Upmarket Swiss watchmaker HYT has come up with a watch that should be impossible to read due to the lack of an hour hand, but isn't. In the latest iteration of the company's hydrological horology, HYT's H1 Ghost has a sub-dial for counting off minutes and another for seconds, but the hour hand has been replaced by a retrograde complication that displays the hour via a liquid-filled tube.
In what at first looks like a decoration, the H1 Ghost uses a capillary tube running around the dial bezel. This tube is filled with a transparent and a colored liquid, which are kept from mixing by surface tension. A pair of bellows fills the tube with the colored liquid as time passes to mark off the hours. When the tube is full at the end of 12 hours, the mechanism kicks into retrograde to instantly switch the liquids in the tube and restarts the cycle.
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This isn't the first time that HYT has used a similar complication, but the H1 Ghost goes one better by using a bespoke, completely opaque liquid that does not emit, transmit, or reflect light. Since the capillary tube is set in a black dial, this should make it difficult to see even in full light and impossible in the dark.
However, the Ghost gets around this by means of alternating brushed, micro-blasted and satin-finished finishes on the dial to create contrasts, along with the stark white numerals and indices. It also uses photoluminescent Super-LumiNova to illuminate the capillary channel from below, so it stands out in contrast and is readable in the dark. In addition, this arrangement allows the user to read not only elapsed hours, but also the remaining time up to six o'clock.
"This is a display method that has roots in the modern collective unconscious," says HYT CEO Vincent Perriard. "For example, when downloading something, we look at the remaining time, and not the minutes or hours that have already passed. On the H1 Ghost, the time remaining before 6 o'clock is not insignificant. Whether it is 6 o'clock in the evening or the morning, it is the time remaining until a new day – or the beginning of the night."
The H1 Ghost is powered by a manually-wound, 4-Hz, 35-jewel movement with a 65-hr reserve. The bridges are hand-bevelled and are decorated with Côtes de Genève. Meanwhile, the bellows are rhodium-plated and the bridges and main plates are treated with anthracite grey NAC.
All this is sealed in a black, satin-finished DLC titanium case with sapphire crystals front and reverse and a black-rubber sheathed screw-down black DLC titanium crown and screwed offset lugs, making it water resistant to 100 m (328 ft). It's topped off by a black rubber strap with a black DLC titanium ardillon buckle.
The H1 Ghost is restricted to a run of 50 units and sells for US$62,000.
The video below introduces the H1 Ghost.