HYT HASTROID RAINBOW : The art of colouring time
As unique as a rainbow, the new Hastroid Rainbow is an exclusive creation. To perfect the rainbow colouring on its dial, HYT called upon one of the most exacting of modern artisanal techniques, known as Techno Art. A new challenge combining exceptional skills and vision for the future of Haute Horlogerie.
The radiant watches in the Rainbow collection measure the passage of time in colour. To create its own modern, high-tech interpretation of this on-trend look, contemporary independent Swiss fine watchmaking brand HYT chose to incorporate the full range of rainbow colours in the display of this model.
HYT has made the focal point of this piece the outer edge of the dial and the heart of the exclusive fluid module with its retrograde hours display. The colouring is the focus and this serves two purposes: firstly, it creates a stunning decorative effect; secondly, it takes on a technical dimension by enhancing the legibility of the display.
HYT’s mecafluid technology is taken to the next level with Techno Art
By nature, each of the 15 Hastroid Rainbow timepieces will be unique and exclusive, as they are the fruit of meticulous work by artisans skilled in an art technique which requires inordinate dexterity. In addition to the precision required in this work carried out by hand, there is also the technical expertise involved in cutting entirely using a laser. The grille onto which the colours are applied is coloured using tinted Zapon lacquer.
Zapon is a premium single-component lacquer mainly used to provide long-term protection for dials which have undergone galvanic treatment. Applying the lacquer using a pressurised process requires great skill.
Consequently, the dial on each of the 15 pieces in the Hastroid Rainbow Limited Edition collection is worked on individually by hand by Yan Patriarca, lacquering expert at MD’Art SA. In the words of this specialist in the art: “Depending on the desired final effect, it is possible to change this product by giving it a satin-finished or a mat look, tinting it translucently using dyes, pigments or even with flakes of metal or mother of pearl”
In the specific case of the Rainbow grille, a white base varnish was needed to obtain the required brightness. Only then could the pure dyes be sprayed on, by hand, in several very thin layers, each no more than 2 to 3 microns thick.
“It takes great precision and lots of patience to create the colour gradient effect. The aim is to create some visual magic, so that the colour change is imperceptible; so the eye can’t detect where one shade ends and the next begins” Yan Patriarca explains, and the next step is to apply a layer of clear Zapon over the entire grille to protect the finished work and to protect it in the long term”.
It should be noted that the fluid contained in the capillary tube is black and, when it moves around the coloured dial, it gives the impression that it is tinted in the shade assigned to each time slot. The effect is therefore constantly changing and serves as a modern poetic reminder of the ephemeral nature of the phenomenon of rainbows which are created, scientifically speaking, when the mechanics of water meets the Sun as the source of light energy.
The minute track, with its graduated scale to follow the progress of the fluidic retrograde hours indicator, is also coloured in a special bright shade of violet.
As on other versions of the Hastroid model, a great deal of work has gone into the dial to enhance its legibility; it therefore features a large central hand with a refined design to enable the minutes to be read at a glance. This hand is also coloured violet to match perfectly. Further key information is given on the two flight instrument-inspired sub-dials: a small second on the one hand and the power reserve on the other. Coated in Lumicast, these hands are black and red for improved legibility.
The relief hour numerals are also luminescent, thanks to their Lumicast coating which enables them to continue their rainbow magic in the dark. Watchmaking expertise is therefore able to create a phenomenon not possible in nature.
HYT Hastroid, the epitome of watchmaking art in the 21st century
The Hastroid is an iconic model featuring all the brand’s technical and aesthetic DNA. Made from multi-layer carbon fibre with a profile in mat black DLC-coated titanium, its case measures 48 mm in diameter, 52.3 mm in length and is 17.20 mm thick.
The remarkable construction of the case achieved by superimposing adjusted and assembled elements was a feat of great precision. The crown is also made from black-coated titanium. The assembly is waterproof to 30 metres and the mechanical movement is protected by a central titanium case.
Retrograde hours and large minute hand: the mechanical movement shows
its power in the dark
To let the dial reveal the full measure of its sophistication, the centrepiece of the mecafluid system with its two central «bellows» reservoirs is intentionally in the dark, featuring a special black treatment accentuated by satin-finished and sand-blasted finishes.
The fluid contained in the borosilicate capillary tube serves to indicate the retrograde hours, while a purple-tinted central hand coated with Lumicast points to the minutes.
The power required to guarantee the precision of this exceptional timepiece is supplied by the hand-wound mechanical movement 501- CM (with 41 jewels) beating at 28,800 vib/hour (4 Hertz) and offering a 72-hour power reserve.