At MB&F we turn traditional watchmaking of the highest craftsmanship into futuristic, fiercely unconventional timekeeping machines.
HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N. 1
Launched in 2007, Horological Machine No.1 was an innovative and totally original timepiece: it was the world’s first movement with four barrels connected in both parallel and series, as well as the first wristwatch movement to have energy transmitted to the regulating system from two sources simultaneously.
The movement features no less than 376 components, 81 functional jewels, 4 mainspring barrels, a 7-day power reserve and an elevated central tourbillon. With its 48 discrete elements, HM1's three-dimensional case has a complexity and sophistication matching its movement. The multi-strata of the dial both captivate the eye and challenge the mind.
HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N. 2
First launched in 2008, Horological Machine No.2 revolutionized the world of haute horlogerie with its distinctive rectangular shape, flying buttresses, dual portholes and modular construction. Its mechanical movement offers instantaneous jumping hours, concentric retrograde minutes, retrograde date, bi-hemisphere moon-phase and automatic winding.
The dynamic tension between apparently incongruous elements in Horological Machine No.2, such as that between innovative technology and sculptural art, matte finish and mirror polish, modern alloys and precious metals, and between traditional watchmaking and 21st century micro-engineering, endows this machine with vibrant vitality. The sapphire crystal cases of the HM2-SV editions offer visual access into the meticulously hand-finished engine.
HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N. 3 FROG
Haute horlogerie is (usually) a very restrained and serious business; however one of Maximilian Büsser’s main goals in creating MB&F was to bring a child's sense of awe and playfulness into high-end watchmaking… mission accomplished with the HM3 Frog!
The HM3 Frog is crafted in titanium or zirconium, combined with a 22k gold “battle-axe” winding rotor. A close inspection of the case reveals carefully thought out detailing including distinctive clover-head screws and a figure 8 engraved around the domes that mirrors the form of the display back. The hours and minutes revolving domes complication, framed by an oversized date wheel, was designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. Machining those aluminum and sapphire domes posed a number of technical challenges.
HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N. 3
First launched in 2009, Horological Machine No.3 was far outside existing timekeeping references and marked the beginning of an iconic series.
The wearer can fully appreciate the art and craft that makes up HM3 and draws one’s gaze inside the highly complex machine; a machine comprising more than 300 fine-finished, high-precision components. The movement of HM3 has been literally turned upside down to allow for an uninterrupted panorama of the solid gold winding rotor’s graceful arcs and the high-speed oscillations of the balance wheel. Turning the watch over reveals the technical secret behind its inverted movement: two large ceramic bearings efficiently transmit power up to the cones and date wheel.
HM3 is available in two versions: ‘Sidewinder’, with cones lined perpendicular to the arm and ‘Starcruiser’, with cones in line with the arm.
HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N. 4
The streamlined, faster-than-sound looking HM4 ‘Thunderbolt’ stretches horological art to its very limits. Both the aviation-inspired case and the engine inside have been described as radical, even anarchistic!
The HM4 engine is the culmination of three long years of intensive development. Each of the 311 components was developed specifically for this calibre. Horizontally-configured dual mainspring barrels drive two vertical gear trains, transferring power to the twin pods indicating hours and minutes on the right, power reserve on the left. With the dials perpendicular to the wearer’s wrist, HM4 might be described as the perfect pilot’s watch.
HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N. 5
At first glance HM5 appears to be a relatively simple timepiece… but it’s more complicated than you might think.
The time display consists of bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes – with indications inversed, reflected 90° and magnified thanks to an optical prism. Looking below the surface of the HM5 case reveals a surprise: another water resistant case, which protects the high-performance engine inside.
HM5 has a futuristic case design, but it’s a direct homage to two 1970’s icons: the first high-performance supercars, and the plucky Amida Digitrend watch. Last but not least, even though it was inspired by an era when quartz was king, HM5 has a self-winding mechanical movement.
HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N. 6
With its biomorphic curves, animated spheres, 'winking' eye and beating heart, HM6 is our most organic machine to date.
In each of the four corners of HM6’s biomorphic case is a 360° sphere, capped top and bottom by transparent sapphire crystal domes. Up forward, two spheres rotate vertically respectively displaying hours and minutes. Back aft, the twin spherical turbines spin, regulating the automatic winding system to reduce stress and wear.
The transparent cupola on top houses a flying tourbillon and offers a tantalizing glimpse into the sophisticated engine inside. The sapphire crystal display portal on the back reveals more of the 475 finely finished components making up the highly complex movement, which required over three years of development. The sapphire crystal plates of the HM6-SV editions offer even more comprehensive views − top and bottom − to the movement within.
HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N. 7
After pushing the boundaries of horological exploration by blasting into outer space (HM2, HM3, HM6), launching into the sky (HM4), and powering down the road and around the track (HM5, HMX, HM8), MB&F plunges into the water with Horological Machine No.7, aka HM7 Aquapod.
The organic jellyfish-inspired design of HM7 Aquapod is counter-balanced by the very mechanical horology within: a central 60-second flying tourbillon tops the concentric vertical movement architecture, with indications radiating out from the centre like ripples in a pond. Like many jellyfish, HM7 glows in the dark: on the hour and minute numerals, around the inside of the movement and along the tentacle-like winding rotor. The 303-component, 72-hour power reserve HM7 Engine was developed in-house by MB&F. Spherically three-dimensional, all its mechanisms – from the winding rotor at the bottom, to the flying tourbillon on top – rotate concentrically around the centre. The curves of the high-domed sapphire crystal are mirrored in the shape of the time display rings.
HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N. 8
Over the last decade, two indelible forms have dominated the main characteristics of an MB&F Horological Machine: the distinctive angular form and optical prism manifested in HM5 and HMX; and the signature battle-axe winding rotor, which took centre stage on top of HM3, MB&F's most popular model to date. HM8 takes those two idiosyncratic features and infuses them with high-octane Can-Am race car-inspired design.
HM8 features a curvaceous yet angular case with dual optical prisms vertically displaying bi-directional jumping hours and minutes, while the distinctive battle-axe winding rotor is visible on top. But the real star of HM8 is its Can-Am inspired chrome "roll bars" majestically sweeping from the top of the front of the Machine down to the tapered back.
HM8's Engine sits in full view under nearly invisible sapphire crystal engine cover. The open centre of the battle-axe rotor enables appreciation of the circular wave finish on the movement, while the hours and minute indication discs are visible day and night in the corners.
Derived from the HM3 series, MegaWind combines a giant “battle-axe” winding rotor with highly legible hour and minute indication cones, rising from the case.
MegaWind is powered by the beautifully engineered, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht-designed HM3 engine. Placing the rotor and regulator on the dial side required flipping the movement upside down – possible thanks to two large ceramic bearings visible through the display back. Rotating displays of this size and shape generated a number of technical headaches: the cones are machined from solid blocks of aluminium, chosen for its optimal strength to weight ratio, and reducing energy requirements to an absolute minimum.
Close inspection of the case reveals a myriad of carefully considered details: the bespoke clover-head gold screws, the cleverly integrated lugs attaching the strap, and the bevelled perimeter of the rotor display crystal that adds visual flair as the angles catch and reflect flashes of light.
MB&F celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015, and there is one basic fact about birthdays that is fairly safe to assume: the one celebrating usually gets the presents.
MB&F turned that basic assumption on its head. Rather than expecting to receive, we conceived the HMX – “X” as in the Roman numeral for ten – as a thank you to the Friends who have supported us over the last 10 years. Instead of developing an ultra-complicated, ultra-expensive anniversary timepiece – standard practice in the luxury world – we cut margins without sacrificing quality, offering a true Horological Machine at an unprecedented price.
Designed like a supercar, HMX is a driver’s watch with bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes – but it's how and where the time is displayed that makes HMX so special: rotating discs on top of the movement are reflected vertically and magnified by optical prisms. Visible through a curved sapphire crystal, the movement is designed like a supercar engine, down to the dual "rocker covers" including shiny oil filler caps.