The HYT H4 Alinghi is very much like the H4 Metropolis as both are equipped with two in-built LEDs (light-emitting diodes) that illuminate the dial after the push-piece between 4 and 5 o’clock is rotated and thereafter activated.
The main difference is that the HYT H4 Alinghi was made to honour the Alinghi team and marks the partnership with this Swiss-based sailing team led by Ernesto Barterelli competing in the America’s Cup.
Moreover, the case of the H4 is made of carbon and its strap is produced using sail canvas. The Alinghi’s team’s logo is on the continuous sweep seconds sub-dial.
With such an innovation first unveiled with its H4 Metropolis, HYT has laid its claim as the watch industry’s first mechanical wristwatch to feature a light source that can mechanically illuminate the dial.
To attain such a level of “enlightenment” so to speak, there were three main challenges: firstly, the miniaturization of the lighting system for a wristwatch, the curved shape and the fact that there were no prior developments which could be referenced.
“With the light complication, a new challenge was set: we had to start using our own existing calibre as a complete, functional basis. We had to add a piece [the lighting mechanism] to a puzzle [the existing calibre] which was already finished.
“Before the Metropolis, lighting up a dial was only possible with a battery. And, what is more, a liquid must never be used in conjunction with an electrical current… we’ve done all of those things.
“In reality, the only limits are those we set ourselves,” says Vincent Perriard, who is now a Member of the Board, HYT. Perriard was formerly the CEO of HYT.
The case thickness remains at 17.9mm for both the H1 and H4 Metropolis. However, the case diameter of the H4 Metropolis and H4 Alinghi is slightly wider at 51mm as compared to 48.8mm for the H1.
For the HYT H4 Alinghi, a red liquid and white light rather than the blue light used in the H4 Metropolis, are used.
HYT H4 Alinghi
Made in 2015
• Exclusive mechanical HYT Calibre, skeleton manual-winding movement
• 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz)
• 35 jewels
• 65 hour power reserve
• Hand-bevelled and micro-blasted bridges, rhodium-plated bellows
• Retrograde fluidic hours, minutes and seconds
• Unstructured, fluid hour display
• Sapphire minute, seconds and power reserve dial, black minute indexes and luminescent numerals, black hour dial with white numerals, luminescent black minute hand
• Regulator at 12 o’clock
• Small seconds wheel at 9.30
• Power reserve display at 2.30
• White light mechanical module with rewinding and push-button system activated via the crown at 4.30
• Rubber-clad screw-down black DLC titanium crown at 2.30 and 4.30
• Black DLC titanium and red numeral lacquered dome at 6 o’clock
• Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the dial side
• 51mm diameter case in 3DTP carbon, 17.9mm thick
• Water-resistant to 50m
• Screw-down sapphire back
• Black rubber base strap with integrated silver canvas and red stitching
• Black DLC titanium folding buckle
Limited to 25 pieces
The dynamo for the white light mechanical module works when the crown at 4.30 is compressed. As soon as the button loosens, the light stops working until the full decompression of the additional barrel spring