Earlier this month TVG was invited to the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli for the first day of the finale of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series with Alinghi sponsor HYT.
Swiss team Alinghi aboard their GC32 catamaran were crowned 2016 champions after an epic final-day shoot-out, securing their third title in the process. In a nail-biting showdown that went right down to the wire, Arnaud Psarofaghis’ men saw off a last-ditch attempt from arch rivals Oman Air to complete their ascendancy to the top of the 2016 rankings.
We had the pleasure of attending with MAD & Associates, the new agent for HYT in Australia. HYT CEO Gregory Dourde was on hand for a chat about the brand’s innovative, and quite unbelievable creations, along with racing driver Peter Hackett (who also heads up the Mercedes-Benz driving program where I’d been the week before in Melbourne!) and the first HYT customer in Australia.
There’s no arguing that HYT’s ultra modern offerings are subjective in appeal. Their contemporary appearance is far from the likes of similarly priced Haute horology, but so are the mechanisms that power them. Since the brand’s inception, they have patented 15 technologies, unique to their range of watches. The most fascinating thing about HYT is, unlike other mechanical watchmakers who created movements from proven methods of telling time, HYT created an entirely new way to display time.
The mechanism uses two bellows, located at six o’clock, made from a highly resistant, flexible and supple alloy. Held within the bellows are two liquids – one coloured and one transparent. Using a fine glass capillary, the liquids can advance and retreat into the bellows displaying time at the point where the liquids meet – known as the meniscus. It’s a glorious thing to watch and even cooler to understand, especially if you’re into mechanical watch making. And once the watch has been explained, it’s easy to see why HYT partnered with Alinghi, a precision sailing team at the helm of the world’s most advanced hydro-foiling catamaran.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to hit the water with the Alinghi team but took the opportunity to chat with Gregory further about the HYT range which included the both the Alinghi H2 and Alinghi H4 which he explains in the video below.
As expected, such innovation comes at a price, around 50,000CHF for their entry level timepiece – but that price buys exclusivity, obscurity, wearability and true innovation, and my god is it an impressive. In fact I haven’t been so impressed by a showcase of watches for a long time, if ever. Bravo HYT. This is a brand that’s here to stay.