HYT - Hyt Metropolis
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
HYT - Hyt Metropolis

Hyt Metropolis

HYT | 90'000 € Tax inc.

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Number of the piece : 00/100 !!!

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

HYT bathes its H4 in light

Innovation within tradition, the DNA of haute horlogerie, the movement heritage, and so on: forget it all. HYT does things its own way, and discards these received ideas. Need a known quantity to hang on to? Good news: the H4 Metropolis tells the time. As for the rest, you will need to forget anything that has been seen, designed, or even imagined before now.
 
Nothing has changed, except the essential
 
The chassis is a familiar beast. Since the start of the year, the H4 has had more ink in publicity than it has in its capillary. It is based on the same movement architecture as the H1, HYT's inaugural piece, which has been completely skeletonised.
With a 65-hour power reserve, it unveiled its sculptural mechanism for the very first time and opened up a new creative universe for HYT. One so appealing that the brand decided not to meddle with it: the new H4 Metropolis is virtually a carbon copy of its big brother.
 
Or is it?
 
All is not as it seems
 
Using this as its basis, HYT has returned to its favourite game: creating, surprising, sometimes unsettling, always astounding. This time the brand has applied a radiant idea, as brilliant as it is difficult to spot at first glance.
Only eagle-eyed enthusiasts will have noticed an intriguing detail: the presence of two push-pieces. What could they be for, on a model with hours, minutes and seconds? The answer is a first for HYT – probably in watchmaking as a whole.
 
A fully illuminated project
 
The H4 Metropolis is a piece equipped with a light source. Under the rider at 6 o'clock, HYT has concealed two LEDs. Once activated, they flood the entire dial with blue light. At night, the green fluid is energised by this light source, becoming perfectly visible. At the same time, the wash of light flows into every nook and cranny of the calibre, literally bringing this skeleton architecture to life, and defying the laws of watchmaking.
 
The source of energy is purely mechanical. "Starting with a blank sheet is what we know.
That's how all our models have been created", explains Vincent Perriard, CEO of HYT Watches. "But here, with the light complication, a new challenge was set: we had to start using our own existing calibre as a complete, functional basis. We basically had to add a piece to a puzzle which was already finished".
 
Lumens ex machina
 
The generator has been nestled between 4 and 5 o'clock. It is invisible, and activated by the push-piece located opposite on the case middle. The process is broadly that of a dynamo: converting mechanical power into light energy. It is the rotation of the push-piece at 4:30 that winds the generator. Pressure on this same push-piece then activates the two LEDs which bathe the Metropolis in a soft blue light.
This illumination is possible for a maximum of five seconds, after which the mechanism must be reinitialised. No battery is needed for this process, which is fully mechanical. Three factors made it so tricky to develop: the extreme miniaturisation, the curved shape, and the fact, once again, that no development of this type had ever been achieved before.
The H4 Metropolis will be released as a run of 100 pieces with a 51 mm titanium and DLC case.
 
"The coherence of the idea seduced us ", explains Vincent Perriard. "Before HYT, we were told that having a movement running with a liquid was simply impossible. Before the Metropolis, lighting up a dial was only possible with a battery. And, what is more, a liquid must never be used in conjunction with an electrical current. But, evidently, we’ve done all of those things. In reality, the only limits are those we set ourselves
 

Technical specifications

Technical Specifications - H4 METROPOLIS

 Case : titanium and titanium black DLC bezel with brushed, shot-peened and satin-finished

surfaces

- diameter: 51 mm

- height: 17.9 mm

- rubber-clad screw-down black DLC titanium crown at 2:30 and at 4:30

- black DLC titanium dome at 6 o'clock

- convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the dial side

- screw-down sapphire case-back

- water resistant to 50 metres.

 Functions : retrograde fluidic hours; minutes, seconds

 Movement : skeleton mechanical hand-wound movement, HYT exclusive calibre

- 28,800 vib/h, 4 Hz, 35 jewels

- bridges hand-bevelled and micro blasted, rhodium-plated bellows

- 65-hour power reserve.

 Blue light mechanical module :

- rewinding and push-button system with a crown at 4:30

- the dynamo works when the crown is compressed at 4:30. As soon as the button

loosens the light stops working until the full decompression of the additional barrel

spring.

 Dial : unstructured, fluid hour display

- sapphire minute, seconds and power reserve dial

- white minute indexes and numerals

- black hour dial with white numerals

- luminescent grey minute hand and numerals

- regulator at 12 o'clock

- small seconds wheel at 9:30

- power reserve indicator at 2:30

 Strap : black rubber base with integrated NOMEX™ canvas and black DLC titanium folding

buckle

 Ref : 512-TD-45-GF-RN; 100-piece limited edition

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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