HANDS-ON: The HYT Moon Runner Supernova Red Magma and White NeonZach Blass
While other manufactures rely on hands or discs to convey information, HYT developed a means of utilising fluid to show the time – carving out their own unique lane within the watch design landscape. No easy feat. Being so distinct, however, can be polarising, but the brand is now under the helm of CEO and creative director Davide Cerrato who has ample experience in the industry, having started his career with Panerai, ushering in the era of the Black Bay line at Tudor, and integrating Minerva into Montblanc and elevating their offerings across the board. Under Cerrato’s leadership, we can already see HYT heading in a stronger direction with the new HYT Moon Runner Supernova. The two limited editions we are taking a closer look at today are the Moon Runner Supernova Red Magma, with a two-tone black rubber and red alcantra strap, limited to 27 pieces, and the Moon Runner Supernova White Neon that features a luminous T-light white rubber strap and luminous white caseband and is limited to 10 pieces.
HYT watches are notoriously on the larger side, a factor that contributed to the market being intimidated by their pieces. Understandably, with all the innovative technology packed into the pieces, it is not feasible to realise mecafluidic creations in vintage compact sizes. The new HYT Supernova Moon Runner, while still carrying a larger 48mm diameter, wears very compact for its size at 52.3mm lug-to-lug. That being said, the sandblasted titanium and carbon case is water-resistant to 50 metres and constructed of 64 parts and subsequently comes in at 21.8mm in thickness, so this is by no means your traditional slide under the cuff timepiece.
But the highly domed sapphire crystal that is a large contributor of its thickness, is not boxed. The sloped conical nature of the glass slants down really well into the design of the case. And, again, it is not meant to be traditional. Nevertheless, under the hand of Cerrato, we are beginning to see tradition inform HYT design. We see this externally through a conventional circle resting within an angular and scalloped cage, with grilled detailing for a heightened sci-fi vibe.
As we look beneath the crystal at the dial, a calendar and moonphase is a classic combo. But Cerrato has updated these classic indications to also reflect HYT’s forward-thinking and sculptural DNA – tradition informing innovation. Working from the outboard in, you have a grilled outer ring with applied and highly three-dimensional Arabic numerals. These hour numerals are tied to the mecafluidic indication. Via a mastery of pressure, the fluidic retrograde hours is conveyed by the position of the fluid within the capillary tube.
The minutes, however, are more traditionally indicated the next ring in – with a futuristic railroad-style track that corresponds to the large and stemless arrow hand. Moving another step inward, we have two titanium discs – the outer conveying the 31 calendar days and the inner the calendar month. At 6 o′clock, a straight index is positioned, revealing the date and month as the indications align with it. At its centre is one of the most sculptural elements of the piece, a large three-dimensional moonphase indicator. Known for outer-space vibes and dubbed the UFO watchmaker by some, Ceratto and HYT have aptly utilised an abundance of SuperLuminova. All indications are luminous, including the hour indicators, minutes hand and indicators, the day, date, and moonphase indications, and even the ring beneath the mecafluid as well.
The in-house calibre 601-MO, designed in collaboration with celebrated watchmaker Eric Coudray, is a 28,800 vph manually wound calibre that offers a weekend-proof 72 hours of power reserve. This highly technical calibre manages the intricate functionality of the mecafluid and its movement through the capillary ring. HYT explains: “In practice, once the lever is activated, the movement drives against a bellow allowing the uninterrupted flow of fluids for twelve hours. When it reaches 6 o’clock, the two liquids return to their initial position, giving a retrograde reading of the next six hours. It should also be noted that during the retrograde backflow, the liquids are completely disconnected from the mechanism. The fluidic system itself regulates the return to the initial position in a fascinating way.”
With the dimensional and visual refinements of their watches, HYT truly is back stronger than ever. While price and quantities are on the prohibitive side, those who do acquire one of these watches will have the ultimate conversation piece on their wrist – and the Beastie Boys’ song Intergalactic playing in their heads as they walk down the street.
HYT Moon Runner Supernova Red Magma and White Neon pricing and availability:
The HYT Moon Runner Supernova Red Magma, with a two tone black rubber strap with red alcantra strap, is limited to 27 pcs., and the Moon Runner Supernova White Neon, with a luminous T-light white rubber strap and luminous white caseband, is limited to 10 pcs. Both are available now. Price: CHF 120,000 (excl. taxes) (Red Magma), CHF 130,000 (excl. taxes) (White Neon)