HYT H1 Watch Hands-On
During the press conference, Haoyitong was overcrowded. Many people go to hear Vincent Perriard discuss the inner workings of the H1, the new watch from his new brand HYT. Debuting only recently after months of teasing, the HYT is a high-end geek watch designed to combine a traditional mechanical watch with a liquid watch. The H1 is the brand's first release, with more liquid-themed watches to come in the future. After the conference, I interviewed Perriard for a special first-hand experience and demonstration of the new watch from the man himself.
If you've known Perriard's work in the past, you'll be familiar with his passion and design decisions. Futurism and "doing things differently" are factors that help motivate him. He speaks very fast in French when explaining the watch, and shares the same level of insight and enthusiasm in English when showing off his toys. The H1 is a very cool and unnecessary watch - the exact formula that breeds success in the watch industry is this level. When I introduced the HYT H1 to the world, I first introduced it here.
Hands-on with the H1 is pretty much what I'd expect -- and that's fine. A bold, futuristic design that's large on the wrist but still wearable. The case is 48.8mm wide and 17.8mm thick. With lugs, it fits well on most wrists. You can't help but notice the two bellows in the movement and the glowing green liquid ring that marks the hours. Conceptual execution seems flawless, especially when you adjust small back and forth and the green slime moves quickly across the scale. It basically uses pressure, but as far as I know, never used a crown like this - maybe not on such a small scale.
The piece we're examining is a titanium alloy coated with black DLC. Available in uncoated titanium, as well as all 18k rose gold and 18k rose gold mixed black.
As I mentioned, Perriard likes to make high-end toys. That's what the H1 feels like. It's like something a smart kid would dream of. It's also something a grown kid would be happy to wear. It takes a lot of technical expertise to fully understand what the sport is doing, but the concept in action can be enjoyed by just about anyone. I think Perriard knows the concept best - if you want a successful new watch brand to sell high-priced items, it has to be something that wows the average person.
On the dial, you can see a retrograde liquid indicator for the hours and a dial for the minutes - both easy to read. There is an auxiliary seconds dial and a practical power reserve indicator for the hand-wound movement. Perriard turned to the back of the watch to explain how he wanted to finish and decorate the movement in a relatively classic way—without potentially alienating hard-core consumer watch enthusiasts. The cheeky accordion bellows on the dial is something you've never seen on a dial before. An iconic element like this is sure to become a brand identity.
The price is still completely out of the question for most people, but it does give the rich a better chance than the super-rich to own and enjoy extremely exotic watches. I myself and others enjoy what the H1 has to offer in terms of style and stance as well as technological innovation. Perriard promises more and more sophistication in the future, so I expect the H1 to be their entry-level model for years to come. Often brands like this start out with ultra-high-end flagship models, but getting the tech right is probably the most important thing when HYT starts. I really like what they're doing, and CEO Perriard's passion for the product definitely sweetens the deal.