Known for blurring the lines, HYT the HydroMechanical Horologists have once again defied the limits of what is possible. As if mastering telling time with fluids wasn't already impressive enough, the new HYT H3 is even a more complex part of the HYT evolution and their continued pursuit to push the limits of horology. The H3 is a massive timepiece in terms of size but what's inside is even greater than the sum of its case size measuring 62 x 41 mm. Its movement —like out of sci-fi movie speaks for itself. HYT and its partners at APRP —Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi— have succeeded in creating a timepiece with a highly complex architecture. One of the main challenges was the machining of the case and the special curved sapphire crystal. When it came to the movement, one of the most delicate steps in creating the H3 involved recovering the energy provided in the retrograde movement, which then powered the semi-instantaneous rotation of the watch's dial with use of the fluid going back and delivering the necessary energy.
Its construction was initially inspired by the desire to have a linear portrayal of time, which resulted in a design with the bellows at opposite ends. The movement engineering teams then worked around this constraint – which became the stylistic signature of the H3 – to create the complete calibre. The upper part of this living sculpture houses the bellows mechanism. The first, on the left, drives the progression of the fluid and therefore the time display. Its counterpart, on the right, compensates for this progression in the capillary. Less than one millimeter in diameter, this glass tube, operating in a vacuum, still contains two fluids: the first, a water based yellow fluid serves to tell the time; the second, a viscous based translucent fluid works in opposition. A meniscus separates them.
The central part of the H3 is reserved for the time display. This features neither hands, nor satellite, nor any other system of time reading ever invented before. Instead, HYT has created a rotating dial with 4 faces arranged along the time display tube. Each of these faces is graduated with 6 hours, thereby enabling the 24 hours of the day to be displayed. The minutes, just as expected, are not displayed in a conventional way either, but through a retrograde linear display below the hours and to the right of the exposed balance wheel.
As HYT had explained from the very start, the H3 stands out as the most exceptional timepiece ever created. Its double-barrel manual wound in-house movement, boasts a 170-hour power reserve —a full week. Fully visible via the display case back, the movement is as impressive on the front as it is on the back. A convenient power reserve indicator is located right on top of the two barrels and a dynamometric indicator for the screwdown crown is located on the dial side on the right bottom corner.
Regarding the case of the new HYT H3, it is produced in charcoal grey PVD-coated titanium with micro blasted satin finish and with highly polished platinum end caps on each side. The finish is just exceptional and perfectly done. On the left side of the case there is a pusher conveniently located to rapidly adjust the hours and make them rotate. Below please find a video that shows how the hours rotate.
Rounding out the impressive look of this creation of 'haute horlogerie', the watch is equipped with a black alligator leather strap —in person the strap looks more charcoal— with grey PVD-coated titanium folding buckle. On the wrist, we need to admit that the watch wears extremely big and not sure how wearable on a regular basis. One thing we can say is that even if the watch looks big, there's enough going on to keep you mesmerized every time you wear it. The new HYT H3 is limited to 25 pieces.
Sticker Price $290,000 USD. For more info on HYT click here.