The new version of Hysek’s square-case Furtif is powered by a new, 100%-manufacture caliber. Boasting the ultimate in skeletonisation, the piece’s meticulous design and finishings gleam and sparkle as never before. The charbonnage finish on the movement, performed in-house by hand, will make every watch unique.
While it is also to be known as a ‘Furtif’ – a reference to the bevelled-edge geometry characterising the collection – the name is perhaps the only thing this new model has in common with its illustrious forebears: everything else is radically new, bespoke, and created with the aim of producing nothing but unique, customisable timepieces.
A shaped movement featuring extreme skeletonisation
Hysek is probably one of the last remaining fully-independent manufactures to be developing and assembling ‘shaped’ calibers, as they are known. Now almost wholly extinct, these calibers are designed to mirror the shape of the case they are housed in. For the new Furtif 44 mm Squelette, the movement is a perfect square – a design by legendary watchmaker Laurent Besse, who joined the Hysek manufacture in 2018.
Boasting 172 components and 24 jewels, this new HW34 caliber thus offers a layout optimised for the square proportions of the Furtif with its 44 mm sides. The aim is to achieve total transparency; light passes right through the Furtif 44 Squelette. Each component has been hollowed out as much as is humanly possible without losing its rigidity, so as to allow light to shine right into the heart of the movement – perpetuating Hysek’s characteristically extreme skeletonisation, now one of its hallmarks.
An assertive brand identity
Connoisseurs will also spot other features that have helped forge the brand’s identity. These include the layout of the 1, 5, 7, and 11 hour markers, serving once again as cardinal points around which the HW34 caliber has been arranged. At 1 o’clock, there is the seconds wheel. At 5 o’clock sits the barrel, providing a 45-hour power reserve. Its bridges, suspended in mid-air, stretch all the way to 7 o’clock. And last but by no means least, the escapement is located at 11 o’clock, beating at a rhythm of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
The design of each wheel required for this exceptional movement to operate features three double spokes, providing perfect technical and aesthetic balance – as well as being a recurring style signature for Hysek.
In addition, for this specific model, each bridge of the HW34 movement has been individually designed to add a greater sense of depth to the watch. No fewer than five bridges have been individually crafted: the balance wheel, seconds hand, barrel, centre wheel, and intermediate wheel bridges. The
geometry of each is unique, designed specifically with its function and position in mind.
More highlights, greater depths: the art of decoration
Every single decorative component has been designed exclusively for this model. To ensure the light reveals as rich a composition as possible, Hysek has worked on both the depth and the finish of its movement.
Depth has been attended to by creating many different layers, ranging from the time set mechanism (the deepest, almost invisible from the dial side) to the upper bridge that gives the entire caliber its rigidity. The sense of depth is accentuated by alternating engraved surfaces (such as the minute circle) and relief effects (such as the appliqué hour markers).
The finish, meanwhile, is a feat of subtle complexity. The aim is to maximise brightness whilst avoiding dazzle. To achieve this, Hysek has chosen a horizontal satin finish for the inner frame of the case (the timepiece does not have a flange), while the bridges have been given a vertical or circular satin finish. The gold hour markers are appliqué, whereas the minute circle is engraved.
Each timepiece will be unique
The most distinctive feature is visible on the movement’s square chassis, running all around the case: a ‘charcoaled’ finish. The charbonnage technique in question is hardly ever used in watchmaking, but Hysek has chosen to give it pride of place here. It involves applying a stick of a specific type of charcoal, by hand, leaving a unique pattern and forming an extremely soft, gentle abrasion that brings out all the highlights of the surface.
Four different options are available for the painstakingly lengthy and detailed movement finish: anthracite, rhodium-plated, blue, or violet, together with a choice of titanium and gold, titanium and PVD, or titanium cases. Gold, titanium, or titanium/PVD plates will be inserted in the frames.
Bearing in mind the various customisation options for the pieces – even before taking into account any engravings that may be added on the inserts – Hysek has engraved a very special motto on its new Furtif 44 mm Squelette: “Limited to… Infinity”. Indeed, no two will ever be alike.