HYT, the ultra-niche Swiss company known for watches that tell time via capillaries filled with fluid, has filed for bankruptcy. According to a letter published on the Watchuseek forum and written by the chairman, Patrick Berdoz, and COO, Michel Nieto, HYT was not able to raise the capital it needed, “due to a blockage from institutional shareholders.” Nieto will now take the reins as CEO in an effort to bring it back from the brink of collapse.
The business was founded in 2012 and run by Gregory Dourde, who is stepping aside from his role as CEO to focus on working with Preciflex, which was previously a minority client of HYT, serving as an R&D leg for the company’s fluid timekeeping endeavors. According to Swiss watch-trade publication, Business Montres (subscription required), Preciflex will now be focusing more on the use of micro-controlled fluids in medical solutions (clearly, a far more lucrative and wide-reaching endeavor).
After-sales services for current owners of HYT models will be run by Preciflex. Unfortunately, and rather ironically for those looking to unload their fluid timekeeper, the market is not very liquid. Currently, prices on the secondary market are trading under retail. The HYT H0, of which there are only 15 in existence worldwide, originally retailed for $39,000 in 2017, but is now selling for $28,950 on Watchbox, while the HYT H1 Black retailed for $59,000 in 2012 and is now selling for just over $44,000 in the Titanium DLC version on Jomashop.
One of their final models, the HYT Flow released in September 2020, featured a disco-looking domed ball with 72 baguette-cut diamonds at 6 o’clock and 13 illuminating LED lights positioned below. It retails for $149,000. Looks like the party is over…for now.
But given that HYT was in business for just under 10 years, a nominal amount of time in an industry in which many brands have been around for centuries, the tide could always turn if Nieto is capable of saving the brand over the coming months.