The independent watchmaker specializing in fluid displays is back with a first copy watch from Cerrato!
If you follow the independent watchmaking scene, you surely know the difficulties HYT Watches, the UFO of the watchmaking industry, has encountered in making watches with fluid indications. After about a year of dormancy, we can now say it loud and clear: HYT is back in action with a new partner (Kairos Technology Switzerland SA) and new CEO Davide Cerrato to support the business… this The name is sure to ring a bell. And today, the brand presents the first watch of its new era, the HYT Hastroid. We were able to spend some time on the Green Nebula Edition.
HYT – From Concept to Rebirth
Behind HYT is a concept, a vision to show time in an unprecedented and decidedly unnatural way. Created in 2012, HYT Watches didn’t use traditional hands that revolved around the dial, but a new fluid-based display… Liquid in watches (and magnetism, the worst enemy of mechanical movements)? Yep, that’s the whole idea. While it is true that in all HYT watches there is a rather (relatively) classic mechanical movement used as the driving force and adjustment for the indications, the display relies on an additional module consisting of bellows and capillaries, two of which are not mixed The dissolved fluid travels in a retrograde fashion to indicate the passage of time, and the point where the two fluids meet represents the current time.
Since developing the original concept in 2012, the brand has not only introduced watches with evolutions in movements and fluid mechanisms, but also made some improvements to address some important issues. Mainly due to fluid expansion due to temperature changes – keep in mind that the watch is either worn on the wrist or stored, creating temperature changes. To do this, the brand has added a thermal compensator inside one of the bellows.
After the presentation of the H1 model, we saw the H2 watch, the rather crazy H3 watch and the slightly simplified H4 watch. A new direction was taken for 2017/18 with a refreshed design in the H0 model. Smoother and simpler. In 2019, the Haoyitong H5 introduced a new movement, again with some important mechanical updates to make the indications more precise and improve legibility. At the end of 2020, however, the brand had to face some difficulties, but since then there has been not only a new shareholder, but also a new CEO Davide Cerrato (ex-Tudor, ex-Montblanc). Since I’ve known this guy for years, I knew he would be a good fit. Passionate about any science fiction, Cerrato is sure to breathe fresh air into the HYT collection.
NEW HYT HASTROID GREEN NEBULA
This new watch, the Hastroid, marks the beginning of a new journey for HYT. It is built with a new design concept, a new inspiration and a new case. And, the overall inspiration goes back to the company’s roots, returning to edgy, modern, sharp shapes. The HYT Hastroid is designed to resemble a spaceship. It’s big, bright and bold. After all, HYT’s insanely fluid display calls for this kind of boldness.
The case for the new HYT Hastroid, shown in its Green Nebula Edition, is all about architecture and science fiction inspiration. The case is angular, layered, and has a mix of materials. It’s also fairly airy, with a hollowed-out structure. However, this is a statement. It has a diameter of 48mm, a height of 17.90mm and an overall length of 58.30mm. Yes, the watch is big and bold on the wrist. Surprisingly, on Frank’s 18cm wrist (he’s the model for the photo), the watch looks much more comfortable and, dare I say, a little more compact than the numbers suggest.
HYT Hastroid completely redefines the overall design. No more pebble-shaped sapphire crystals. The new watch is more angular, almost square, but the skeletonized lugs add a certain airy feel to the case. The top surface is now flatter and indications are clearly visible. To make the watch slightly less “clunky”, Cerrato created a central container held by a square frame, with the sides of the watch open to reveal different textures.
Our HYT Hastroid Green Nebula case is constructed from a combination of brushed, black-coated titanium and carbon fiber, making it less visually striking and lighter on the wrist. As a traditional feature, the crown is located at 2 o’clock and is protected by a module that runs along the side of the case. The multi-layered “sandwich” construction also allows for the clean integration of the rubber strap that connects between the two upper layers of the case – here rendered in green rubber, but also available with green Alcantara inserts black rubber.
The watch face of the Hastroid of Oytime has also received attention. The design has also been redefined here, with the return of the skeletonized textured structure that reveals most of the mechanical elements of the watch. The main plate is hollowed out and covered by a sapphire plate; therefore, both the mechanical part (top) and the fluid part (bellows in the lower part and capillaries around the dial) are fully visible. The movement is framed by a black-coated plate with a grid pattern, which is decorated with bold Arabic numerals filled with bright green luminous material.
The main improvement of the HYT Hastroid compared to the brand’s previous watches is the display of the minutes. The hands are now centrally positioned for maximum legibility. It is flanked by two classic indicators, the small seconds and the power reserve. Of course, the raison d’être of the HYT, the fluid indication of the hours, still exists around the dial and acts as a retrograde indication, jumping back to its original position when the green fluid reaches the 6 o’clock position.
Fluid indication is still powered by the same ideas as before. Two bellows located in the lower part of the movement create a pressure movement on the fluid. The left bellows/piston module pushes the green fluid into the capillary, which over time pushes the clear fluid into the right bellows. The point where the two fluids meet, the two are immiscible, marks the current time. This system requires a highly waterproof mechanism – the entire fluid module is 10,000 times more airtight than a conventional dive watch (at least, according to the brand). The system is thus sealed. Thermal expansion can also be compensated for by a clever device integrated into one of the bellows.
Powering our HYT Hastroid Green Nebula is the Calibre HYT 501-CM, a movement that should sound familiar to fans of the brand as it is based on the same technology that renowned watchmaker Eric Coudray developed for the H5 , and then an improved Hassted on launch. In addition to changing from off-centre minutes to central minutes, the movement’s decoration has also been updated, with black-coated bridges and bridges, as well as satin-finished and rhodium-plated moving parts.
The movement still consists of two separate modules connected by levers. On top is a mechanical engine with a frequency of 4Hz and a power reserve of 72 hours. This mechanical module has two functions. First, it stipulates the time to provide precise indications. Second, it is the driving force indicated by the fluid, giving it momentum and providing a constant displacement to act on the motion of the fluid. The connection to the fluid device is through an oversized lever, a curved tentacle spindle or “sensor” for the coordination of the mechanism, and a complex-shaped cam with 13 positions to precisely synchronize the hour and minute indications. This sensor converts the circular motion of the movement’s wheels into linear motion, which pushes the bellows and fluid.
Behind this new design, there is also a new strategy for the brand. Production will be more concentrated, with fewer versions and fewer models made. HYT Hastroid will release four different limited editions – other models will be made of titanium or a combination of materials including bronze. Currently, the brand has launched this Green Nebula version in black and green color scheme, which may be the best choice for the brand’s relaunch.
Technical Specifications – HYT HASTROID Green Nebula
Case: Diameter 48mm x H17.90mm – Length 58.30mm – Black Coated Titanium and Carbon Fiber Case – AR Coated Domed Sapphire Crystal – Sapphire Case Back – Black Titanium Screw Down Crown – 50m waterproof
Dial: Black Coated Brass and Sapphire Plate – 3D Black Coated Appliques and Green Luminous Numerals – Black Coated Titanium Grid – Green Liquid Inside Borosilicate Capillaries
Movement: Caliber HYT 501-CM – Proprietary Fluid Complication – Manual winding – 41 jewels – 28,800 vibrations/hour – 72 hours power reserve – Retrograde fluid hours, central minutes, small seconds, power reserve
Strap: Green or black rubber strap with green Alcantara insert – black coated titanium buckle