Davide Cerrato of HYT Watches Reaches Beyond the Stars
CEO Davide Cerrato on the future steps of the revived HYT Watches while keeping in mind its heritage of achieving good balance between rarity and accessibility.
On Tuesday 24, November 2021, I woke up to pleasant news I received in the email. HYT Watches was resurrected through a takeover by Kairos Technology Switzerland, and Davide Cerrato was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer for the new endeavour. Cerrato was the Head of Marketing, Design and Product Development at Tudor from 2007 to 2015. He spent the next five years as the Managing Director of Montblanc’s Watch Division. So if you like the kind of improvements achieved at both brands during those years, you will be as excited as we are to see what the future may hold for HYT Watches — a young brand which started out only in 2012 with the fluidic time indication as the raison d’etre. All the editors here and industry professionals in general were impressed, and not a little incredulous, that a mad watchmaker was mixing mechanical watchmaking with hydrological elements. HYT Watches used to be known to many of us as the hydro mechanical horologists. In any case, the products cannot be more different from those Cerrato has developed previously. We interviewed him as soon as he was settled in this new position.
You made the important decision to take the helm of HYT Watches. What is the greatest potential you see in this brand, now that fluidic time indication is still very special but not as novel as when the brand first emerged?
Thank you for this very interesting question. On one side you are perfectly right. The technology is now 10 years old. On the other side, it has clearly not yet fulfilled the promise HYT has made to all watch collectors and watch lovers. There is so much more to do with meca-fluidic technology to create spectacular and unique timepieces. I have seen a huge potential in the brand since the beginning. We are now giving HYT a fresh new skin in terms of design and we have been working a lot to improve quality at all levels. The world of space exploration makes a lot of sense and expresses the extreme technological content of our timepieces. The Hastroid, first expression of the new HYT, is really wearable, thinner and lighter and perfectly readable on top of expressing a very unique futuristic design and identity.
How will you improve the business model of HYT Watches in order to make it more financially sustainable? Will you go so far as to consider the subscription model?
The first step towards reshaping the brand has been made, [and it is] about a dramatic quality improvement. A new smaller fluidic module is used now, encapsulating 10 years of improvements. A new mechanical manufacture movement developed with Eric Coudray and PurTec allows for a dramatic improvement in terms of synchronisation of fluidic and mechanical time. The habillage (otherwise known as the casing) is fresh with high-tech materials such as titanium and carbon fibre; it was developed with a modular construction that will allow HYT to easily propose multiple possibilities of personalisation. The design is unique and sexy; and the ergonomics as much as the readability are now perfect. All these elements and an accurate selection of our retailers stand for long-term development and financial stability for the years to come. The company that has acquired HYT and all its assets is a new one: Kairos Technologies Switzerland, with new investors. We are restarting for a long and exciting future for HYT.
Leading the new fleet is the Hastroid. Why do you choose to produce 27 copies of each of the four versions? Why not 28 copies which is the lucky number in Chinese culture or simply 25 or 30?
There are 27 numbered and limited pieces for each drop of Hastroid because dark matter constitutes 27 per cent of the universe. It’s also for us about the good balance between rarity and accessibility. Speaking about this point with our Chinese customers and friends, they all told us to stop using (the number eight) as even they are fed-up!
We see a “Pre-owned” section on the HYT Watches website. What is your ambition in this area?
A pre-owned selection of watches is offered together with the possibility of ordering our collection via our e-commerce [platform]. We are a small and flexible watch brand, and we want to offer the highest level of service to our customers. This is an opportunity to enter into the world of HYT with a first step and create a [virtuous] circular lifespan for the pre-owned watches.
What level of bespoke possibility should we expect from HYT Watches going forward from now on?
We believe that in our market segment personalisation and customisation are paramount. So we set up the whole industrial project with this dimension in mind. Thanks to a high level of modularity we can offer multiple opportunities for customisation to our client with a very quick output. Our market approach is based on rarity. All our products will be in limited and numbered series. On top of that, our clients will be able to get different layers of customisation, up to one-off [meaning something like unique pieces].
Is it possible that we will one day see an HYT for a smaller wrist?
Ergonomics and user experience are for us very important so we are in a perpetual quest to reduce size and weight in order to deliver the ultimate experience [in terms of comfort too]. The Hastroid is 48mm wide but with a case only 13.3mm thick and ultra light, thanks to the use of titanium and carbon fibre. The watch wears like a 44mm (watch). The openings of the case reduce even more the perception of mass and create a very appealing and unique design. In our future plans, the size will be reduced more and more, and for sure will match any wrist size.
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