HYT, like many independent watchmaking brands, signed up for SIHH and abandoned BaselWorld. Bert and I took an early ride to the SIHH exhibition on Thursday and a little over 9am we were already at the HYT booth. The novelties they presented to us were, as always, different, cool and bearing the typical HYT DNA. The brand offered two models: the HYT H0 Gold and H2O. Both very different watches in terms of pricing and design. While the H0 Gold is a simpler, classical if you like, approach to the HYT the H2O is a crazy looking haute horlogerie piece. Nonetheless, they are timepieces many would love to own including me. Let me elaborate.
Out of the two new novelties the H0 Gold is the less extravagant yet a tiny bit flashy. This is thanks to the yellow gold case. The H0 is a simple – if you can ever use this word in connection with HYT – time only watch with power reserve. To give contrast to the gold case the liquid indicating the elapsed time is black, just like the matte aligator strap. It is a rather large watch with a 48mm diameter and a thickness of 18.7mm. Like most HYT creations, the H0 Gold also has a box-domed sapphire crystal. This allows you to have a great view of the dial not only from the front but from all around too. The gold opaline dial has engraved indices and numerals filled with Super-LumiNova. The counters are microblasted. The H0 Gold is water resistant to 30 meters and sport a screw-in, display case back.
The H2O (H-Two-O as in the chemical formula for “water”) plays in a different league than the H0 Gold. The diameter is larger (51mm) the case is thicker (19.95mm) and the overall look of the watch is just…more. Same box-domed crystal as on the previous models that allows the wearer to have a better view of the watch, and in this case, the movement. Extra features like crown position indicator (H for hours, N for neutral and R for Rewind) and thermal indicator make the H2O more complex. As always, a special pair of immiscible liquid displays the time and phase shift the minutes. Power reserve indicator is also part of the dial. The H2O is a limited edition of 25 pieces with green fluid and 25 with blue fluid. The case of the green version is black with DLC coating, brushed and polished. Stainless steel case comes on the blue version.
While the H0 has a closed face the dial of the H2O is open with skeleton numerals, markers with rhodium plating in diamond-cut. For easier readability, the minute hand got red painting just like the crown indicator hand aka “HNR”. Super-LumiNova coating is applied to both hands. The straps are super soft but rugged rubber with titanium folding clasps on both models. Also, worth mentioning that the movement is a 28-jewel, manual wind caliber with 192 hours or power reserve (!). The caliber has sandblasted titanium bridges, black DLC or blue PVD coating, satin and rhodium finishes. It is a very special hybrid caliber developed specifically for HYT.
When we visited the Panis-Barthez Competition (you can find our photo report of the event here) last year their watch was still in the making. Since then, the timepiece came to life and as an added bonus we had the chance to play with it a bit. It is not like the HYT H0 Gold and H2O but a very charming timepiece none the less. The colours represent the Panis-Barthez Competition while for the overall look of dial inspiration was taken from the LMP-2 car Fabien Barthez was racing with. All-in-all, we could not complain about our HYT meeting. During our short encounter, we could handle the HYT H0 Gold and H2O, checked out the aforesaid racing inspired watch and had a great start of our last day at SIHH.
If you want to see the previous models from HYT, check out their website here.