HYT - the hero of your time After the shock of HYT going out of business in February 2021, we are delighted to learn that the creator of the mechanical timepiece with its color fluid display will be back in business in November. Davide Cerrato was appointed CEO and he hit the reset button for the HYT strategy. In Geneva, we are eager to hear new directions and see new things.
When it came out a decade ago, HYT made a splash with its ingenious liquid-based time display (they call it the "mecafluidic" in mechanics and fluids). Two bellows operated by a mechanical movement pump dark and clear immiscible fluids in small tubes within a permanently sealed module. Showing the passage of time on a watch like this is so unique, it's earned them a fan club that includes people like Axl Rose, who ended up designing a piece with HYT. Capillary systems can take many shapes and be placed in different structures and environments - we spoke with former VP and creative director François Nunes in 2019.
In December 2020, the announcement of the split of the CEO positions of HYT and Preciflex (sister companies that develop capillary systems and bring them to markets other than watches), and that the former COO of HYT will become acting CEO, has shown that the business is not progressing well. smoothly. Shortly after, institutional shareholders blocked funds that HYT management was seeking to raise, and the company filed for bankruptcy in February 2021.
New Chapter: HYT
Thankfully, the unique HYT time display will be with us for longer. Kairos Technology Switzerland SA in Neuchâtel takes over the assets of HYT and appoints Davide Cerrato as CEO. When he becomes the creative director, he will actually have double responsibility. With an innate sense of design, he has left his mark on Tudor and Montblanc products. Furthermore, these previous efforts aimed at relaunching a brand (Tudor) and establishing a separate watch division (Montblanc) were the exact combination he needed to put HYT back on track. This time, however, the dimensions, layers, creative freedom, and financial possibilities of decision-making will be different.
acquaintance and difference
So what is he going to cook? By fusing mechanical watchmaking and capillary systems, HYT has created a niche for itself that no one really enters. And for good reason. The technology goes beyond the traditional realm of mechanical watchmaking - liquids are often the medium you want to keep away from your timepieces. Building such a system that works as intended, can withstand the shock of wear, and can be repaired is quite challenging. If you look at HYT's 10 years (and some of the development before the company was founded), it's a fairly short time to do this. But now, the technology has been acquired in-house and the market is interested in this complication, so using it as a base is a no-brainer.
Over the past few years, the company has explored a rather artistic direction, rather than thinking about functionality and ergonomics. Improving wear resistance, durability, legibility, and transitioning from a single trick pony to a combination of features developed according to a well-defined product strategy is a priority for Mr. Cerrato. He started this new chapter in black and white - if you visit their website, all the previous work is gone, only the novelty appears.