A symbiosis between science and the expertise of the finest watchmakers, this new mechanical fluidic watch by HYT incorporates a conical tourbillon. To create this timepiece, master watchmaker Eric Coudray took inspiration from the unique inclined balance tourbillon developed by Walter Prendel in 1928.
The new HYT Conical Tourbillon is a return to the purity of the Neuchâtel based high-luxury watch brand’s creative sources. It is both animated and sensual thanks to the dual movement effect created by the retrograde fluid hour markers and the turning of the conical tourbillon with its dynamic movements.
The HYT Conical Tourbillon proudly showcases the sand-blasted and satined finish of the 701 TC calibre. This extremely complex hand-wound mechanical movement beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz).
In addition to the captivating fluidic time display, it sports a suspended tourbillon mechanism with a spring-balance inclined at 30 degrees to horizontal, the escape wheel at 15 degrees, and a pallet at 23 degrees. This bold technical achievement takes its inspiration directly from the works of German watchmaker Walter Prendel and his inclined balance tourbillon.
Invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet, tourbillon is a micromechanical device that improves the precision of mechanical watches by counteracting disruptions to the isochronism of the balance caused by Earth’s gravity.
Watchmakers have been working on perfecting this system for more than two centuries and there are numerous interpretations and variations on the theme, from the original principle patented in 1801 by Abraham-Louis Breguet to Omega’s central tourbillon in 1995.
However, one of the most important steps in the evolution of the tourbillon is not one of the most well-known. This was the development in 1928 of an oblique tourbillon by the German watchmaker Walter Prendel.
It was in the early 2020s that master watchmaker Eric Coudray, winner of the Prix Gaïa and familiar with the complex works of Walter Prendel, decided to continue this work to improve the tourbillon, using this oblique tourbillon as his base. Eric Coudray devised his conical tourbillon, which he called the “Cônillon”, a revision and reinterpretation of Prendel’s oblique tourbillon.
Eric Coudray has extended his expertise in this mechanism to HYT when the brand decided to include a tourbillon in its new watch.
In the same way that the ebb and flow of the fluids in HYT watches are visible and evident, the capacities of the conical tourbillon can be understood without a magnifying glass or other tools, thanks to the unusual dynamic animation.
At the very heart of the dial, where the conical tourbillon completes a clockwise revolution in 30 seconds, there are three spheres rotating at different speeds which are easy to observe: the first completes four turns a minute, the second five turns a minute, and the third six turns a minute, clockwise.
These rotations introduce a particularly bold form of chaos as, paradoxically, they demonstrate the stability of the conical tourbillon’s rate. Any observer would intuitively be tempted to think that their contradictory forces would cause disruption, upsetting the equilibrium, which seems to fly in the face of strict watchmaking logic.
On the contrary, they demonstrate the perfect stabilisation of the rhythm of the tourbillon as, unlike other types of animation which are positioned after the balance in the chain of movement, the animated spheres in the HYT Conical Tourbillon are cut across by the energy produced by the four cylinders in order to reach the regulating organ.
The unconnected, rapid movements of the animated spheres ensure the conical tourbillon keeps perfect time, providing a tangible demonstration of its technical efficiency.
If we look closer, these spheres provide yet another indication of the level of quality put into the production of the HYT Conical Tourbillon. Each of these three spheres measuring 2.5 mm in diameter is produced individually by a glass blower using traditional methods.
This ancient technique relies on skilled craftsmanship and extreme precision. The walls of these spheres are extremely thin, with very minute tolerances of just five hundredths to one tenth of a millimetre. This makes each sphere completely unique and requires bespoke calibration.
These microspheres are then filled with fluorescent liquid so that their rotations can be seen. In order to contain this glow-in-the-dark liquid, the first stage is to guarantee the spheres are completely sealed at a molecular level.
Last but not least, the spheres are filled with luminescent fluid, which is another complex, precision manual operation which can only be carried out by the expert hand of a true artisan.
This is why HYT has two dedicated qualified watchmakers working solely on producing this exceptional movement which marries technical watchmaking skills with craftsmanship.
There are 533 components in the assembly. The tourbillon cage alone has 159 components. If you add the 39 dial components and the 66 case components, the whole of the HYT Conical Tourbillon is made up of 750 components, all of which are assembled and checked by hand.
The entire mechanism, made up of HYT’s proprietary fluid module, here with a green liquid, and the conical tourbillon in its modernist cage, sits beneath a dome of sapphire crystal which encloses a 48 mm case made of hydrocarbon and titanium.
Model: HYT Conical Tourbillon
Carbon & black DLC titanium case
Width: 48.00 mm
Length: 52.30 mm
Thickness: 25.15 mm
Crown in black DLC titanium
Domed sapphire crystal (box) with anti-reflective coating
Black side grids with green background
Water-resistance: 50 m
Black coated brass (39 pieces)
3D black coated appliques, green luminous numbers (Lumicast®)
Black grid with black background
Green liquid inside borosilicate capillary tube
Black mat minutes hands, white SLN
Frequency: 21,600 vib/h (3 Hz)
Winding: With winder tool
Power reserve: 40h
Finishing: Finely sandblasted and satin
Coating: Black coating
Retrograde fluidic hours
Central minutes hand
Black rubber strap
Black Microfibre embossed strap decor
Black coated titanium
Satin & sandblasted finishes
Limited edition of 8 pieces