The Skull was launched at the beginning of 2015 in two versions: The HYT Skull Green Eye, with a green liquid in a 51mm titanium & DLC black titanium case and the HYT Skull Red Eye with a red liquid in an 18-karat rose gold case with DLC titanium. The HYT Skull Diamond, set with 289 diamonds (≈0.858 carats) on the skull shape, debuted at Baselworld 2015. The Skull Maori, which has been totally hand engraved, highlighting the shape of the skull, emerged in November 2015, bringing the head count up to four.
Now the Skull Bad Boy is with us, and its monochrome palette highlights the bold design of the watch, showing us how well it stands on its own.
Like with the previous versions, the entire dial of the HYT Skull Bad Boy is given up to the skull design, with the movement hidden from the dial side; only the bellows are visible through an opening at six o’clock. Instead, the H1 manual-winding movement is on full display through a tinted pane of sapphire crystal. The timepiece also features a running seconds indication in the left eye and a power reserve indicator in the right eye.
As with the other Skulls, the minutes have been eliminated to keep the focus on the skull, but they can be roughly observed as the liquid advances between the hour markers, much like the historical watches that only had one hand. The Skull watches oblige us to acknowledge the futility of trying to pin every minute down. This deliberate emphasis on the ephemerality of time strengthened by the skull motif — the symbol of memento mori. The two ideas are inextricably linked in the HYT Skull watches; one literally outlines the other. Time flies, life is short, the HYT Skull Bad Boy seems to be telling us. Stop chasing the minutes and start enjoying yourself. Buy yourself a nice watch.
Whereas previous HYT timepieces featured translucent coloured liquids within their capillary tubes, the Skull Bad Boy opts to takes a different path. “We really wanted to develop an opaque black liquid to give it a bad-boy, rebel aesthetic; it gives the perfect contrast with the timepiece,” notes Vincent Perriard, CEO of HYT.
The watch as a whole is an exercise in contrast — the structured lines of the Clous de Paris dial guillochage set against the swirls of the Damascus steel skull; the ancient technique of mixed-metal laminate juxtaposed with the aggressively modern, industrial-looking skull; the lightness of the carbon case as counterpoint to the heavy philosophical associations with death and the passing of time; a luxury watch with zero luxury materials used in its making.
It is this tension between opposites, however, that allows the HYT Skull Bad Boy to endlessly fascinate.