“It is the most technically advanced of the models resulting from our partnership with Alinghi”. For Grégory Dourde, CEO of HYT, the creation which celebrates three years of partnership with the yacht racing team is not to be taken lightly. It looks like no other. The H1 Alinghi is returning to its yachting roots: following the H4 (2015) and H2 (2016), it is now the most technically advanced piece, borrowing more elements from the boats which inspired it.
Another special feature of this model is that it results from a long process to assimilate Alinghi’s signature design. “We visited the shipyards where the team prepares its multihull craft”, explained Grégory Dourde. “We observed how the yachts were built, their unfinished and assembled components, their functions, their positioning…. Many of these elements found their way into the piece”.
Without a doubt, the most striking of these is the rigging which criss-crosses the lower half of its dial. Custom-designed, it passes through four eyelets on the flange, before being secured to three central eyelets; with precision, nothing left to chance, a preoccupation shared by yacht and watchmaking.
“For the last three years, we have been lucky enough to have a bold, avant-garde watch partner, one able to integrate fluids into the time display. In terms of shared values, we could not be any closer! With this H1 Alinghi, HYT goes even further by integrating essential deck gear into the dial, such as the winch and furler, but also the rigging. It is an unmistakable nod to the yachting world. I love the concept and it is completely unique!” enthused Nils Frei, Alinghi’s mainsail trimmer.
Understated and efficient
The H1 Alinghi is the epitome of understatement. The aim is to focus as much attention on the technology as on the aesthetics. On the back, the structure of the H1 Alinghi echoes the deck of a yacht. The grey sandblasted finish is the perfect backdrop to showcase the piece in all its high-tech glory.
The dial, just like an Alinghi catamaran in full flight, uses an array of technology to enable the time to be read via the liquid in the capillary, to create its signature fluid time. An understated and pure deep black colour was chosen. To make it easier to read in the dark, HYT has set it on a channel filled with Super-LumiNova. At night, the translucent part of the capillary reflects the light, enabling the time display, which remains opaque, to be read.
The benefits of carbon
In terms of materials, both HYT and Alinghi favour lightness and rigidity. The piece has offset lugs and a crown guard made from folded and forged carbon. These elements are designed and manufactured outside of the watch, then assembled onto its titanium middle.
Lastly, the dial features a host of elements which have been designed specifically for the H1 Alinghi and its yachting world: the small second at 9 o’clock in the shape of a mainsail furler, the power reserve at 3 o’clock shaped like a winch, the jumper at 6 o’clock which bears the Alinghi logo, and the team’s signature red, which is found on the power reserve and the minute hand.
“This H1 Alinghi is an edgy, uncompromising and technically advanced piece. It is designed in the same way Alinghi designs its racing yachts, for full control of power and performance”, concluded Grégory Dourde, CEO of HYT.