MB&F Horological Machines – A Thematic Evolution: Space and Origins

MB&F Horological Machines – A Thematic Evolution: Space and Origins

Collector’s Guides • 12 May 2020

MB&F Horological Machines – A Thematic Evolution: Space and Origins

by Ida Lee


MB&F Horological Machine

Space travel and exploration is as much a venture into the unknown as it is an attempt to understand the origins of existence. Where things are unknown or inexplicable, we often rely on our imagination to form stories to fill that gap in knowledge. The space-themed Horological Machines poetically reflect that sentiment.

Other Articles in The Thematic Evolution of MB&F: The Animals & Land and Air 

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HM2-BLACK SV 20.DSTBL.B Sapphire & black PVD coated titanium. Limited edition of 18 pieces
HM2-BLACK SV 20.DSTBL.B Sapphire & black PVD coated titanium. Limited edition of 18 pieces

HM2

This series is inspired by space stations of mid 20th Century science fiction. The Meccano-like construction of the bolted rectangular case forms the foundation for the two domed sapphires, beneath which are the two dials – the left, a retrograde date and bi-hemisphere moon phase; the right, a jumping hour with concentric retrograde minutes. The sapphire versions are perhaps the most like a space station. The moving and stationary components of the movement are fully visible, and it’s easy to see the artistic representation of human life beneath a giant glass oxygen dome of another satellite harking back to sci-fi creations of decades past.

 

HM3 Starcruiser and Sidewinder both comes with 18K white gold & titanium
HM3 Starcruiser and Sidewinder both comes with 18K white gold & titanium

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HM3

There are two original iterations of the HM3, the Starcruiser and Sidewider, which are essentially the same watch, differentiated by how the watch wears on the arm. Sidewinder, as the name suggests, has the time-indicating cones running perpendicular to the arm and the crown to the side; Starcruiser, which would become the foundation for the later HM3 iterations, has the cones in line with the arm. Beneath the cones are the time displays: the day/date and hour indicator on one, and minutes/seconds on the other. The battle-axe rotor is visible through the central sapphire, and a date disc placed around the circumference.

 

HM3 Megawind Final Edition 35.WBTL.B Black PVD-treated 18k white gold and titanium Super-Luminova numerals and band under the rotor
HM3 Megawind Final Edition 35.WBTL.B Black PVD-treated 18k white gold and titanium Super-Luminova numerals and band under the rotor

 

The final iteration of the HM3, named the Megawind, returns to its spaceship roots. Foregoing the date indicator, it frees up room for a larger battle-axe rotor to be fitted in the movement. The Megawind retains the 12-hour display of its sibling, The Frog.

 

HM6 Final Edition 60.SL.B 
Stainless steel
HM6 Final Edition 60.SL.B Stainless steel

HM6: Space Pirate

The HM6 Space Pirate starts to bring together elements of past Horological Machines, as well as cues from the Legacy Machines. With almost no flat surface on the watch (only the display back sapphire is flat, the remaining 9 are all domed), it is, visually, a creation that pushes the notion of a watch to the extreme. The centre 60-second flying tourbillon, with its own retractable UV shield, is positioned like the control pod. The four surrounding pods (which house the hours and minutes indicator in front, and turbines which regulate the winding system in the back) could well be pirate pods that break away to attack.

 

60-SECOND FLYING TOURBILLON The choice of such a sophisticated regulator was dictated by the restricted space under the crystal dome, which could not accommodate the upper supporting bridge of a standard balance wheel.
60-SECOND FLYING TOURBILLON The choice of such a sophisticated regulator was dictated by the restricted space under the crystal dome, which could not accommodate the upper supporting bridge of a standard balance wheel.

HM1: The First Horological Machine

The watch that was the first in the MB&F family laid the foundations for the MB&F DNA. With its central 60-second tourbillon flanked on the side by separate hour and minute indicators, the multi-layered dial give the watch a sense of depth. On the underside, the battle-axe rotor makes its first appearance. Enclosed by an unusual figure-8 shaped case, there is a strong sense of otherworldliness in its construction. The HM1 was a strong statement by MB&F that it would challenge conventional notions of watchmaking and design, and that it would dare to be different. The story of how the watch – and the brand – almost didn’t happen, and how it eventually came to be, is itself inspiring tale of friendship and kindness.

HM1 18K RG / SILVER DIAL 10.T41RL.R 18k red gold, ruthenium/silver dial
HM1 18K RG / SILVER DIAL 10.T41RL.R 18k red gold, ruthenium/silver dial

 

While each Horological Machine has its own character, there is a continuity in the designs to still bind as a collection. Perhaps it is the underlying sense of science fiction manifested in steampunk elements which achieves this congruency in the design language. Perhaps it is the glimpse into expansive possibilities of the human imagination which ties it all together.

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HM1 WG SILVER DIAL 10.T41.WL.R 18k white gold, ruthenium/silver dial
HM1 WG SILVER DIAL 10.T41.WL.R 18k white gold, ruthenium/silver dial

 

A final note: for anyone who has met Max Büsser, or has heard him speak, you’ll know he is a compelling storyteller as he is a daring creator. While he is proud of his products, he is also humble and gives credit where it is due. His Horological Machines are the same: these creations are, undoubtedly, incredible pieces of watchmaking and mechanical art, and their stories only enhance their appeal.

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Tags: horological machine independent watchmaking limited edition mb&f

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