In launching the first of its Horological Machines in 2007, Max Büsser and friends positioned the brand as an independent watchmaker par excellence, with a focus on futuristic design that we believe only Urwerk has been able to come close to in recent years. The team at MB&F have stayed true to their mission of creating watches that look as if they belonged to a sci-fi movie, without any vestiges of traditional watchmaking.
This all changes in the HM7, launched at the recently concluded 2017 SIHH. Nicknamed the Aquapod, the HM7 sees MB&F taking inspiration from the water, with the iconic diver’s bezel taking center stage on a piece that while containing traditional dive-watch elements, still manages to astound onlookers with the distinctly Max Büsser twist.
The idea for an aquatic watch originated from Max Büsser’s memories of a family beach holiday, which included an encounter with a jellyfish. While the encounter may have been seemingly minor, it planted a seed in his brain for a three-dimensional timepiece powered by tentacles- the HM7. Where the jellyfish generates power from food caught in its tentacles, the HM7 generates power from its tentacle-like automatic winding rotor. And, like many jellyfish, the HM7 glows in the dark. And boy does it glow, with even the inside of the movement covered in lume, allowing for your breath to be taken away in the dark.
Enough with the tease, let’s get down to understanding the HM7 proper. Instead of laying the bezel on the top of the case, as with the diving tradition, MB&F instead floats the bezel apart from the case. The flying tourbillon at the very top of the movement is positioned for maximum appreciation by day, while three panels of ambient glow technology ultra blue around the inside of the movement serves to illuminate the tourbillon by night. Lastly, the gorgeous tentacles. The winding rotor’s tentacles are machined from a solid block of titanium, with a platinum sector underneath. Their curved, three-dimensional nature alternates between polished and satin-finished sections, with super-luminova segments along the rotor allowing the movement to glow in the dark. All this creates for a visual interpretation of the dive watch unlike any other.
The HM7 was principally designed by Eric Giroud, and is the team’s first aquatic-themed wristwatch, although its limited water resistance of 50m means it should be treated as a themed watch. It is worthwhile to note that the HM7 is humongous. Bezel included, the watch measures 58.3mm across, sitting an astounding 21.3mm above the wrist. It will be limited to two models, the red gold Aquapod RG, in 66 examples, as well as the Grade 5 titanium TI Blue, in 33 examples. Both models come on a high-grade rubber strap with a folding buckle that matches the case. For did you expect an aqua inspired watch to come in a leather strap? For more information, visit MB&F online.