HYT CEO and Partner Vincent Perriard was in Paris last week, following his visit to Singapore, to present the latest creation from The Mechanical Horologists – the HYT H4 Metropolis that allows you to read the time in the dark by simply pressing a push-piece on your watch. The entire dial lights up, without a battery!
The launch of this new 100 piece limited edition took place at the (very) trendy and selective Colette store on the rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, where 2 of the timepieces can now be seen in exclusivity. Chronopassion in Paris and the rest of the world have to wait until mid-November before the H4 Metropolis makes it to their shops. HYT brand ambassador automobile pilot Jean-Eric Vergne was also with us for the presentation.
Inventors of a fluid mechanics system using a cam, pistons, two bellows, a capillary and a coloured liquid to mark the hours, HYT has already demonstrated its unique approach to watchmaking, making headlines and winning awards when its first timepiece – the H1 – was launched in 2012. The architecturally similar but skeletonized version – the H4 – seen with the Gotham H4 launched earlier this year, came just 3 years and a very impressive 26 patents later. Innovations continue with the H4 Metropolis, with the addition of a new system, that, somewhat like a dynamo, produces light by converting its own mechanical power into light energy, illuminating the entire dial without a battery.
How does it work? We first wind a generator hidden between 4 and 5 o’clock with a rotating movement on the push-piece located at 4:30. Once the generator is wound, we simply press on the same push-piece to activate two LEDs that are concealed under the rider at 6 o’clock.
The activated LEDs diffuse a soft blue light all over the dial, revealing every detail of the skeleton architecture of the caliber, while at the same time energizing the green fluid that marks the hour. The effect is truly stunning. The illumination lasts for 3 to 5 seconds if we release pressure from the push-button and up to 15” if we continue to push. We rewind the generator after every 15” of use.
Housed in a 51 x 17.9 mm titanium case with black DLC bezel and two black DLC titanium crowns at 2:30 and 4:30, the skeleton mechanical hand-wound exclusive HYT movement with a power reserve of 65 hours has hand-bevelled and micro-blasted bridges and rhodium-plated bellows, visible through the convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
The fluid hour display, regulator at 12 o’clock, small seconds wheel at 9:30 and power reserve indicator at 2:30, with white minute indexes and numerals, black hour dial with white numerals, and luminescent grey minute hand and numerals are harmoniously positioned on the dial, completed with a black rubber and NOMEX™ canvas strap with black DLC titanium folding buckle. Price: 90,000 Euros.