Hydro Seduction
    Category: Forbes Life By : Yessar Rosendar Read : 1199 Date : Friday, February 13, 2015 - 19:23:23

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    When HYT came to the market two years ago, it created a shock in the industry as the world’s first hydro-mechanical watch, in which a fluorescent liquid showed the hour and a regular dial showed the minute. Normally fluids are the enemy of mechanical objects but HYT inserts fluids into the heart of a fine watch.

    For this innovation, the HYT was the winner of the 2012 Geneva watchmaking grand prize for best innovative watch concept at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve,  the industry’s most prestigious event. “We created the concept from scratch and we created a concept that didn’t exist,” says Vincent Perriard, chief executive and co-founder of HYT,  in an interview last October during the brand’s launch in Jakarta. “It started with a very strong and easy to understand vision, it’s a basic principle of mixing liquid and mechanics, but it’s hard to master.”

    To make the watch work correctly it took three years of development. The fluid in the reservoir is made from two liquids with different densities—water and oil. The two naturally will separate but in the watch they remain mixed because of external influences such as gravity and temperature. Oil is also sticky, so to solve this problem, the brand used seven chemical coatings on the reservoir tube.

    HYT co-founder Lucien Vuillamoz roughly sketched the concept in 2005, but the investment wasn’t done until 2010 when Vincent, Lucien, and Chairman Patrick Berdoz got together for the effort. They started selling the watch in September 2013. Vincent previously was responsible for growing several brands such as Audemars Piguet, Concorde and TechnoMarine watches. “I was behind the concept as well, because I want to make a watch in a certain way and create something unique in the industry,” Vincent says.

    Originally Vincent projected that the company would only produce up to 150 watches for the first year, but the demand for the watch grew exponentially and the brand ended up producing 500 watches last year. “The demand was crazy and much more than we expected,” Vincent says.

    It launched its second watch the H2 that has a movement produced by Audemars Piguet. With an AP movement the H2 is currently the top of the line of the collection—each of the 15 units has a platinum case.

    Within a year of its launch, the brand garnered more than 50 points of sale worldwide, and has opened its first subsidiary in Singapore and concluded its first partnership in Asia with retail and brand giant, Time International. “We are very particular about which brands we represent, but HYT was an obvious choice for us. We admire the revolution they have brought to the watch industry and know they have much more in store for us. In the meantime they are producing technical masterpieces that we are very happy to be retailing,” says Irwan Mussry, president and chief executive of Time International, in a press release.