Small independent watch brand HYT has made a great deal of noise about its work with fluids in liquid capillaries. But many of its designs—from its movement components to its sturdy cases—have been metallic . . . until now. Its latest model, appropriately dubbed H2O, applies the fluid aesthetic to the exterior of the case and its glass enclosure. A rounded sapphire dome covers the exotic Renaud & Papi movement, first used in the brand’s H2 model, which sits on a relatively minimalist base and strap with a titanium folding buckle.
In many ways, H2O is the brand’s best model to date. The movement is now a dimensional sculpture, and the fluid capillary hours display floats above it all like a neon halo. Numerals, now represented by large-scale appliqués placed vertically around the movement, enhances the timepiece’s sculptural aesthetic. This movement in particular, with its dynamically angled bellows, has never been shown to such effect.
Besides upgrading the structure of the watch, functional design has been taken into account (the rounded edges pass under a shirt cuff with ease) as well as aesthetics. The sapphire dome creates obvious analogies to a water droplet—a riff on watchmaking’s hydrophobic nature that seems like a hard-to-miss design direction for the brand. Both the rounded form and the use of sapphire bring the model into highly contemporary design territory in ways the previous angular metal cases did not, better highlighting HYT signatures. If properly exploited, the new H2O model will enable HYT to show its worth much more effectively.
The new model ($95,000) will be initially released in two 25-piece editions in steel—one with black DLC coating and green fluid, and the other in brushed stainless steel with blue-treated bridges and blue fluid. If the brand’s past is any indication, other colors will likely follow in the seasons to come.