In the leadup to Geneva Watch Days 2023, MB&F revisits its Horological Machine N°9. The watch that was inspired by the automotive and aeronautic designs of the 1940s and 50s gets two new treatments in this latest iteration.
Seeing Right Through
MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser described the engine inside HM9 as “the most beautiful movement we’ve created to date”. What other logical step was there to take, if not to encase the HM9 engine in a transparent sapphire crystal shell?
And so, the outer hull of sapphire crystal inherits much of the curves from the original HM9 launched in 2018. After the initial HM9 Flow ‘Air’ and ‘Road’ editions conquered land and sky, HM9-SV explores the depths of the ocean – the last realm on Earth that still holds a wealth of untold secrets. The laws of fluid dynamics remain dominant in its design, but with a more lenient approach necessitated by the new sapphire crystal case. From a technical standpoint, the reworked dimensions were necessary to account for the differences in material properties of sapphire crystal; although extremely hard, sapphire can fracture sharply under pressure. The smoother lines of HM9-SV minimise potential areas of mechanical vulnerability and reinforce its ocean-dweller’s aesthetic.
Inside, the HM9 “engine” follows in the footsteps of the HM4 and HM6, with a three-dimensional assemblage of components. Two independent cantilevered balances channel into a differential, turning two heartbeats into one time pulse. The co-axials beneath each of the balances act as propellers, spinning freely as elements of visual interest. Conical gears, engineered with utmost precision, efficiently turn the engine’s energy to feed the information, that is then tilted through a 90° angle time display on a sapphire crystal dial, marked with Super-LumiNova.
A patented three-dimensional rubber gasket, used in the original HM9 Flow, ensures the sapphire crystal exterior components are sealed into one watertight case. The sapphire crystals are fused with its metallic frame using a high-tech bonding compound, resulting in a seal that is water resistant to 3ATM while retaining the minimalistic frame in 18K yellow or white gold.
Two new combinations join the HM9 Sapphire Vision range: a PVD-coated blue engine with an 18k white gold frame, and a PVD-coated green engine with an 18k yellow gold frame, each limited only to five pieces.