The word innovation is one that appears all too often in press releases and brand catalogues. While there have been several advancements by watchmakers in the past few years, in my eyes few are as groundbreaking and distinguishable as the HYT hydro-mechanical watches.

In this post I won’t attempt to discuss the inner workings of the hydro-mechanical movement, as that deserves a whole series of posts (and a lot more education on my part). Instead, I would like to share with you a new version of the HYT H1 that is innovative on the inside and out, the HYT H1 Azo Project.


While the showstopper at HYT’s Baselworld booth this year was the H2, another piece that resembled nothing else caught this horophile’s eye. With it’s unearthly fluorescent green case iridescent against the black leather tabletop, the H1 Azo Project had me at hello.

The case is made of a newly developed translucent and tinted resin known as Azo polyepoxyde. Besides its unique in-your-face appearance, the material boasts some pretty impressive properties. Azo polyepoxyde is seven times lighter than stainless steel, four times lighter than titanium yet three times as resistant to abrasion. Definitely not your average resin.

The best way I can describe the color and fluorescence of the case within my frame of reference is what I imagined radioactive material looked like when I was a kid (you know, from the opening sequence of The Simpsons). Striking as it is, the Azo case has a certain geeky coolness about it I absolutely adore. On the wrist the watch is surprisingly comfortable, thanks to the light case as well as the integrated rubber strap. At 48.8mm it’s definitely not one to hide under the cuff (nor should a watch of this nature), but I still find it quite wearable.



Here are some of the shots I took during a visit to the home of the Hydro Mechanical horologists in Bienne.


The 2 polyepoxyde brothers, H1 Azo Project and Graphite Project



Triple HYT! H1 Azo, Graphite and TB (titanium bronze)



A study in fluid mechanics with the H1 Azo Project and TB




A big thank you to the folks at HYT for welcoming me at their HQ/laboratory and for letting me try on this bad boy. I look forward to going in-depth with the watches and the cutting-edge technology behind them in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned horophiles!