With Geneva Watch Days in full swing, independent brand MB&F unveils two new versions — reworked in dimensions and with new colorations — of its much coveted HM9 watch.
Led by Max Busser (and friends), MB&F has been creating legendary collector’s dream watches since its inception. The Horological Machines turned out by this company are three-dimensional works of art and mechanics for the wrist, from spaceship-like creations to auto-inspired shapes, animal likenesses and more. Now, the brand unveils one of its beloved machines, HM9, in two bold new colors: green and blue.
The first Horological Machine N°9, nicknamed HM9 Flow, was released four years ago in 2019 and was a tribute to the automotive and aeronautic designs of the 1940’s and 50’s, with flowing, aerodynamic lines. The watch boasted a complicated movement with two independent balance wheels and a central planetary differential that would yield ultra-high-precision timing – not to mention dynamite looks. That version was followed in 2021 with four HM9 Sapphire Vision versions – with transparent case to allow for viewing of the movement. Just five pieces were made due to the complexity of the sapphire hull with patented 3D gasket and bonding to ensure water resistance to 30 meters.
Now, MB&F releases two new HM9-SV versions – each in a limited edition of just five pieces: an 18-karat yellow gold model with PVD-coated green engine parts, an 18-karat white gold frame with blue PVD engine parts.
Essentially a driver’s watch (where the time indication, or dial, sits on the side of the wrist so you can see it when driving, the HM9-SV boasts a highly unusual case shape. From the top of the watch, two balance wheels reside opposite one another (almost like two eyes), while in the center there is a round planetary differential (a gear box) that harnesses the power from the balance wheels and synchronizes it for precision. The plates around these parts, along with some other movement parts are all in either blue or green PVD (physical vapor deposition). The manual-winding mechanical movement consists of 301 components and boasts 45 hours of power reserve.
The curved and rounded case with bubbles to fit the balance wheels in is made in three parts and is no easy feat. The dimensions of these new versions are reworked to account for the differences In the crystal case, and the frequency of the watch is slower (at 18,000bph) than most mechanical watches to account for increased shock resistance. The watches also incorporate a new shock-absorbing system consisting of helicoidal stainless steel springs between the movement and the case that are crafted by laser and offer better elasticity.
MB&F has also fused the metal frame with the sapphire crystals using a bonding compound so that the watch is water and pressure resistant. Each watch retails for $490,000.
This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on Forbes.com.