The H2 Aviator by HYT doesn’t look anything like a pilot’s watch, or even an aviation watch. It looks very much like an H2. Which is only natural. But it’s an indication of the remarkable interest that brands are showing in aviation watches, with beautiful pieces by Patek Philippe (their first ever foray into aviation) and Breguet. HYT have basically made their H2 more legible, with flight-instrument-inspired minute hand, larger quarter-hour indices in red, and luminescent coating on hand and indices. The movement is DLC-coated, to provide a dark background for the time indicators. The hour markings on the black aluminium hour dial are coated in grey SuperLuminova. The watch has a new Kevlar-covered strap, a material used in yacht sails and clothes for pilots and racing car drivers.
The actual mechanism remains the same: H2, designed by HYT with Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (supervised by Giulio Papi) is a unique timepiece based on a system in which the movement drives two bellows, which are in the form of two flexible alloy reservoirs at either end of a capillary tube. One reservoir contains a coloured liquid, the other a transparent liquid, chosen so they don’t mix. The position of separation between the coloured and transparent liquids is used to indicate the hours, from 6am to 6pm, after which the coloured liquid returns back to the start in a retrograde arrangement. The H2 Aviator watch is a little different with respect to the 2014 original, in that the bellows are positioned in a V arrangement.
Case and dial
The case is 48.8 millimetres in diameter, 17.9 mm thick, made in DLC-coated titanium. The minute hand has a “déphaseur angulaire” function so that it jumps from right to left at the 30-minute mark. The crown position indicator (H-N-R, timesetting, neutral, winding) gives extra interest to the movement; the crown itself is screw-down, with rubber detailing. There is also a thermal indicator at about 10 o’clock, so that you can see that the watch is the correct temperature range for accurate operation. The watch has a screw-down sapphire caseback. Water resistance is 50 metres.
The movement powering the fluid system is mechanical, manually-wound, designed and built in-house. It runs at 21,600 vph, 3 Hertz, and it has a 192-hour (8-day) power reserve.
Reference and price
The HYT H2 Aviator, reference 248-DL-01-GF-KG, is a limited edition of 40 pieces, and it will be available from October 2015. The watch is priced at US$ 157,000.