HYT SOONOWBy Suan Futt Yeo
Those of a more conservative bent can be forgiven for thinking the good people at HYT certifiably insane, from how the latter’s watches are so fundamentally at odds with everything the rest of the industry produces. Wild aesthetics aside, HYT’s hands-free approach to time-telling involves extreme engineering and precision fabrication to display time using its signature ‘fluidic’ time-display modules that has contrast-colored liquids driven through glass capillaries via a system of bellows powered by a mechanical movement.
Actually, it’s HYT crawling through a bed of nails for extra authenticity while everyone else traverses a shorter course wearing proper shoes. Because partitioning time into discrete segments as we habitually do is but an artificial concession to practicality, that we might count the beats and seconds. On the to hand, experience tells us that time flows in a continuum. In that sense, liquids, however difficult to manipulate in miniature from an engineering standpoint, goes a little closer to depicting the essence of time.
Their latest, Soonow, bears this continuity from its very name, with “soon” and passing seamlessly into “now” without a break. In two editions of 25 pieces each, choose between steel with blue fluidic module or black PVD steel with green fluidic module. The fluidic module forms the outline of a skull face, while the 313 gold pins on the perforated titanium dial adds form and contour to the skull. Qualifies as memento mori timepiece, but the effect is playful rather than grave. The left eye serves as power reserve indicator, while the other eye serves for running seconds by framing a disc that completes one revolution every minute.
Zany, wild, an engineering feat and philosophically authentic, the HYT breaks habits without forgetting a touch of humour. The fool on the hill, as some know, is no fool at all.
Mechanical movement, 4 Hz, 65 hours power reserve, micro-fluidic module; power reserve indicator, running seconds
48.8mm stainless steel case, 20.08mm height, domed sapphire crystal, 50m water resistance, titanium dial with 937 perforations, 313 gold pins to forms the skull
Rubber, titanium buckle