A few months ago, I sat down with Davide Cerrato, CEO of HYT fake Watches. I met Cerrato through four different positions at the watch brand. Only in this role he is responsible not only for the design, but for the entire company. Less than a year ago, the news of HYT Watch’s collapse was made public. The news is sad because this innovative Geneva watchmaker possesses so much passion and ingenuity. The pain didn’t last long – less than a year later, HYT is back with a new owner (Swiss Kairos Technology Limited) and a new leader. The Hastroid Green Nebula is its first new watch, and it’s a harbinger of what’s to come.
The HYT message no longer refers to the “fluid-mechanical watchmaker”, and even overemphasizes the fluid-based system in the movement that indicates the time. The new term (printed on the dial) is “Meca-Fluidic Technology”. It was planned from the outset that all HYT watches would use a “fluid” indicator to convey information, and this promise has so far been fulfilled. That said, the techniques for making small borosilicate capillaries and the fluids flowing through them are finicky and fairly expensive. But it’s still very cool, something other brands don’t have. Of course HYT Hastroid watches do have fluid based hour indicators, but I wonder if all HYT products going forward will be based on this mechanical fluid hour indicator system.
Part of the HYT brand message is now a lot of text about space, spaceships and the future. Cerrato is now one of the optimists at the helm of future watch brands. These people must create objects that suggest the world of light before us. It’s a very hard job these days, and the future seems bleaker than the rosy past. This is one of the main reasons for the emergence of vintage-style watches, and is an area where Cerrato excelled in his two previous positions at Montblanc and Tudor. HYT asked him to divert his attention to futuristic and forward-thinking design, which he says he has. How does this manifest in the Hastroid Green Nebula?
Green and black are how fake HYT starts, and green and black are how HYT restarts. We’ve seen Serrato get interested in the past before thinking about the future. HYT launches with an anonymous H1. The H1 design has indeed aged since its debut a decade ago. Hastroid feels a lot like Cerrato’s reinterpretation of the original. It’s a bit like a reboot of a HYT watch, using essentially the same movement architecture, but in a very different form, which is more appropriate given current tastes and trends.
The shape of the case is different now, but the HYT watch is still big and bold – the Hastroid is 48mm wide, 17.2mm thick and 52.3mm long. The case is made of black-coated titanium and carbon segments and is water-resistant to 50 meters. Above the dial is a domed sapphire crystal, and the entire dial design is a perfect combination of classic HYT and aesthetics, seemingly inspired by Urwerk (another Geneva-based independent watchmaker) and its ilk. I wouldn’t say outright uniqueness is Hastroid’s strong suit, although it’s clearly an original design. I really like that it is a functional horological dial first and then a pure “statement watch”. Here we see industrial designer Cerrato, which in my opinion is a good thing.
The form of the case shape, texture, sapphire crystal dial and skeletonized movement flourish, not to overlook the circular retrograde flow of liquid that indicates the time above a piece of luminous material. I love the clear hour and minute indicators on the dial and the fact that the watch looks more like a tool than a pure futuristic wrist sculpture. I do think the Hastroid is a watch that might grow on you over time. Having said that, let’s not forget how much time the new HYT took to assemble this product. Over time, I am confident that Davide will further flesh out his unique aesthetic vision for the HYT brand. Currently, Hastroid is actually an evolution of HYT H5 (a product planned before bankruptcy).
One detail I don’t like is the movement’s function that seems to require placing the minute hand in the center of the dial. The original architecture of this watch movement (now known as Caliber 501-CM) featured a regulator-style display with a main dial for the hours and a smaller dial for the minutes and seconds. Originally placed below 12 o’clock on the H5 watch, the minute hand is now centered on the Hastroid. As a result, there is a large gear that partially covers the field of view of the “bellows,” which, when moved up and down, adjusts the position of the liquid in the capillary. While I reserve final judgment on when to wear this watch, I think the gear may end up feeling as though it’s blocking the opening, rather than adding to the look. That said, I agree with HYT that the minute hand looks better in the center of the dial, sharing a track with the hour-marker half. According to HYT, the 501-CM (“CM” for the central minutes) features a number of interesting improvements over the original HYT movement, which was co-developed with respected watchmaker Eric Coudray (Gyro Tourbillon) .
According to Cerrato, the 501-CM movement is only about 60 percent identical to the never-released HYT H5. Aside from moving the position of the minute hand, most of the changes Cerrato made for the Hastroid were aesthetic – the Hastroid’s dial had an auxiliary seconds dial and a power-reserve indicator, both hand-wound sections, 4Hz and 72- Hourly power reserve mechanism. The design of the indicators and markers, along with the hands, are very well done, both purposeful and modern. Reading time is more or less straight forward. People need to train their eyes to see the edge of the liquid to read the time and then see where the needle is pointing. It’s actually quite clear – definitely clearer than the original HYT watch.
Attached to the HYT Hastroid Green Nebula watch is a new rubber strap that fits over the case’s bar lugs. This is another area I need to see in the final watch in order to make a confident judgement. The strap is a bit narrower than the lugs (by design, it seems to be) and I wonder if this looks like a natural transition, or if the lugs appear too wide, or if the strap appears too narrow. Like I said, the slightly asymmetrical case shape and the novel style I see here just needs some hands-on experience to fully review Hastroid but I’m loving what I see and feel the brand is turning on a nice new starting point. I want to see where it goes and am excited to see a HYT Hastroid watch in action soon. HYT will be available as a limited edition in the Green Nebula color scheme.
Diameter: 48 mm
Height: 17.2 mm
Material: Black Coated Titanium and Carbon Composite
Water resistance: 50 m
Movement: Carl. 501-CM
Functions: Retrograde fluid display of hours, minutes, seconds, and hand indicating power reserve
Frequency: 28,800 beats/hour (4 Hz)
Chain: Manual winding
Power reserve: 72 hours
Strap: Rubber covered with Alcantara