The HYT Skull that was announced recently was an unexpected development from Hydro Mechanical Watch making masters HYT, yet its appearance was somehow hinted at before with the H2.
After all, visible through the case-back of the H2, the movement, arranged in a V shape did resemble a face, or more specifically, as some commentators have suggested, Darth Vadar’s mask.
With the H1 and H2 already demonstrating mastery of using fluid technology in telling the time, the HYT Skull comes as a re-expression of the basic idea in a slightly more whimsical and some might say philosophical way.
The movement is hidden, first of all, to give prominence to the main feature of the watch, the Skull, whose outline is drawn by the flow of the liquid through the capillary. The skull shape was a challenge for HYT as it necessitated precise calculation of the power required to move the fluid through the sharp angles, while maintaining the watch’s ability to tell the time.
Other details of the Skull lend credence to the idea that the watch is alive looking at you while it works. The right eye functions as a power reserve indicator, gradually darkening through the use of filters, as it nears the end of its power reserve. The left eye on the other hand is a continuously running seconds indicator that though barely visible is there if you look closely enough.
The mouth of the skull is where the trademarked vertical bellows sit, that recall the H2 and “Darth Vadar” as previously mentioned, and the caseback is covered with a sapphire glass of the appropriate colour tint (red or green) depending on the version.
While it is obvious that the fluid around the skull’s outline marks out the hours, it was not clear to me how the minutes were displayed. As master-watchmaker Dominique Renaud, who was visiting the HYT Showroom in Singapore explained to me, “this watch has philosophical minutes”. Further adding, he suggested that “this was not a watch that you’d use to catch a train in Switzerland, but rather an expression of the approximate time.”
At 51mm wide, the case is rather large, and the effect on the wrist is quite striking, especially with the luminous green or red fluid, (2 versions are available) that is visible from a distance. It certainly displayed a fun attitude despite its rigorously technical credentials.
2 versions of the HYT Skull are available, the DLC titanium with green fluid is limited to 50 pieces, while the Rose Gold and Black DLC Titanium is limited to 25 pieces, with both will become available in May 2015. It’s quite interesting to note as well that the Red Gold and Black DLC Titanium version has been nicknamed the “Ironman”. So far, reaction to these HYT watches has been phenomenal worldwide. No surprise there given its striking appearance!