A few weeks back HYT revealed the first images of their third generation timepiece, aptly named the H3. Suffice to say they did not disappoint.
The HYT H3
The H3 is significant for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact it demonstrates HYT is capable of creating new and innovative ways to leverage the liquid-time display technology it has pioneered. There’s no doubt the H1 and H2 were very impressive timepieces in their own right but to continue to truly wow fans in this highly competitive market the brand would need to do something really different.
You see, there is something of an unspoken rule in the luxury watch industry that a brand – especially one of the niche independent variety – cannot be considered truly established until it has three distinct models to its name. As such the H3 is definitely a major milestone for HYT, a subtle yet clear statement that they are here to stay. Although in typical HYT style there is nothing subtle at all about the H3.
Presented in a stylish rectangular case measuring a whopping 62 x 41 mm it’s clear from the outset that this is not a watch for the faint of heart (or small of wrist). Impressive (overwhelming?) case dimensions aside however what has really got people talking is the incredible mechanical display going on inside.
Created once again in close collaboration with Audemar Piguet’s movement specialists Renaud et Papi, the first thing you will probably notice about the H3 is that time is not displayed in any sort of conventional manner, although there are still some familiar elements.
Running across the top of the watch we find HYT’s trademark capillary complete with a single bellow at either end. The one on the left drives the water-based yellowy green fluid used to indicate the hour forward, whilst the one on the right drives a second, viscous-based, translucent fluid in the opposing direction to compensate for this progression in the capillary. A meniscus separates them.
What has really gotten people talking however is the central time display. Comprised of a rotating dial with 4 faces arranged along the time display tube, each of these faces is graduated with 6 hours, thereby enabling the 24 hours of the day to be displayed. As the liquid makes its journey through the tube it aligns with this unique time display thus allowing for the wearer to clearly read the hour at a glance.
At the end of each 6-hour period this time display tube effectively rotates on itself to show the next six hour block, whilst the green liquid simultaneously returns to zero. On the lower right-hand side of the dial there is a twin articulated arm which sweeps across a graduated rule indicating the minutes. When the hour draws to a close this retrograde mechanism instantaneously returns to its starting point. It’s one of those things that is really hard to do justice to with words so luckily for us HYT have provided a great video of the H3 in action:
To set the time you first activate a push-button, located on the left of the assembly, which rotates the central time display bar by one quarter with each press. Not only does this look cool but it also allows you to quickly set the time by jumping forwards in periods of six hours. Once you have the right face showing the circular movement of the crown enables the selection of the exact hour and minutes.
What is perhaps most impressive about a watch this animated however is the power reserve on offer. When fully wound the twin-barrels offer 170-hours of power (equal to around 7 days. Although not that out of the ordinary these days it is still incredibly impressive when you consider just how much is going on.
Produced in charcoal grey PVD-coated titanium and platinum, the H3 series will be limited to 25 timepieces, with the first examples available from September 2015. Pricing is set at CHF 280,000.
For more information on the new H3 please visit the official HYT Watches website.
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