By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
If you want to wear a timepiece that is unique not only visually but also mechanically, an HYT watch is definitely a prime candidate. The use of fluid as an indicator of time is a method that HYT has perfected and coupled with very imaginative designers, the company has been able to create very interesting works of art.
In January this year, HYT launched the Skull series that bring the design and engineering capabilities of the company to a new level. Despite dispensing the minute indicator which was available in their previous models, the design specification now requires a thin capillary tube which carries the liquid to follow the shape of the skull on the dial instead of on a circular track. As the liquid is no longer moving on a consistent path but on a track that has corners and turns, the ability to control the movement to coincide with the hour markers around the dial is a daunting task. Nevertheless, this is something that HYT was able to achieve quite spectacularly.
The Skull Maori is the fourth core group in the series (there was the Green Skull, the Red Skull and the precious jewel versions). What is distinctive is the use of traditional hand engraving of customary Maori tattoos. Even the Arabic hour markers use a font reminiscence of the style of engraving. The engraving does not stop there but continues on to the tan leather band strap.
Some key designs features worth mentioning are the bellows and the methods HYT use to help indicate the seconds and power remaining in the watch. The bellows that are visible through the jaw of the skull is the mechanism that causes the fluid to move by the continuous act of expansion and contraction. The right eye indicates the power reserve of the watch. The eye gradually darkens as the piece nears the end of its 65 hours of power. The left eye hides a barely visible seconds dial which rotates continuously.
From a dimension perspective, this is a big watch. The casing is 51 mm case wide with a single assembly push-button of the crown, which adjusts the time, located at the North-East corner of the watch. Coupled with a thickness of 17.9 mm, this watch definitely has wrist presence. The casing is made out of red gold and titanium while the pin buckle is made out of titanium. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal and the whole casing is water pressure rated to 5 ATM or 165 feet.
HYT is planning to make only 15 pieces and each has been priced at US$120,000.
The engraving on the watch is exquisite. The capillary channel used to transport the liquid is not that obvious to the uninitiated. There would be a lot of curiosity regarding the watch and would often be a subject of conversation anywhere it is worn. If the wearer likes the attention, then this is the watch to own. However, if the wearer prefers privacy, it would be difficult to keep it under wraps due to the size and artistic design.
If the price is not an issue I would get one. The idea of a single indicator of time is very elegant to me and I have always loved single-hand watches. The liquid indicator on the Skull Maori serves the same purpose.
For more info, please visit hytwatches.com
MEOR AMRI MEOR AYOB – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch Read his articles here