Classic, traditional, restrained… Those are not words you would associate with watches manufactured by HYT. Not only does the display itself, based on a fluidic indication of the time, make a statement, but the design, the style, the size… Everything about these watches is meant to be futuristic. The watches are bold but also artistic and driven by philosophical notions of time. The new HYT Soonow DropOne, the brand latest creation, is no exception.
Art meets science meets horology… And the result is bold, to say the least.
Whether you like this watch or not is totally up to you – and understandably. This watch, like all HYT’s creations, isn’t meant to be consensual. On the contrary, being unconventional is its very purpose. While the “regular” H0 and H1 watches themselves dwell in a different galaxy, this new piece, a fusion of contemporary art applied to watchmaking, is making quite an impression.
Before we actually talk about what’s new on this HYT Soonow DropOne, let’s talk about some of the more recognisable features. This new piece is based on the H0 model, a sleek, intentionally stripped-down version of the H1. The case has been reduced to the bare essentials, meaning a lower plate that holds a massive domed sapphire crystal, like a display window on the time indication module and its fluidic indication. The case has, as always with the brand, massive proportions at 48.8mm in diameter and 20mm in height. Crafted in satin-finished stainless steel, it must be noted that it features no lugs, meaning that it actually wears much better than you would expect. It’s not a dressy Calatrava, but the lug-to-lug dimension is the same as the diameter.
As for the mechanics, we’re looking at the same movement as the H0 and the H1 models, meaning a proprietary hand-wound base calibre for the timekeeping part. This movement, developed with Chronode, is there to offer precision and power to the fluidic indication. It operates at 28,800 vibrations/hour and delivers 65 hours of power reserve. It is nicely finished, with polished bevels and Geneva stripes.
Connected to this movement by a cam-follower system, which converts the rotation of the base movement in a linear motion, is the fluidic module. This section of the watch is composed of two bellows, which actuate two immiscible fluids (one transparent, one black) in a capillary glass on a 12-hour base in order to indicate the hours. The transparent liquid represents the past, the black fluid represents the future and the junction of these two indicates the present time. This fluidic indication operates a retrograde indication. Once it reaches the end of the tube, it goes back to the zero position and starts a new journey. Other indications are the running seconds in the left eye and the power reserve in the right eye.
For this HYT Soonow DropOne, the brand relies on its customary skull-shaped design. The tube is bent to create the outline of a skull while the aperture above the bellows represents the mouth. The line underneath the capillary tube is executed in neon green Super-LumiNova (to glow in the dark) and neon orange is used to trace the outline of the eyes, nose and mouth.
The most impressive part on this HYT Soonow DropOne is, without doubt, the dial itself. It is made of anodized titanium, coloured in purple-blue and decorated with no fewer than 937 perforations. This dial hosts 313 18k yellow gold pins, which create an architectural, almost contemporary art piece… Impressive, to say the least.
The Soonow DropOne is worn on a black rubber strap with a titanium folding buckle. The caseback displays the movement and “ONE OF FIVE” transferred on its surface.
The new HYT Soonow DropOne will be a limited edition of five pieces. It will be priced at CHF 79,000. More details at hytwatches.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.