HYT Jean-Eric Vergne

HYT and Jean-Eric Vergne: in sync with new technologies

A familiar face at HYT, Jean-Eric Vergne finished second at the Formula E race in Paris. His driving –like his watch –is the perfect balance of fluidity and accuracy and that is what made the difference.

By Vincent Daveau

While the weather played spoilsport with gray clouds and freezing temperatures, the atmosphere was buzzing with energy in the gardens of the Invalides in Paris at the start of the first Formula E race which took place in the streets of the French capital city on April 23, 2016.

Nicknamed "The City of Lights”in the late 19th century, Paris did not disappoint. The heart of the city used different and innovative ways to present our urban world in a different light, just the approach we need to find alternatives for our transport. Of course, it was only natural to find HYT at the heart of this talent hub where new technologies are the craze. Just like other contemporary companies, the brand has succeeded in revolutionizing its field of expertise by reinterpreting not only the way mechanical watches work but also time display with the use of hydraulics.

Jean-Eric Vergne Jean-Eric Vergne

At the heart of a shared passion

The fluidic technology invented by HYT is best understood in a nautical context, where water is physically present. The association becomes then direct and obvious. Seeing the young brand at a Formula E race was a bit puzzling and yet when you think about it, it makes sense. Water was the first source of electric production (hydro-electricity) and it made the fortune of the regions where watchmaking was developed. However, it wasn’t this historical connection that pushed the young brand to join the emerging field of car racing. HYT's presence in the slightly improvised paddocks on the avenue that leads to the Invalides had to do with the brand’s bond with Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, the talented Formula 1 and Formula E pilot.

Redefining paradigms

Some years ago, the idea that fluids could be integrated into the heart of mechanical watches without risking potential damages was thought to be almost impossible.  It was also not that long ago that it seemed complicated to make more than twenty electrical racing cars drive non-stop for almost 50 minutes at more than 200 km/h. As Vergne put it, the Formula E race "is a counterpart of what we do as drivers".

Formula E Paris La HYT H1 au porté durant la course de Formula E à Paris

When we asked him why this brand and not another one with closer links with automobiles, his answer was clear: "I like the idea of a niche brand whose technical development is so different to what we are used to therefore making it impressive. It fits in with who I am because I like the idea of projecting into the future while staying true to the conventional world".     

It's exactly what happens in Formula E: "On the outside, an electric single-seater looks identical to a car with an internal combustion engine and yet (on the inside) everything is different, even the way of driving it". The driver, who finished second at the race in Paris, explained his bond with HYT: "I very much like design and I love the brand’s off-kilter approach that mixes the contemporary and the traditional. It's true that I do not wear the two pieces that I have (a H2 Bronze and a Skull) during races, not because I couldn’t, but because these cars offer very confined spaces and I would hate to damage them while driving. During the race, I have to concentrate on the track and on driving, nothing else.

Jean-Eric Vergne Jean-Eric Vergne dans le cockpit de sa Formula E

However as soon as I’m done, I put my watch on because my image is now associated with this brand that does things differently. This matters a lot to me as it keeps reinventing its field of expertise in the same way Formula E rejuvenates the sector in which I drive".

It is safe to say that the relationship between Vergne and HYT is based on clear and long-lasting values, as usually happens with true partnerships in which one’s image reflects on the other's and vice versa. It could therefore be said that HYT and Vergne were meant to be. If you’ll excuse the pun, there could not be anything other than electricity between the brand that works with fluids and the Ferrari test and Formula E driver for as everyone knows, fluids are good electrical conductors and drivers regulate current flowing through circuits.

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