Water clocks may be an ancient invention, but they’ve certainly never looked this stylish and modern before. Luxury watch brand HYT began production in 2012 and since then they have produced a range of different hydromechanical watches — that is, watches powered by fluid mechanics. A lot has been done to make wristwatches water-proof, but what about making wristwatches that are, in a sense, fueled by liquid? HYT, run by self-proclaimed “hydromechanical horologists”, is among the first of its kind in producing such timepieces. Similar technology has been used in the medical and automotive fields before, but HYT are responsible for bringing hydromechanical wristwatches to the world of luxury goods.
In order to get the necessary technology to run these watches, Swiss entrepreneur Patrick Berdoz had to team up with nuclear engineer Lucien Vouillamoz. Through a complex process involving immiscible liquids and mechanical movement, an accurate time is displayed on the watchface. In addition to their unique technology, the watches themselves have an elegant and unusual appearance, making them much coveted by collectors. In 2015, the average price for a single watch from HYT was $65,000. The most expensive piece from HYT is their ultra-high-end H3, which goes for a staggering $285,000. The company is working on producing slimmer, simplified watches that will retail between $25,000 and $35,000. However, they aim to stay firmly within the luxury goods market, leaving cheaper, large-scale production of hydromechanical watches up to other, non-competitor companies.