For Baselworld 2012 new watch brand HYT will launch an unprecedented watch: it displays the time using liquid.
The HYT liquid watch named the H1 it uses two liquids, one fluorescent coloured and one transparent that circulate through microtubes.
Technically the closest watch I can think of to this is Concord’s C1 Quantum Gravity which uses liquid to indicate the power reserve – incidentally Vincent Perriard the leader of the project was previously the CEO of Concord. This is however the first time liquid has been used to indicate time in a wristwatch.
The seeds of the idea lie in Egypt according to Lucien Vouillamoz the inventor of the technology who states: “I began with the Egyptian clepsydra – the first instrument to indicate the time using water – to rapidly arrive at the concept of two non-miscible liquids in a tube. I then felt the potential of this idea.”
The H1 comprises of two parts: a mechanical movement and a fluid system.
Two pistons move the liquid around the micro tubes in bellows-like fashion. Alcohol has been added to the coloured liquid in order to prevent gelling, whilst oil has been mixed with the transparent one.
According to Lucien Vouillamoz: “The principal factor was the stability of the fluids, particularly with regard to temperature level and displacement of the meniscus” . It uses fluids, which are measured in micro liters – one-thousandth of a milliliter.
An extremely complex mechanism, research methods usually the domain of nanotechnology were used in the development of the HYT liquid watch, and some of its components are being manufactured by suppliers to NASA. Apparently “precision on the order of a couple of microns” is needed to regulate the liquids.
HYT, collectively known as “Hydro Mechanical Horologists” is comprised of Lucien Vouillamoz, inventor of the technology; Vincent Perriard, CEO and leader of the project; Bruno Moutarlier, in charge of production; and designer Sébastien Perret.
Such an intriguing and innovative design is sure to pique the interest of a lot of people, we look forward to March and its unveiling. Will it usher in a new era for watches one wonders..