News Flash: HYT Unveils The H5 With A New Design And A New Movement
Watchonista gets a sneak peek at the new HYT H5 before it gets whisked off to New York for its official presentation.
It was absolutely pouring rain in Nyon, Switzerland as I was waiting in front of the railway station for friend and HYT Vice President and Creative Director François Nunez. He kindly agreed to make a pit stop on his way into Geneva to meet me for coffee and give me an exclusive preview of the brand’s new H5 timepiece.
I had planned to take him to a hip café across town (he is one of the coolest watch industry executives I know), but it was raining so hard, we just made a run for it across the street to the nearest train-station coffee joint. Properly drenched, we grabbed the last table in the corner. It was far from the ideal place for a watch presentation, with our dripping umbrellas, steamed-up windows, and noisy commuters sheltering from the rain, but the minute Nunez slipped the new HYT H5 off his wrist, I was transported to a place of horological calm and wonder!
Time teller not timekeeper
He calls it a, “time teller not a timekeeper” as it has so many stories to tell. The first of which is the concept of time itself. Where conventional watches register the passing of time by the ticking of seconds, constantly reminding us of time escaping, HYT’s philosophy of time is better compared to a river, continuously moving forwards without the possibility of ever being stopped, accelerated or reversed.
The fluidity of time
The liquid display in the new H5 uses a black liquid to represent the past, and a transparent liquid to display the future. The present time is the point where the two liquids meet. The past, present and future are all visible on the dial at the same time, providing the wearer with a reminder to look at time differently, even live it differently.
What’s new – the movement
If you are an HYT fan, you know all this already, so I will get to what makes the H5 different. Firstly, the H5 has a brand-new movement made in collaboration with master watchmaker Eric Coudray, marking the first new movement from the brand in five years.
At first glance, you will notice that the bellows remain in the six o’clock position on the front of the watch but turn the piece over and you will see a whole new movement architecture that highlights the important link between the mechanical engine and liquid technology. It does this by putting the focus on an over-sized, mirror-polished lever that interacts with the bellows. When you consider that the lever moves just 1.5 microns to advance the liquid by one single minute, it is mind-blowing. And seeing it in action (well, you can’t actually see 1.5 microns, but you get the idea) makes the insane amount of technology in this watch just a little bit easier to understand and appreciate.
What’s new - design
HYT started life with the H1 collection, moving forward numerically to H4, but then took a jump back to H0 in order to reflect on the brand’s essence. The H0 design took on a new direction with organic shapes and forms that rendered the timepiece more ergonomic on the wrist thanks to a smooth, dome-shaped sapphire crystal that curved around the case, the movement, and the multi-dimensional dial.
Now the brand is ready to continue the series with the introduction of the H5 and it represents a leap forward with both its new movement and a new aesthetic. For the dial, Nunez found inspiration in the erosion and weathering of rocks. A closer look reveals strata or waves across a matte dial, further highlighting the rhythm and fluidity of the overall design.
Another new design feature is the addition of large Neoralite, SuperLumiNova-filled numerals around the flange, floating around the watch during daytime, but emitting a powerful glow at night. They are made of one single piece of translucent material that is 3D printed, then moulded, injected, and finished to haute horlogerie standards, which according to Nunez, was no easy feat.
All in all, the new HYT H5 shows how HYT has taken its liquid technology and allowed it to evolve, never standing still, like the flowing river that inspires it.
As I took my leave from Nunez, it somehow feels appropriate that it is still raining outside, and I am reminded of a quote by Bob Marley, “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” It seems that the HYT H5 philosophy of appreciating time is already starting to rub off on me!
Stay tuned for the full interview with François Nunez in Nyon, and HYT CEO Grégory Dourde in New York very soon.
Case: 48.8 mm, stainless steel
Movement: Caliber 501, manual-winding movement by Eric Coudray, liquid technology by Préciflex.
Strap: Black rubber
Limited Edition: Two limited editions of 25 pieces each
Price: US/CHF 55,000
(Images & video provided by HYT)