It’s not so much of a stretch as to imagine the HYT Skull Krome having been conceived and brought to life in some dimly lit laboratory, by a wide-eyed, sleep deprived, bespectacled scientist, obsessed with the containers of chemicals and liquids which bubble and effervesce all around him. In fact, that’s not so very far from the truth, and with its sinister glaring eyes, the Skull looks like it’s just come straight off the set of an old black and white horror movie.
Replace that image with gleaming, immaculate, ultra-modern workshops, and a team of highly skilled young watchmakers in the heart of Swiss watchmaking, whose work defies convention as they create these genuinely incredible watches, which are part sci-fi, part age-old hand machining and all presence.
Bold, brooding and absolutely uncompromising, the Skull Krome by HYT is an unavoidable wristwatch with a stunning chrome skull motif at its centre, which evolves the company’s signature hydro-mechanical technology, bending its super fine liquid hours capillary around the profile of the skull which dominates the dial.
Making full use of many of the distinctive characteristics of the HYT design codes, already present the Skull theme is integrated throughout the watch, as the big titanium dome at the 6 becomes the lower jaw, and the steel bellows, which force the vivid blue viscous liquid around the dial, take on the appearance of teeth. It is very cool, and has an enormous presence on the wrist, in a day or low light environs.
Like the entire HYT portfolio, which has turned one of watchmaking’s golden rules on its head, with the use of liquids in such close proximity to its delicate mechanical horologic components, the Skull Krome rejects the conventional approach to displaying the time. There are no minutes, but the hours can be read sufficiently well so the minutes can be approximated with a fair degree of accuracy. Inside the eye sockets, backlit by the icy blue glow, the seconds and power reserve are displayed.
The use of fluids to relate the time in this way is unprecedented, and behind its simple beauty beats a hand finished manual winding mechanical movement of profound horologic complexity, and proprietary technical innovation.
To the rear, a sapphire case back reveals the Geneva–striped back plates, and the balance and escapement, which along with the barrel and gear train are compacted into space above the pair of steel bellows.
At 51mm in a titanium case, the HYT Skull Krome is not for the faint of heart. A unique piece of only one example, it is presented on a white strap made from sail fabric, and it secures with a robust titanium pin buckle.