The unique style of watchmaking which is the preserve of avant-garde brand HYT takes on a menacing persona with the superb tattooed mask of gold which dominates the dial of the magnificent Skull Maori. With blood red fluid coursing through the thin glass capillary which runs around the profile of the skull, and glowing red eyes it is as spooky as it is spectacular.
Outstanding in its 51mm rose gold case, its novelty value belies the technical complexity of its fascinating hand winding calibre, which instead of driving hands, is used to power the big steel bellows, whose mechanical breathing forces the oily red liquid forward and back again around the dial, and passing the hour markers to tell the time in a cryptic, but very cool way.
From each of the gold numerals in the black titanium bezel, a marker extends towards the liquid-filled glass tube so that even with no minutes function, the time can be read with a reasonable degree of accuracy, although expecting exact precision is missing the point of this highly individual timepiece.
The skull itself is also made of rose gold, and on its surfaces, the dark and intricate patterns of a Maori tattoo are painstakingly hand engraved, and with the eye sockets backlit with a fiery red glow, and a faint green behind the bellows which form the jaw, it really pops in low light environments. Look into the eyes, and you’ll see a rotating disc for the seconds, and in the right, the power reserve indicator.
Throughout, the HYT Skull Maori is finished to the exacting standards of Haute Horlogerie, and of course, this applies to the movement as well. Revealed through the rose-tinted sapphire case back the stripped back plates, the balance and escapement, along with the barrel and gear train are compacted into the upper half, to accommodate the pair of rhodium-plated bellows. Fully wound, it is good for 65 hours of power reserve.
In its 5N rose gold and black DLC titanium case, the HYT Skull Maori is a luxurious and quirky piece, but it’s probably not for the faint of heart. It is presented on a brown leather strap, and it secures with a DLC titanium pin buckle.