Since making its debut in 2012 with its startling and inimitable brand of horological alchemy, HYT has established itself in a niche of its own as one of the most exciting young watch brands in recent years. A dramatic melting pot of hydraulics, micro mechanicals, and vivid fluids, its collections of stunning avant-garde watchmaking are truly in a far-out world of their own.
The H2 Tradition is a magnificent wristwatch in which HYT has combined high-tech watchmaking, and its unique HYT ‘fluid hours’ formula, with the traditional influences of pristine lacquer dial-work, blued steel hands, rose gold detailing and immaculate diamond guilloché engraving, it is as unprecedented in its aesthetics and in its time display as it is utterly fascinating in its technical complexity.
Bold and imposing in its 48.8mm construction of brushed titanium and white gold with a mass of sapphire glass and prominent ogival crown, it is an outstanding piece. Brimming with detail and exquisitely crafted throughout, the H2 combines the highest principals of traditional watchmaking with HYT’s futuristic, convention-defying innovation.
The huge sapphire crystal with squared-off edge rises high above the white gold bezel and covers the entire head of the watch, its glass wall effect offering a spectacular multi-level vista of the hydromechanical array within. Inside, the rich blue hour indication fluid oozes through the fine glass vein around the lacquered hour dial, passing the applied Roman numerals, while being slowly drawn through in a retrograde twelve hour cycle, as the big steel bellows compress and then release at the point of six o’clock, when over the next five seconds the fluid tracks back to start again.
Above the guilloché floor and the mechanical intricacies, the minutes and small seconds are displayed individually on lacquered dials with blued steel hands and enclosed within raised gold-rimmed pan-like containers. Just beside, a thin blue pointer moves between three settings controlled by the crown, to facilitate time adjustment (H), winding (R) or disengaged in neutral (N).
An HYT signature, the raised titanium dome conceals the reservoirs beneath, from which two fluids; one water-based with blue dye, the other a denser clear oil base, emerge and retract, their incompatible viscosities preventing any seepage between the two.
Providing the energy for all of this is the H2 centerpiece, the exceptional Calibre 210 hand winding movement, designed and created exclusively for HYT by the advanced horological innovations firm APRP Renaud et Papi. A technical tour de force, its tiered gearing, levers and hydraulic rams laid bare and exposed. The mesmerising beat of the large balance wheel and escapement, suspended beneath the dial animates the spectacle. To the rear, the sapphire case bottom reveals the sculpted guilloché plate and the twin barrels which between them store some 192 hours, or eight days, of energy.
At 48.8mm the HYT H2 Tradition is a stunning and dominating watch which packs enormous presence on the wrist, yet with its lightweight, short lugs and soft alligator strap making for a wrist-hugging fit, it does wear very comfortably for its size.