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HYT's Convincing Case for the Hydraulic Luxury Watch

The Swiss luxury brand founded on unique fluid technology has learned how to make a handsome timepiece.

Photo Courtesy of HYT


HYT may be the strangest watch company on Earth. The Swiss firm eschews the mechanical and the digital in favor of the fluid, creating wristwatches with hydraulic pumps that push fluorescein-infused water around a traditional face. It’s a hell of a party trick, but the company’s tendency to pair neon green liquids and dark subdials has given a lot of their pieces a sort of ectoplasmic vibe. That’s why the new H1 Iceberg is such an exciting step forward. The just-released limited edition timepiece has a subtle white and brushed titanium face encircled by a tube of blue water with a meniscus that indicates the hour. The watch proves that HYT’s technology isn’t just a gimmick, it’s a design opportunity.

The piston-driven bellows that move the liquids – the tube contains clear and blue solutions – add a bit of steampunk spice and a water wheel suddial provides some added dynamism. The H1 Iceberg manages to look like a timepiece without looking like a watch. The technology, developed over the course of 18 intense months by staff engineers, may be redundant, but it’s an achievement all the same. The Iceberg proves that innovation for innovation’s sake can yield beautiful results.