HYT Returns for a 2022 Space Odyssey with the New Hastroid and Moon Runner Models
Under new ownership and now led by industry veteran Davide Cerrato, HYT has begun the next chapter of its watchmaking voyage with three new out-of-this-world creations.
At the end of last year, fans of bold, complex, out-of-this-world watchmaking had plenty of reasons to get excited when it was revealed that self-styled “meca-fluidic” masters HYT would be returning after a year-long hiatus.
Having paused operations in 2020 due to pandemic-related challenges, the Neuchâtel-based brand – known for using mechanically-driven fluids to indicate the time – announced in November 2021 that it had found new financial backers in Kairos Technology Switzerland SA.
The brand also unveiled a new CEO tasked with leading the company forward in the coming years. And it’s none other than Davide Cerrato, the former Director of Montblanc’s Watch Division and ex-head of marketing and product development at Tudor.
So, Watchonista visited HYT’s recent Geneva exhibition. There, we went hands-on with the brand’s latest eye-catching creations launched since the brand’s reboot: The Hastroid Green Nebula, the Hastroid Green Laser, and the Moon Runner Supernova Blue.
Hastroid Green Nebula
Kicking off the brand’s comeback was the Hastroid Green Nebula. And at its heart is the 501-CM calibre movement developed with Eric Coudray, designer of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon.
The movement still features the same technology that has characterized all HYT watches. For instance, a pair of cam-and-lever operated bellows (one of which has a thermal compensator) that expand and contract to draw two immiscible fluids through a borosilicate capillary tube with ultra-thin walls. In the case of the Hastroid Green Nebula, one of these fluids is clear, while the other is a greenish yellow. And, like previous HYT models, hours are indicated by how far the colored fluid extends around the circular tube.
Conceived for the HYT H5, released in 2020, the movement in the Hastroid Green Nebula has since been refined to feature central minutes, a rarity for HYT timepieces. Also new for HYT is a sapphire dial plate that allows for fantastic views of the bellows and more traditional watchmaking elements like the balance wheel and gear train.
Additionally, the display for the small seconds and scale for the power reserve indicator are emblazoned on this layer of sapphire. Meanwhile, the minute hand, minute markers, HYT logo, and applied hour indices all feature green lume that glows abundantly in the dark.
In yet another departure from HYT’s past creations, the case – with integrated, hollowed lugs – is an octagonal cushion shape, with its layered construction featuring blackened titanium and black carbon composite. Both the caseband and dial chapter ring are embellished with a honeycomb grid in black titanium, while the movement is housed in a protective titanium chamber.
In both looks and size – 48mm x 58.3mm – the Hastroid Green Nebula is a veritable spaceship for the wrist. And Cerrato drove home the space exploration and sci-fi inspiration in publicity portraits by looking every bit the Jedi Master, wearing his professorial glasses while brandishing a green tube-like lightsaber.
Priced at CHF 70,000 (excluding taxes) and limited to just 27 pieces, the Hastroid Green Nebula comes on a green rubber strap or black rubber strap with green Alcantara insert, both complemented by a blackened titanium buckle.
Hastroid Green Laser
The brand quickly followed up the launch of its first Hastroid in January 2022 by presenting a second edition in the middle of March: The Hastroid Green Laser. The specifications are basically identical to the those of the Green Nebula, except this time, the color green is brought to the fore on both the case and dial.
For the case, a bright green carbon composite is used in combination with black titanium; meanwhile a ring of green luminescent HyCeram hybrid ceramic composite glows under the blackened titanium honeycomb around the dial periphery. But to ensure enough contrast (and to maintain the right visual balance), the fluid indicating the hours is now black in color.
Like the Green Nebula, the Hastroid Green Laser is also limited to 27 pieces, though it is priced a little higher at CHF 75,000 (excluding taxes). It comes on a black rubber strap with black Alcantara embossed insert with green stitching and fitted with a blackened titanium buckle.
Moon Runner Supernova Blue
You would think that presenting a pair of Hastroids would be more than sufficient for HYT to mark its return. But the brand went even further last month by unveiling the Moon Runner Supernova Blue a mere ten days after the debut of the Green Laser.
This time, the circular and fluidic hour indication (now with blue liquid) actually plays second fiddle to a central hemispheric moonphase made in blue and gray titanium, accompanied by an aperture ring suspended by an arching V-shaped bridge.
That indication, in turn, is encircled by rotating date and month rings, read off at 6 o’clock via a fixed marker. And orbiting those is an arrow-shaped minute hand. It is a spectacular ensemble of displays, all of which are powered by the Coudray-developed Calibre 601-MO movement.
Despite the fresh complications, the Moon Runner manages to stay coherent with the Hastroid in regards to its outer dial design, but also in terms of its case shape and proportions. But as its name suggests, the Moon Runner Supernova Blue presents a striking new colorway: Gray- and blue-coated titanium is used for the case. Meanwhile blue and black aluminum is deployed on the dial, along with white Lumicast accents.
Delivered on a black rubber strap with a blue Alcantara insert and black titanium buckle, the Moon Runner Supernova Blue is, like the Hastroids above, limited to 27 pieces. It is priced at CHF 120,000 (excluding taxes).
For more information, please visit the HYT website.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)