Most watch brands today have a schtick – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Whether it’s creating budget-friendly pieces inspired by the past, having a staunch dedication to a single complications, or focusing on particular materials, identity is a big part of the modern watch marketplace. But few brands have something as distinct as what sets HYT apart – it’s circular fluid-driven display. The H0 is the latest watch to make use of this interesting mechanism and its got a bold new look too.
The foundational inspiration for the H0 was "a pebble, worn smooth by water from a mountain stream," which is, if I may say so, sounds a little on the nose. However, when you see the watch, that actually comes through loud and clear, and the watch’s overall form appeals to me in a way that no other HYT to date has.
There are three versions of the H0, but they all have the same basic structure. First, there’s the titanium case, which comes in at a whopping 48.8mm across and 17.9mm thick. This barely qualifies as a wristwatch at all. I’ve legitimately seen desk clocks that are smaller. However, I’m sure there are plenty of HYT fans who aren’t bothered by these measurements at all. There’s a screw-down titanium crown too and the H0 is water-resistant to 30 meters.
The crystal might be the coolest thing about this watch. There’s not only no bezel, but also no real edge to the case to speak of. The crystal curves around the edges and meets the case almost all the way at the bottom. You get an incredible view of the dial and fluid display from all angles, plus you can read the minutes from the side. The crystal gives the watch an extremely unusual profile too. Honestly, I really like it and think it gives this watch so much character that I’d consider wearing one if it would fit on my Lilliputian wrist.
And that brings us to the time display. As with all HYT watches, there’s fluid involved. In the case of the H0, this means a slim tube of glass that circles the dial to show the hours and then more traditional minutes and seconds registers up at 12:00 and 9:30, respectively. There’s also a power reserve indicator opposite the seconds register to balance things out.
Let’s go back to that hour display for a moment though. The glass tube is filled with two liquids, one clear and the other brightly colored, and a pair of bellows controls how they fill the tube, adding or reducing pressure to get the colored liquid to hit the correct hour marker. It’s pretty wild that this works and it’s something completely different from anything else being tried in horology today.
Remember, there’s still a mechanical movement at work here. Those bellows control the display of the liquid, but otherwise we’re in familiar territory. The H0 is powered by a manually-wound caliber with 35 jewels and a 65-hour power reserve. If you can bring yourself to look away from the front (or side), you’ll see hand-bevelled bridges and Cotes de Genève through the sapphire caseback.
So is the H0 a watch for everyone? Absolutely not. Will purists and those interested in more modest timepieces likely scoff and turn the other way? For sure. But they shouldn’t. Even if you’re not going to be strapping on an H0 anytime soon, I believe it’s always exciting when genuinely new horological ideas appear and I’m happy to see that even in today’s climate there are people and companies willing to experiment and try new things.
The HYT H0 is available in three colorways – black, orange, and silver – and all three are priced the same at $39,000. For more, visit HYT online.