HYT Watches may have just unveiled my favorite version yet of its popular Skull watch, the HYT Skull Bad Boy. Dressed all in black – literally head to toe – the HYT Skull Bad Boy even features a new black liquid for the time zone indication, quite a deviation from the bright colors we are used to seeing. The watch is not due to be officially launched until next month at Baselworld but fortunately we can give you a quick sneak preview now.
The HYT Skull Bad Boy
At first glance the HYT Skull Bad Boy doesn’t look that dramatically different from the other 3 member of the HYT Skull family, other than the obvious color scheme variations of course. As with any HYT watch that debuts a new colored liquid though, the story is always more complicated than you expect and invariably starts in a chemist’s lab as opposed to a watchmaker’s bench.
The HYT Skull Bad Boy is of course no exception. The rather innocuous looking black liquid that traverses a time-indicating course around the skull in the centre of the dial actually took over 12 months to develop. Like the other 4 colors developed by HYT this new black liquid has its own chemical properties, all of which impact on things like viscosity, expansion coefficient and UV resistance. In HYT’s case these things are particularly important to creating a liquid that will reliably behave in the way they want – namely going up and down a tube in a fixed pattern without sticking to the walls.
As cool as the black liquid looks though there is one obvious drawback – it’s impossible to read in the dark. HYT Watches have been criticised in the past for its pieces not always being the most legible, especially in low light situations, however the brand recently overcame that challenge by developing some pretty clever illumination technology. For the HYT Skull Bad Boy however the choice not to make it legible in the dark was apparently intentional.
“It was a deliberate decision“, explains Vincent Perriard, CEO of HYT. “There were other solutions which would have made the piece visible at night. But if we wanted to play with the darkness inherent to the Skull Bad Boy, we had to go all the way. Night is part of the world of shadows and darkness. Perfectly in tune with the spirit of the skull“.
To be honest I am not sure how people are going to react to that although to be fair lack of legibility at night may not be potential customers main concern. Rather, it might be size. To put it bluntly the HYT Skull Bad Boy is huge, its matte black case made from fully microblasted DLC titanium measuring an eye-watering 51 mm in diameter. On the other hand, who wants to wear a statement piece that doesn’t make a statement on the wrist?
Regardless of the size though my absolute favorite feature of this watch has to be the skull, which has been designed to look like its hewn from Damascus steel – a metal more commonly used for knives and Samurai swords. A foundry in the Neuchâtel region created the raw material: multiple layers of steel and carbon are folded in on themselves a total of 256 times before being cast in batches of five skulls at a time, no two of which will ever be identical.
Functionally the HYT Skull Bad Boy operates in pretty much the exactly same manner as its elder siblings. The power reserve indicator still sits in the right eye socket, which gets darker as the piece reaches the end of its 65-hour power reserve, whilst the left eye socket houses the seconds disc. Completing the look is a buffed alligator strap with smatterings of slate grey and, rather unusually, a velcro clasp. Apparently this is so you can fasten it over a motorcycle jacket.
The HYT Skull Bad Boy will be available as a limited edition of 50 pieces so stay tuned next month for some live photos from Baselworld 2016. In the meantime you can visit HYT Watches to learn more about the HYT Skull Bad Boy.