With its liquid capillary technology HYT has built up the entire brand around the ‘Fluidity of Time’ concept. The philosophy and the constraints of the technology are together shaping the design which is one of the most original out there. François Nunez, VP Creative Director presented the 2019 novelties to us at the SIHH.
Measuring time implies its division into discrete units. These can be big or small – depending on what you consider small, right? In reality time flows continuously and no matter how tiny the sampling unit you set, it could always be smaller. Due to the fixed number of teeth on the wheel train or in a chronograph complication, the hands of a watch will always take discrete positions – even if it cheats your eyes sometimes by moving fast and kind of smooth. For HYT it is not the dead-accurate measurement of time that is important, but its endless and continuous flow. Because they are not alone with this affection, HYT has fans out there including figures like Axl Rose who also designed a skull watch with them.
To the SIHH 2019, the company brought variations of the H₀, H²0 models and a design evolution of the H1 called H1.0. François Nunez, VP Creative Director showed us the novelties. How more authentic could you wish for?
Fluid time fluid design
‘The unstoppable and unrepeatable flow of time has been researched by philosophers in the ancient world. Heraclitus said “Everything changes and nothing remains still … and … you cannot step twice into the same stream”. Whatever happens now becomes unrepeatable: our discussion right here or the time we spent on designing these pieces cannot be brought back. HYT is not really a timepiece, but it is more a reminder of the importance of the NOW. The coloured liquid that you can’t help but stare at makes every moment of the time flow visible. I love this symbolism, which my designs have to support, convey, magnify and be subordinated to.’ – Mr Nunez started. ‘With the new models I wanted to emphasise its fluidity and a bit of our relationship to it.’
H1.0 is an evolution of the H1 and it continues what HYT have started with the H²0. They look like those beautiful pebbles you bend down for when you step into the aforementioned stream. Rubbing each other for decades in the river bed and being polished by the water, they develop perfect aerodynamics.
‘We had multiple considerations when designing the sapphire. First we wanted to recreate this rather unique and beautiful shape. Second, having no edges also allows greater visibility of the inside and we can use the sides for various so far unused purposes. For example, on the H1.0 we placed the hour numerals – typically facing to the front – on the side cylinder. Or as we did it on the new H²0 »The Time Is Fluid« edition, we can lend the sides to convey messages.’
Time Is Precious
The H₀ has become the best seller of the brand since its debut in 2017. ‘With this new edition we wanted to reflect the multiple facets of the same moment. The monocrystalline silicon plate fragments on the dial are not only different shapes and sizes, but also bent and therefore they mirror different details of the space in the very same moment. In the age of selfies, 360-degree photos and connected lifestyle I find these unrepeatable visual fragments quite amusing.’
The red dyed liquid flows like blood in the veins in front of the contrasting background. The bellows pushing the liquids (one for the red, another for the transparent immiscible liquid) are partially visible through a fragment-like opening in the dial. The satin-finished metal ring wears the inscription »Time Is Precious«. Numerals are engraved on the sapphire this time.
Another new H₀ edition boasts the same colours and shares the glittering character, but here it is a diamond pave instead of silicon plates. ‘I read in a research that our affection for shining objects is rooted in the searching for water. Diamonds resemble the glittering of the water surface, which I aimed to represent on this piece.’
Diamonds (1206 pieces weighing 7.423 ct altogether) cover the dial and the sides above which the engraved black numerals levitate.
Besides the red-white model, it also came out in a black-white variation.
With its innovations in producing fluidic capillary systems HYT has created a market segment for its own. Not just in the horology sector, but anywhere from automotive to medical devices. The niche they defined allows the brand to break itself free from the constraints others must adhere to. The usual dilemma of whether form follows function or the other way around does not apply to them in the same way. They can be geeks in technology and design at the same time while keeping probably only one typical fine watchmaking rule in sight: wearability. The 2019 novelties walk the same line and the pebble shape opens new perspectives for time visualisation.
François Nunez, thank you for the tour!
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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