HYT - HYT skull green
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
HYT - HYT skull green

HYT skull green

HYT
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90'000 €

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

SKULL Let time look you straight in the eyes !

 “Simply taking an existing movement, giving it a vague skull shape and presenting it as an entirely new piece is not really our style.” 
Vincent Perriard, HYT CEO, gets straight to the point – The Skull, HYT’s new extraordinary and unprecedented creation, breaks all the rules. You don’t need to be an expert to appreciate the power of its design. Even at first glance the Skull makes a striking impression, simply because it epitomises and at the same time breaks away from everything that HYT represents. It is provocative, unique and has a bold design supported by the fluid mechanics that have become the brand’s signature style. The Skull speaks for itself. Its development, however, was anything but obvious. 
Intelligent watch-making 
The use of a capillary, which carries a fluid to act as the hour marker, is a concept that is already mastered by HYT and its partners. However, any significant changes in form require extensive background work. For the Skull, the skull shape of the tube, which measures less than one millimetre in diameter, was a significant challenge in itself. The issue centred on the capillary’s four angles, two of which are almost 90° at the base. These curves meant that bending the glass was a particularly delicate task. 
"Their vertical structure, developed for the H1 watch, served as our starting point. However, we then had to re-examine how to generate enough power to move through these sharp angles, whilst ensuring that the fluid always indicates the correct time, moving at the right speed and with perfect regularity over twelve hours”. 
Recapturing the essence of time 
In line with the raw, primitive imagery of the skull, HYT also decided to do away with the minutes. This bold choice has two consequences. Firstly, it shifts the main focus to the capillary, the only sensory indicator of time as it passes, and secondly it centres all the attention on the piece’s architectural design, with its assertive, confident skull, which occupies almost the entire surface of the dial. Similarly, in stark contrast to its other pieces, HYT chose to almost completely hide the movement on the dial side. 
To breathe life into the skull, HYT instead introduced a number of new developments. Firstly, the two vertical bellows function continuously – it is their subtle expansion and contraction which causes the fluid to move. 
In addition, the eyes of the Skull have a life of their own. The right eye indicates the power reserve of the watch. Using a series of subtly different translucent coloured inserts, the eye gradually darkens as the piece nears the end of its 65 hours of power. The left eye hides a barely visible seconds dial which rotates continuously. You only have to look the Skull in the eyes to observe its spirit and the life, in the most literal sense, flowing at its heart. In both cases, a subtle honeycomb pattern provides the background and adds depth to the eyes. The skull itself is not inert - its movement operates constantly. It is alive, in the truest sense of the word: it has a soul. This is the first watch creation in which, instead of observing the time, time watches you. 
Family likeness 
“We always want to see how far we can go in terms of design and engineering. Our objective was to create a Skull that completely breaks away from everything you normally see, while still embodying the very DNA of HYT – a bold, conceptual, technical, and original design”, Vincent Perriard explains. 
The changes don’t stop at the movement, however. A new 51 mm case has been specially created for the Skull, with the addition of new, crisp angled lugs. The single assembly push-button of the crown, which adjusts the time, is located between 2 o'clock and 3 o'clock. The crown protector has been removed. Lateral inserts have also been added to the case, allowing multiple future combinations. 
The Skull is offered in two, very limited versions. One of fifty pieces, produced in DLC titanium with green fluid, and another of twenty-five pieces in 5N rose gold and black DLC titanium, featuring red fluid. 

Technical specifications

Case : black DLC titanium with brushed, micro-blasted and polished finishes 
- diameter: 51 mm 
- height: 17.9 mm 
- rubber coated screw-down crown 
- black titanium dome at 6 o'clock 
- cambered sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the dial side 
- screwed sapphire back 
- water resistant to 50 metres - diamètre : 51 mm 
Functions : retrograde green fluid hours; seconds 
Movement : Mechanical with manual winding, exclusive HYT calibre 
- 28,800 vib/h, 4 Hz, 35 jewels 
- bridges hand-chamfered and adorned with Côtes de Genève, rhodium plated bellows 
- 65-hour power reserve 
Dial : unstructured, fluid hours 
- black hour dial, grey anthracite indices and grey numerals 
- seconds dial (left eye) 
- power reserve indicator (right eye) 
Strap : black leather alligator, black DLC titanium pin buckle 
Ref. : 151-TD-41-GF-AB, Limited edition of 50 pieces 

Who's who

They are both as unpredictable and unruly as one another, and never happier than when the entire industry voices its doubts about their choices. In the end, what brings together Vincent Perriard and Laurent Picciotto is perhaps their insatiable curiosity, driving them where no-one else has even dreamed of going. Not merely out of a desire to be provocative, but simply from a constant yearning to liven up the art of watchmaking.
Even if it is always preferable to appraise a brand over time rather than judge it on the basis of a one-off, the power of its ambition can nonetheless be gauged by its first timepiece. At HYT, Vincent Perriard formed the opinion that traditional watch mechanisms might be all well and good, but that fluid mechanics were even better. This led to the idea of displaying the time using a liquid. 
“Right from the start, when Vincent came to see me with this somewhat crazy idea, I found the approach to be very ingenious,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “However, I immediately warned him against a merely stylistic exercise without any real future; he needed to display the genuine art of watchmaking – the only thing that could win him the esteem of his peers.”
For its co-founder, the practical outworking of this advice for the up-and-coming brand was to develop a purebred watch mechanism – a genuine in-house movement that added the full weight of credibility to the fluid time display. 
“I must admit that I still had some reservations until I finally saw the movement that was to support the concept,” says Laurent Picciotto. And that’s when all doubt was dispelled – completely new mechanics, a view from the back displaying two incredible pistons, and a front face revealing traditional watch workings.
Did that provide enough reassurance for knowledgeable watch lovers? Definitely. But the retailer looks a little further. “I also took the teams and their backgrounds into consideration. What I saw at HYT was people from the medical sector, researchers, committed guys who were keen to succeed,” continues Laurent Picciotto. “I’m confident about the way they see things. They have the right resources – and the right methods.” 
As 2012 draws to a close, the first HYTs have of course found a home at Chronopassion – probably for a very short space of time, given that demand is already far outstripping supply. However, this is a brand that we’ll be seeing plenty more of. “HYT will find its cruising speed and make its mark in the long term. It’s also a brand that’s likely to become a source of inspiration for many other independent watchmakers,” concludes Laurent Picciotto. 
 
Journalist : Olivier Müller
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