question. Time flows and only gains meaning through content. So why limit its measurement to indicating the now in splendid isolation, with needle-sharp hands or fleeting digital displays?  Determined that its rebellion should make statements and waves, a multi-disciplinary think-tank set out to create timepieces that visibly connect the past, present and future. The HYT answer is a watch that overcomes the force of gravity to indicate the passage of time with liquids. Highly advanced technology took its cue from philosophy to mirror time’s intrinsic fluidity. 

 

The rest is history. To be precise, it’s history that began 3,400 years ago with the Clepsydras, or water clocks, of the Pharaohs. These so-called “water thieves” transported H2O from one container to another to measure elapsed or “stolen” time. This meaningful visualization of the transition of time seemingly disappeared until 2012, when HYT broke new scientific ground, inventing a wristwatch integrating a patented fluidic module. A colored liquid documents the recent past; a transparent fluid indicates the foreseeable future. Their meeting point is a meniscus, aka the now.

 

Today HYT is an ecosystem that unites science, hi-technology, philosophy, art and design. Based in Neuchâtel, at the heart of the traditional Swiss watchmaking region, a dedicated team of 43 individuals makes liquid time real time. Their radical wristwatches harmoniously incorporate a mechanical watch movement as the trigger to the fluid propulsion. They make total sense of time – time and time again. 

 

 

MAKING SENSE OF TIME

 

For HYT, technology is the stuff that dreams are made of. Dreaming of visibly linking the past, present and future and of defying gravity set the bar high. Today’s reality is a watch that breaks new scientific ground, measuring time’s passage with a patented fluidic module that took 15 years of inspiration to develop. HYT timepieces are portable hubs of technical firsts and fascinations, dedicated to making sense of time in the twenty-first century. Radical is the new relevant.

 

Liquid timekeeping is the HYT answer to capturing time’s flow and context as opposed to an isolated current moment. Two bellows, with walls four times finer than a human hair, form the engine of the fluid module. As each one compresses or expands, it releases or receives one of two immiscible liquids, one colored and one transparent. These correspond to elapsed or imminent time respectively. Advanced chemistry was the mentor for the in-house development of a liquid dye with the required visibility, esthetics, durability and UV resistance. The meeting of the liquids, i.e. the now, is termed a "marriage". This can only take place between two fluids that complement each other while maintaining their intrinsic individuality. Assuring the long-term reliability of this innovative timekeeping method is proprietary testing equipment with the ability to accelerate time, reducing a year to a month. Twice a day the fluid module issues an open invitation for reflection as the colored liquid that has plotted the course of the last 12 hours flows back to its original position. Back to the future in horological form.

 

Liquid time obtains its rhythm from a specially created haute horlogerie mechanical movement that interfaces with the two bellows. Front of stage, the visible proof of accuracy is the domain of a curved 0.8 mm thin glass capillary. The capillaries’ coating, eliminating any obstacle to flow, ranks as one of the watch’s most expensive elements. Full transparency is a further must in the quest to visualize time. Technicians spend a full year perfecting the technique of filling the capillary. Even the smallest of air bubbles could threaten accuracy, especially at altitude. The technology portfolio in every HYT watch shows that the whole is much more than the sum of its parts - and that time standing still is never an option.

 

 

GRÉGORY DOURDE - HYT CEO

 

Grégory Dourde, an engineering graduate from the Ecole National des Ponts & Chaussées (Paris), obtained an MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs in 1997. He has worked for major brands, including Cartier, in Retail / Marketing strategy and in the reorganisation of jewellery activity, followed by the Swatch Group and Calvin Klein Watches, and also the Management board of manufacturing companies under Nicolas Hayek Senior. He then founded his own consulting company, working on performance enhancement and development projects for companies operating in the medical, watchmaking and high-tech sectors, among others. His interest in and passion for fields as diverse as the physical sciences, biology, philosophy, plastic arts and music, reveal a desire to nurture and enrich ideas through an interdisciplinary approach, using this cross-pollination as the basis for research into innovative and original solutions.

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