HYT never lets up on the strength of its message reimagining the perception of the passage and enjoyment of time. Now it’s time for Flow, the newest creation of the hydro-horological specialist, which depicts another type of flow: electricity providing light to its technical and beautiful dial.
For HYT, 2020 has been a year marked with sensational introductions. Through a message rich in images and metaphors, the imaginative Neuchâtel house brings its appreciation of the passage of time to its full range: an endless succession of innovations that invite us to maximize the enjoyment of every second. Soonow’s watch, in all its brilliant variations of shades and colors, emphasized that recent romantic chapter. But now, with Flow, HYT is focusing its message on the flow of seconds with the more technical but equally evocative addition of luminosity.
In effect, the new HYT Flow debuts a mechanically generated lighting system. By way of an electromechanical system, the watch interior is illuminated, providing an inner glow. Activated by a push button, a specially developed micro-generator stores and dissipates the energy to activate 8 or 13 LEDs – depending on the version – meticulously positioned. These distribute light evenly across the dial. The white light appears for two seconds on each press of the corresponding button (up to 4 presses can be made before rewinding the crown) or a minimum of eight seconds of illumination if the button gets pressed continuously.
Flow is available in two versions with very limited availability (25 pieces each: in the first one, a dome of 73 1.7 carat baguette-cut diamonds diffuses the photons emitted by the thirteen light-emitting diodes (LED) in its interior. Thus, the flow of the seconds is accompanied by a genuine light show. The second execution sets to expose an original idea of infinity and its unattainable amplitude through its conical design -as if it were a kind of funnel- directing attention to the system’s bellows, while eight LEDs appear along the contour of the dial. The dial of the Flow is a new and colorful execution of the ideas that we are familiar with from HYT.
The openwork quadrant is made of rhodium-plated opaline. The quadrant cuts were achieved using the process of electro-erosion to obtain extremely precise cuts that give rise to the illusion of waves. The contrasts between convex and concave shapes add structure and movement to the face of the watch. The rings of the hour and minute counters are brushed and marked in anthracite with a delicate white SuperLuminova thread. An interesting detail is the “hidden” seconds disc, open-worked and in orange, which, as it turns, disappears for an instant behind the “waves” on the dial. It is like an orange heartbeat that matches the power reserve indicator (72 hours) at the 3 o’clock position.
An iconic HYT detail, the hours are marked by the two immiscible liquids (the main one in blue or black, depending on the version with or without diamonds, and the transparent one) that flow through the delicate borosilicate capillary and where the notch between them indicates the time. The fluidic system’s precision is ensured by the ceramic restricting valves and the exclusive thermal compensating mechanism installed inside one of the bellows.
The eye-catching asymmetrical shape of the large 51 mm case – enhanced by the two prominent crowns on the right-hand edge – and the color options enrich the bold watchmaking idea of HYT. A series of waves runs around the outside of the watch as if it were a continuous pulsation. Polished accents on the case underline specific elements, such as the angles and shapes of each section. The absence of handles opens the way to a subtle, organic bond between the case and the rubber strap.
While the frontal light show and the modern design of the dial are the protagonists of Flow’s concept, it should be mentioned that HYT continues to honor the best of traditional Swiss watchmaking values. In particular, when we appreciate Flow through the caseback, we are immediately reminded of the audacity with which this house was launched in 2012 and the striking architecture of those early watches.
It is on this side of the Flow, with its anthracite-colored and brightly polished surfaces, that the fusion of the watchmaking elements of HYT is palpable: the fluid module that heads the two bellows of the system; the Cal. 101 hand-wound mechanical movement developed exclusively by Chronode (by the renowned Jean-François Mojon); and the interface that links them together.
The movement’s technical appearance and its meticulous finishing make a perfect match with the dial’s abstract design. The Flow is a work of modern art that gives time-as interpreted by HYT-a new facet, now dressed by its inner light.