Vincent Perriard, founder of the Swiss watch company HYT, has opened up about his encounter with emblematic Guns‘n‘Roses frontman Axl Rose. Initiated by Rose himself, the meeting took place behind the scenes of an AC/DC concert, which the singer had joined as guest vocalist, replacing long time band member Brian Johnson. Perriard walked in to find Rose sipping a cup of tea and then, as if that wasn‘t surprising enough in its own right, the musician went on to initiate a two-hour disscussion of their mutual passion – watch design. In the weeks that followed, the two remained in touch, frequently exchanging ideas via email. As a result of their correspondence, this year‘s edition of Dubai Watch Week was marked by an official announcement from HYT about Rose and Perriard‘s exciting collaboration.
Could all this be a sign that rock and roll is now truly dead, as many have claimed? The merging of different styles, along with the influence of the internet, mainstream fashion and the media, and now Axl Rose designing watches all of a sudden. Even though the classic years of rock and roll are never coming back, let‘s allow ourselves a healthy dose of optimism. Rose has obviously done his homework, judging by the fact that he turned to none other than Perriard.
Famous for their ability to think outside the box and their non-conformist attitudes, HYT are probably the best candidates for bringing to life the ideas of an authentic rock star such as Axl Rose. Taking advantage of their independence as a company and breaking all traditional conventions of watch design, they were the ones to come up the first hydromechanical watches. Although the notion that water could be used as a chronomarker dates as far back as Ancient Egypt, the creators of HYT watches have perfected the centuries-old idea by means of applying refined nanotechnology.
Axl Rose‘s watch is part of the so-called Skull collection: a series of hydromechanical watches characterised by the curious way in which the capillary system carrying the liquid recreates the shape of a human skull. This somewhat primitive aesthetic, however, is underpinned by sophisticated engineering decisions, which are meant to guarantee maximum chronological precision. A proud owner of a knife collection, Rose was keen about the use of Damascus steel. As far as the colour scheme was concerned, his preference leaned towards shades of black and blue. HYT have also provided a special treat for hardcore Guns‘n‘Roses fans – both the band‘s logo and Axl‘s autograph can be found on the watch‘s sapphire back.
Originating toward the 1940‘s, rock and roll music remains timeless to this day, because it is so much more than just a style of music. It‘s not just an art, it‘s an attitude. As long as you know where to look, you can easily detect its influence in the most unexpected places.