What if a house was a watch? MB&F’s answer is the Horological Machine No11 Architect, complete with four individual rooms.
A famous Swiss architect by the name Le Corbusier once said, “une maison est une machine à habiter” (a house is a machine to live in). Similarly, for MB&F, their Machines are habitable because they tell stories of a different time, place and sometimes, worlds. The idea is that an MB&F Machine is not worn; it is lived.
Taking all of the above quite literally – added with the architectural inspiration from experimental utopian-like builds that surfaced from the mid- to late 1960s – MB&F sought to build a house that is a watch, and a watch that is a house. Hence, the MB&F Horological Machine No11 ‘Architect’ was born, a love letter of the culmination of 18 years of watchmaking R&D at MB&F. It all began back in 2018 with Eric Giroud’s first blueprints where his architectural background proved fundamental in forming the HM11’s layout.
In a nutshell, the HM11 ‘Architect’ features a movement with 364 components: a vertically-stacked 60-second flying tourbillon, housed under a double-domed sapphire crystal, that sends information to four parabolic “rooms” through conical gears.
THE FOUR ROOMS
While the central flying tourbillon forms the heart of the house, it connects to four rooms, each with its own function – despite the similar interior of glossy white walls peeking out of a full sapphire crystal window pane. The wearer can turn the house to access each room, but this does more than offer a change of scenery on your wrist. Every 45-degree clockwise turn is signalled by a tactile click under the fingers, delivering 72 minutes of power directly to the barrel. After 10 complete rotations, the HM11 will be at its maximum autonomy of 96 hours.
The first room one would encounter is the ‘time room’ rod-mounted orbs serve as hour markers while larger and lighter polished aluminium orbs as well as darker polished titanium orbs proclaim the rest. Red-tipped arrows are the guides pointing to the hours and minutes.
Next, 90 degrees to the left, is the power reserve indicator’s residence, showcasing the remaining running autonomy in the HM11 barrel. Following suit is the room encasing a rarely seen instrument in horological settings: a thermometer. The final room’s purpose is to be the home of the time-setting crown of the HM11. Like opening the front door with a key, one only needs to pull on the transparent module for it to open with a click and control time.
Despite its three-dimensional architecture (and interior), the HM11 case surprisingly measures at only 42mm in diameter. It sits comfortably on the wrist thanks to the curved case as well. As for the main materials chosen to represent the HM11 ‘Architect’, titanium and sapphire crystal take the lead. In addition, a total of 19 gaskets are put in place to ensure the integrity of the case and movement, adding a guaranteed water resistance rating of 2ATM (20 metres).
The heart of the MB&F HM11 takes pride in both power and efficiency. There are two methods of powering the barrel. The first, as mentioned earlier, is by manually turning the watch (and its rooms) in place of the winding crown alone. The second harvests energy through incidental kinetic action via the wearer’s wrist, in conjunction with an automatic winding system.
For a watch with as many components as the HM11 does – and in its subtle size – each of those components are not guarded individually with additional shock-proofing elements. Rather, HM11 incorporates a full-system dampener, consisting of four high-tension suspension springs that sit between the movement and lower-case shell.
HM11 ‘Architect’ launches in two limited editions of only 25 pieces each, with blue or red gold dial plate.