Timepieces that visibly connect the past, the present and future
Liquid timekeeping is the HYT answer to capturing time’s flow and context as opposed to an isolated current moment. Two bellows, with walls four times finer than a human hair, form the engine of the fluid module. As each one compresses or expands, it releases or receives one of two immiscible liquids, one colored and one transparent.
These correspond to elapsed or imminent time respectively. Advanced chemistry was the mentor for the in-house development of a liquid dye with the required visibility, esthetics, durability and uv resistance. The meeting of the liquids, i.e. the now, is termed a “marriage”. This can only take their intrinsic individuality. Assuring the long-term reliability of this innovative timekeeping method is proprietary testing equipment with the ability to accelerate time, reducing a year to a month.
Back to the future in horological form. Liquid time obtains its rhythm from a specially created Haute Horlogerie mechanical movement that interfaces with the two belows. Front of stage, the visible proof of accuracy is the domain of a curved 0.8 mm thin glass capillary. The capillaries’ coating, eliminating any obstacle to flow, ranks as one of the watch’s most expensive elements. Full transparency is a further must in the quest to visualize time.
Technicians spend a full year perfecting the technique of filling the capillary. Even the smallest of air bubbles could threaten accuracy, especially at altitude. The technology portfolio in every HYT watch shows that the whole is much more than the sum of its parts - and that time standing still is never an option.
Fluidic module principles and assembly
Finding a dye with the necessary visibility, esthetics, durability and UV resistance to represent time’s passage led to the sphere of advanced chemistry. Scientific inspiration then found its way into HYT’s own lab, where all dyes used in the timepieces now first see the light of day – and night.
At HYT we refer to the meeting of the two liquids representing time past and time forward, i.e. the present, as a meniscus. Both fluids are prepared well in advance to ensure they’re compatible for lifetime. That means a harmonious union of two individual entities that complement and never compromise each other.
The HYT team travelled the world, with stopovers in both art and science, to find suppliers able to curve the 0.8 mm thick glass tubes that trace time’s path in our watches. When the search ended without success, HYT returned home to create their own high-tech machinery to perform this exacting task.
The coating of the capillaries in an HYT watch is one of its most expensive elements. It has the crucial task of ensuring the two liquids, with opposing properties, flow as smoothly as time itself. The coating also has to be fully transparent to enable the visualization of time. This high-tech development taking its inspiration from the semi-conductor industry rises to the occasion on both fronts.
Two bellows form the heart and soul of HYT’s fluid time. Located at 6 o’clock, their walls are made of a highly resistant, flexible alloy, four times finer than a human hair. As one bellow compresses to release one of the two liquids, the other expands to receive the second one. Aerospace inspiration provided the key to defying gravity.
HYT watch ensures that liquid expansion due to temperature variation never gets in the way of time’s fluidity. This elegant solution is contained in a small bellow within one of the main bellows of the patented fluidic module.
It took 15 years and much inspiration from the aerospace, medical device and semi-conductor sectors to develop the patented fluidic module. Defying gravity is just one of the challenges the resultant mechanism overcomes. Driven by the fact that time’s flow can’t be stopped, two bellows form its engine. As each one compresses or expands it releases or receives one of the two liquids corresponding to either elapsed or imminent time..
It takes a year to train technicians to fill the capillary of an HYT watch with the two contrasting liquids. The tiniest air bubble could interact with the pressure, compromising the precision of measuring time’s flow, for example at altitude. That’s why we invented dedicated machines and processes to demonstrate our belief that every second counts.
HYT is focused on writing horological history rather than reading it. To ensure long-term stability we created our own testing equipment with the ability to accelerate time. A major temperature increase turns a year into a month. As a result, 40 months of durability testing prove that our fluids will be accurately telling the time 40 years from now.
Time’s passage is visualized by a fluidic module; its rhythm comes from a specially developed haute horlogerie mechanical movement. The moment when these two elements meet has to be love at first sight to stand the test of time. The caliber is placed carefully on the bellows by steady, highly skilled hands that know there’s no margin for error and every need for unity.
Twice a day, an HYT watch offers the opportunity to reflect on the 12 precious hours that have just elapsed. Without losing a single second in timekeeping terms, the colored liquid switches to rewind mode when it gets to the end of the capillary and flows back to its original position. This fascinating replay of time’s passage lasts approximately 60 seconds.