Earlier this year WatchPro unveiled its Watches of the Year 2012 – the 10 winning timepieces and 90 highly commended watches that we felt boasted commercial appeal, innovation and had wowed consumers and retailers alike over the past 12 months.
Now we are showcasing a watch a day that made the cut in 2012. Today we reach a new category – Innovation watches of the year, commencing with this year’s winning timepiece from the technobrains at HYT.
Most Innovative Watch of the Year – HYT H1 Titanium
Water clocks might have been invented more than 3,000 years ago but making them work in a wristwatch was a technical challenge yet to be overcome until curiosity got the better of HYT and it dared to create a liquid mechanical timepiece.
The H1 has two reservoirs filled with liquids – one fluorescent, one transparent – containing molecules that repel, meaning there is a consistent boundary between the two.
As one compresses the other expands, resulting in the movement of the liquid in a capillary that surrounds the dial. As the hours tick by the fluorescent liquid advances until it hits six o’clock, when the fluorescent liquid returns back to its original position.
The reservoirs are driven by two pistons which is where the watchmaking element of the timepiece comes into play. The mechanical movement is situated in the upper part of the watch, and propels a cam, which pushes the piston and activates the bellows at five and seven o’clock.
The H1’s watchmaking team was led by Bruno Moutarlier, Jean-François Mojon and fluids company Preciflex, who together sought to create a waterproof watch in which mechanical and hydro systems could operate.
HYT says that the creation of the H1 was a human adventure that propelled two world typically at odds with each other towards a new joint era. We were wowed by this watch, a titanium-cased marvel that takes watchmaking to an entirely new, uncharted territory – a worthy winner of the Most Innovative Watch of the Year 2012.