Thursday, April 7, 2016

Let Your Love Light Shine for HYT's H4 Metropolis

Innovation within tradition, the DNA of haute horlogerie, the movement heritage, and so on: forget it all. HYT does things its own way, and discards these received ideas. Need a known quantity to hang on to? Good news: the H4 Metropolis tells the time. As for the rest, you will need to forget anything that has been seen, designed, or even imagined before now. 

The HYT H4 Metropolis

Nothing Has Changed, Except the Essential
The chassis is a familiar beast. Since the start of the year, the H4 has had more ink in publicity than it has in its capillary. It is based on the same movement architecture as the H1, HYT's inaugural piece, which has been completely skeletonized.

With a 65-hour power reserve, it unveiled its sculptural mechanism for the very first time and opened up a new creative universe for HYT. One so appealing that the brand decided not to meddle with it: the new H4 Metropolis is virtually a carbon copy of its big brother. Or is it? 

All Is Not As It Seems 
Using this as its basis, HYT has returned to its favorite game: creating, surprising, sometimes unsettling, always astounding. This time the brand has applied a radiant idea, as brilliant as it is difficult to spot at first glance.

Only eagle-eyed enthusiasts will have noticed an intriguing detail: the presence of two push-pieces. What could they be for, on a model with hours, minutes and seconds? The answer is a first for HYT – probably in watchmaking as a whole. 

An exploded view of the Metropolis' groundbreaking movement

Fully Illuminated 
The H4 Metropolis is a piece equipped with a light source. Under the rider at 6 o'clock, HYT has concealed two LEDs. Once activated, they flood the entire dial with blue light. At night, the green fluid is energized by this light source, becoming perfectly visible. 

At the same time, the wash of light flows into every nook and cranny of the caliber, literally bringing this skeleton architecture to life, and defying the laws of watchmaking.

The source of energy is purely mechanical. “Starting with a blank sheet is what we know. That’s how all our models have been created,” explains Vincent Perriard, CEO of HYT Watches. “But here, with the light complication, a new challenge was set: we had to start using our own existing caliber as a complete, functional basis. We basically had to add a piece to a puzzle which was already finished.” 

Two LEDs light up the movement

Lumens Ex Machina 
The generator has been nestled between 4 and 5 o'clock. It is invisible, and activated by the push-piece located opposite on the case middle. The process is broadly that of a dynamo: converting mechanical power into light energy. It is the rotation of the push-piece at 4:30 that winds the generator. Pressure on this same push-piece then activates the two LEDs, which bathe the Metropolis in a soft blue light.

This illumination is possible for a maximum of five seconds, after which the mechanism must be reinitialized. No battery is needed for this process, which is fully mechanical. Three factors made it so tricky to develop: the extreme miniaturization, curved shape, and the fact that no development of this type had ever been achieved before.

The H4 Metropolis will be released as a run of 100 pieces with a 51 mm titanium and DLC case.

“The coherence of the idea seduced us,” explains Perriard. “Before HYT, we were told that having a movement running with a liquid was simply impossible. Before the Metropolis, lighting up a dial was only possible with a battery. And, what is more, a liquid must never be used in conjunction with an electrical current. But, evidently, we’ve done all of those things. In reality, the only limits are those we set ourselves."

H4 Metropolis 
Technical Specifications

  • Titanium and titanium black DLC bezel with brushed, shot-peened and satin-finished surfaces
  • Diameter: 51mm
  • Height: 17.9mm
  • Rubber-clad screw-down black DLC titanium crown at 2:30 and at 4:30
  • Black DLC titanium dome at 6 o’clock
  • Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the dial side
  • Screw-down sapphire caseback
  • Water resistant to 50 meters
  • Retrograde fluidic hours; minutes, seconds
  • Skeleton mechanical hand-wound movement, HYT exclusive caliber
  • 28,800 vib/h, 4 Hz, 35 jewels
  • Bridges hand-beveled and micro blasted, rhodium-plated bellows
  • 65-hour power reserve
Blue light mechanical module 
  • Rewinding and push-button system with a crown at 4:30
  • The dynamo works when the crown is compressed at 4:30. As soon as the button loosens the light stops working until the full decompression of the additional barrel spring
  • Unstructured, fluid hour display
  • Sapphire minute, seconds and power reserve dial
  • White minute indexes and numerals
  • Black hour dial with white numerals
  • Luminescent grey minute hand and numerals
  • Regulator at 12 o’clock
  • Small seconds wheel at 9:30
  • Power reserve indicator at 2:30
  • Black rubber base with integrated NOMEX™ canvas
  • Black DLC titanium folding buckle

Limited Edition: 100 pieces 
Reference: 512-TD-45-GF-RN

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