HYT - HYT SKULL VIDA
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
HYT - HYT SKULL VIDA

HYT SKULL VIDA

HYT
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95'000 €

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SKULL VIDA : Viva la vida !

Never before has an HYT creation been so exclusive. Never before has one gone so far in playing with the codes of life and death to celebrate the passing of time and to seize the day. Never before has a timepiece used such materials.
Only five "Skull Vida" pieces will be released in HYT's most restricted limited edition ever.
In fact, rather than a limited edition, we prefer to call them five unique pieces; each one is different as they call on living material in a real watchmaking first: mammoth ivory from many millennia ago.
"Our first Skull collections fell within the tradition of Memento Mori, reflecting in particular the Mexican culture of Dia de los Muertos, where death is celebrated in the same way as life, in a celebratory communion of the passing of time," recalls Grégory Dourde, CEO of HYT. "However, we felt that we could go even further still by literally combining life and the
unique flow of time with our fluid technology and a dial made from an authentic material, a true living sculpture. The Skull Vida was born from this all-encompassing, holistic vision."
Today, in the Siberian plains, mammoth skeletons are beginning to surface. The majority are exceptionally well-preserved as they have been held captive in ice for 15,000 to 30,000 years. Their bones have been preserved, but are far from inert; they are almost alive, reacting to their exhumation like the living witnesses of a past when they walked alongside Neanderthal man. These remnants of the past come from an extinct species, thereby protecting modern wildlife, which HYT is committed to conserving.
The Skull Vida comes in a 51 mm black DLC titanium case with polished, micro-blasted and satin-finished finishes. It is powered by HYT's exclusive mechanical hand-wound movement which provides a 65-hour power reserve.
Its dial is shaped like a skull and is crafted from Siberian mammoth ivory. This living material had to undergo a stabilisation phase over the course of several months. It was sculpted and embedded in the Skull Vida thanks to a series of particularly delicate operations carried out by specially trained artisans. Each dial is completely unique and offers different textures, variations and designs. HYT's Skull was entirely redesigned to highlight the properties of the mammoth ivory as much as possible.
The seconds are displayed in its left eye, the power reserve in its right. The entire artwork is surrounded by an HYT capillary specially folded into the skull shape, in which the separation point of two immiscible liquids indicates the hours. The bezel indicates the result on a black background, with Arabic numerals in a font specially created for the Skull Vida. It is also the first time that HYT has developed a fabric-based strap, which features fine embroidery in an abundant floral theme – a symbol of life!
 

Technical specifications

Functions: Black retrograde fluidic hours, seconds, power reserve
Case: Black DLC titanium with brushed, micro-blasted and satin-finished finishes
- Diameter: 51 mm
- Height: 17.9 mm
- Black rubber coated screw-down crown
- 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
Movement: Mechanical with manual winding, exclusive HYT calibre
- 28,800 Vph, 4 Hz, 35 jewels
- Bridges hand-bevelled and adorned with Côtes de Genève
- 65-hour power reserve
HYT's exclusive patented micro-fluidic module:
- Two multi-layer metal bellows
- Capillary tube in medical grade glass, with interior nano-coating
- Two immiscible liquids; one transparent and the other coloured with a highly
resistant dye
- Thermal compensator with dedicated bellow containing a special liquid
- Ceramic fluid restrictors
Dial: Unstructured with beige varnish, fluid hour display
- Handmade engraved skull made from Siberian mammoth’s ivory
- Black hour dial, beige numerals
- Diamond-tipped offset black indexes
- Seconds indicator (left eye)
- Power reserve indicator (right eye)
Strap: Beige embroidered fabric, black DLC titanium deployant buckle
Ref.: 151-DL-48-NF-BB; 5-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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