The Science in Horology
BY ANAAM IKRAM
Starting from scratch three years ago, the Swiss watchmakers introduced to the world an extraordinary way of keeping time through the launch of their mechanically and scientifically advanced watches. Inspired by the Clepsydra, an ancient technology of measuring time through the use of liquids, HYT brought to watch enthusiasts an unparalleled technology and has reformed the horology industry. Vice President of Sales and Marketing and partner of HYT, Ion Schiau spoke to Perle Magazine about the combination of science and art involved in creating the unique timepieces.
Bringing together experts from various fields of science and design, the HYT watches were created keeping in mind the ancient Egyptian technology of Clepsydra, but with a mechanical approach, thus resulting in the first hybrid mechanical fluid watch. Working with a team comprising of specialists from the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, as well as watchmakers, HYT was able to master the art of successfully stepping away from conventional watch making and created watches that are the first of its kind. The idea, which was first introduced 10 years ago, came to life in 2008 as a prototype before the watches were finally launched in 2012.
Taking on the challenge in the horology realm, HYT watches are the first to be able to incorporate mechanics and fluids into a wearable design, receiving numerous accolades in the short time since their launch. Winning the Grand Prix d’Horologie in Geneva, HYT watches are made in collaboration with Swiss master watchmakers Audemars Piguet Renaud Papi, headed by Guilio Papi.
The horology lab works with HYT to create the movements of the watch that provide sufficient torque and power to press and compress the tanks containing the liquids within the watch.
Mixing technology used by NASA with intricate designing, the watches are fitted with highly resistant, flexible electro-deposited bellows that are driven by a piston each and a capillary which contains a precise amount of liquid and has been designed to ensure the liquid does not move around the watch.
The most important element of the watch is the mechanical movement that is located in the upper part of the watch and works the pistons and activates the bellows. HYT’s focus on aesthetic and mechanics allowed for both the movements and the hydro-systems to work simultaneously in a closed, waterproof circuit. “We chose to go where nobody has ever set foot before. All of this was from scratch and without the edginess and uniqueness it is very hard today to perform in the watch making world”, Ion said. The brand’s latest innovative advances include the addition of LED lights in the H4 collection. Using a completely new technology, there is no battery needed to create the light; once the LEDs are activated, they cover the dial with blue light that shines clearly through the entire calibre, bringing the watch to life.
Ion explains that it takes around 16 months to produce a watch, but their rising demand has resulted in around 400 watch pieces being produced a year, with a collection containing around 25-30. Launching four collections and one special edition “Skull” collection, HYT has fast grown with around 70 points of sales across the world including GCC counties such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and showcased in Bahrain for the first time through luxury watch concept, Projekt8, at the 2015 Jewellery Arabia exhibition.
Working towards new designs with unconventional technologies, the Swiss brand has mastered the art of using nano fluids at a very small speed and been working towards developing appliances for the medical industry as well. Working towards expanding their own product portfolio, Ion says the brand is constantly working on new designs and look forward to releasing new models in the future.
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