HYT has been asking itself what its watches would look like if they had been made in the 18th century. The result is the H2 Tradition, with the same H2 fluid engineering as in the original H2 watch launched in 2013, with hours shown by blue fluid in a capillary tube and driven by two bellows, but with classic aesthetics, dominated by the white lacquered dials, blued hands, and diamond guilloché finish on the main plate. The case and movement have also been redesigned, by external movement design company APRP (Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi), repositioning the balance and removing the crown protector. The small temperature indicator present in the H2 model has been removed from the H2 Tradition. The minutes hand is no longer retrograde. Below, a comparison between the H2 Titanium Black (left) and the new H2 Tradition (right).
The result is a watch that is easier to read and providing a clearer view of the mechanics, partly due to the simplification of the movement. The balance is still visible, providing the sense of dynamic movement that brings the watch to life. The system of levers running from the movement to the piston in the left-hand cylinder is easier to trace, and the crown position indicator has greater clarity. Overall the watch, very large and thick on the wrist, looks a bit like a Harley-Davidson engine, but with the classical dial features adding some contrast. I personally don’t like watches in which functionality is unnecessarily blemished, and in this piece you can’t see the exact time in minutes from 17 to 28 minutes past the hour, because the seconds subdial is inset into that part of the minutes subdial. But of course a watch like this isn’t a machine for telling the time, it’s a piece of advanced engineering, a steampunk embellishment for your wrist.
The case is in white gold and titanium, 48.8 mm in diameter and 17.9 mm thick, with sapphire caseback. It is water-resistant to 50 metres. To the right of the seconds subdial, a crown position indicator shows three states, R (winding), N (neutral) and H (time-setting). The hand-wound movement runs at 21,600 vph (3 Hertz, and has a power reserve of 192 hours, 8 days.
Reference and price
The H2 Tradition is reference 248-TW-10-BF-AB, a 50-piece limited edition. The watch costs 180,000 Swiss francs, US$ 189,000.
H2 Tradition Video
Watch a video on the H2 Tradition here.