The ultimate in hybrid technology unites two worlds that are supposedly diametrically opposed. The result is a mechanical wristwatch shattering all certainties and steamrollering conformity. Unveil each glorious technical aspect in detail.
The first step: develop liquids that obey a set of watchmaking specifications. Colour, homogenous resistance to vibrations, shocks and temperature changes, no alteration in the long term, foolproof water resistance. Needs that require the development of a number of innovations. To date, seven patents have been registered for the technology and one for the design. This was a steep plunge into the unknown, which led to technical watchmaking feats bordering on nanotechnologies.
Hydraulic force means pressure. When the fluorescein-loaded liquid has done a complete round and gets to 06:00 - 18:00, the issuing pump compresses, while the bellows receiver expands, generating resistance and consequently an increased energy requirement. To fix this, Preciflex developed revolutionary bellows made from an extremely fine alloy and which are highly supple and resistant. Their specially researched shape allows for the reduction of energy required for their compression, absorbs shocks and ensures rock solid waterproofing.
During the entire development process, alongside the engineering, the amounts of liquid were the focus of great attention. Every microlitre counts, and the total volume in the closed circuit is extremely precise, as the system has to have a nanotechnology-worthy level of water resistance. Due to the unusual link between the crown and the liquid, a special time-settings system was designed in order to avoid the liquid moving around too fast and damaging the meniscus.
The secret that gets the reservoirs going? Two bellows made of a highly resistant, flexible electro-deposited alloy, each driven by a piston. And this is where watchmaking comes in to activate the system.
The taut, aggressive design by Sébastien Perret dictates the testosterone-laden nature of the H1. A completely non-standard construction. Three-dimensional architecture viewed just as well from the front as from the side or three-quarters through a sculptural 5mm sapphire crystal carved from the block, itself topped by a dome at 6 o'clock imposing its own rules. Particles of fluorescein spring from it, like sparks flying off the passing hours. The industrious pistons and bellow converge towards it. The apparently unstructured upper part of the watch dictates a geometric design composed of strata and reliefs.
In the centre sits the minute regulator, overlapped by a spectacular small seconds display reminiscent of a water wheel. At 02.30, a 65-hour power reserve hand indicates the remaining energy available across three arcs of a circle. And meanwhile, the fluids follow their course around the case. This "monster" measuring 48.8 mm in diameter and 17.9 mm thick nonetheless sits impressively lightly and comfortably on the wrist. The notches in its caseband visually extend the applied baignoire-type hour-markers, while the crown dovetails at 02:30, as is thrust against the case by its sturdy crown guard.