Haute Time Review: The HYT H1

In today’s Haute Time review, Jack Forster goes with the flow and talks HYT H1.

Sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong, and when you’re wrong, a public mea culpa is good for the soul. I admit it: when I first saw pictures of the “hydromechanical” watch from HYT, in which a luminous fluid forced under pressure through a capillary tube is used to indicate the hours, my first thoughts were not complimentary.

I knew who HYT’s CEO, Vincent Perriard, was–I’d met him when he was running Concord, and knew that he’d worked for brands ranging from Audemars Piguet to Technomarine; I knew he was a man of apparently limitless energy and someone with a huge love of inventive watchmaking to boot. But fluid in a watch? A big, hyper-modern, aggressively styled watch nearly 50mm in diameter? It seemed too big, too brash, too over-the-top…in short, too pre-2008 for today’s world of well-bred extra flat dress watches and discretely luxurious complications.

How wrong I was. Ironically enough my mind was changed in Las Vegas, Nevada–Sin City, where I was sitting in a bar at the Wynn, unwinding after a long day at a trade show, when Vincent Perriard himself breezed by, spotted me and stopped like with the instantaneousness of a Bugatti Veyron traveling at 200 mph when those big fat ceramic brakes grab hold. He had with him a prototype of the HYT H1, and showed it to me with unadulterated glee.