HYT, a watchmaker that displays the time with tubes of coloured fluid, has folded.
WatchPro is a little late to this news, which was first reported on the Watchuseek forum after a letter from HYT to suppliers said that shareholders would not inject fresh capital into the business.
The letter, dated February 24 from chairman Patrick Berdoz and CEO Michel Nieto, said a decision regarding bankruptcy would “be done by a judge in the coming days”.
HYT was a non-conformist within the Swiss watchmaking industry with its oversized domed watches showing the time using capillaries of coloured liquid.
The company has been incredibly innovative, not only replacing hours hands with tubes, but also creating mechanical movements capable of discharging enough electrical energy to light up LEDs on a dial.
Investors appear to have balked at the constant investment into research and development as the pandemic choked off sales of HYT’s $150,000 watches.
“Since the end of 2020, HTY has worked on reorganising its financing to survive the pandemic. Due to a blockage from institutional shareholders on its capital increase, HYT has not been able to raise the capital it was looking for,” the letter to suppliers explains.
There have been surprisingly few watchmakers falling into bankruptcy over the past year. HYT joins RJ (formerly Romaine Jerome) on the list. Favre Leuba has also said it is looking for investment for a rescue plan.