Today, we are bringing you our hands-on review of the new HYT Skull Maori. The HYT Skull was released in January 2015 in two model variations —Green Eye and Red Eye— and we brought you our hands-on review here. If you thought that the HYT Skull Green Eye or Red Eye was impressive, the new HYT Skull Maori brings the watch to a new level, thanks to its hand engraved skull featuring a Maori tribal tattoo. The Maori, are a tribe of indigenous people from New Zealand that commonly have a body art, known as 'Moko' or Maori tattooing. This body art form was brought to the New Zealand Maori from Eastern Polynesia. Maori tattooing is considering a sacred form of body art and a legend states that the Maori tattooing came from the underworld. This legend states that a young warrior called Mataora, fell in love with the princess of the underworld, named Niwareka. After marrying and mistreating Niwareka, Mataora sent her back to the underworld, but then filled with guilt, decided to follow her in order to apologize. Mataora apologized before Niwareka’s family and won her back. It is then believed that before coming back from the underworld, Niwareka’s father —the king of the underworld— taught Mataora the art of 'Moko' or Maori tattoing. Since the Maori consider the head to be the most sacred part of the body, the most popular Maori tattoo is a facial tattoo, composed of curved shapes and spiral like patterns. Highly intricate and detailed, the HYT Skull Maori pays tribute to the craftsmanship and artistry of the Maori tattoing culture.
The HYT Skull Maori ref. 513-CB-43-RF-MV is available in a limited edition of 15 pieces featuring a rare 5N rose gold hand engraved skull. Fitted with the traditional HYT unstructured dial with the traditional fluid hour display, the black hour dial features Arabic numerals in a serif font, quite different to that used on the Skull Green Eye or Skull Red Eye. In addition, the eyes of the Skull have a life of their own. The right eye indicates the power reserve of the watch, while the left eye is a running seconds indicator. Using a series of subtly different translucent colored inserts, the eye gradually darkens as the piece nears the end of its 65 hours of power reserve. When asked what the driving force behind the creation of the Skull Maori was, HYT's Art Director Xavier Casals explains that there was a desire to further emphasize the skull shape of the piece by using a rare and traditional hand engraving, a beautiful Metier d’Art.
The Case, Rider & Crown
The HYT Skull Maori —like its predecessors— is fitted with a black DLC titanium and 5N gold case measuring 51 mm in diameter and 17.9 mm in thickness. The watch is equipped with a convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the dial side and screw-down sapphire case-back. Water resistant to 50 meters, the rider at 6 o'clock is also made of black DLC titanium. To complete the sporty look of the watch, the screw-down crown is rubber coated.
The strap on the new HYT Skull Maori is another work of art on its own. The strap is made of a rugged brown leather and laser engraved with a pattern very similar to that on the skull. The strap is equipped with a black DLC titanium pin buckle. The strap is very comfortable thanks to its black rubber lining and gives the watch a very unique look, unlike any other HYT watch we've reviewed.
The beating heart inside the HYT Skull Maori is the skeletonized manual wound movement HYT calibre 101, exclusively developed by APRP —Audemars Piguet Renaud et Papi— for HYT with 35 jewels and which provides a power reserve of 65 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. The calibre is fully visible via the display case back fitted with a reddish smoked sapphire crystal.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and quite large. Anyone with a wrist smaller than 7.25" in circumference, should probably avoid wearing this watch, in order to not look like you're too small for the watch. Regardless, this is the type of watch that comes with unparalleled wrist presence. As if wearing an HYT wasn't already very unique and exclusive, wearing the new HYT Skull Maori is even more unique as only 15 watches are available of this limited edition.
Sticker Price $120,000 USD. For more info on HYT watches click here.