The Swiss horological lab MB&F has by no means shied away from extravagant manifestations of what a timepiece will be. First introduced in 2018, the Horological Machine N°9, or HM9 ‘Circulation,’ broke conventions, paying homage to the revolutionary automotive and aeronautic designs of the Forties and 50s. Now, MB&F takes the audacious step of encasing its intricate HM9 engine in a translucent shell of sapphire crystal. The outcome? A clear masterpiece coined the HM9 ‘Sapphire Imaginative and prescient’ or HM9-SV, which looks like an artefact from a dimension the place steampunk and futurism coalesce.
One of the crucial compelling options of the HM9-SV is its outer hull, a sinuous type of sapphire crystal and treasured metals. This isn’t merely an aesthetic feat; it’s a marvel of engineering. Maximilian Büsser, the brainchild behind MB&F, says that this new iteration homes “probably the most lovely motion we’ve created to this point.” The craftsmanship required to perform that is nothing in need of staggering—every sapphire case takes about 350 hours to finish, a feat achievable solely due to MB&F’s years of expertise in pushing the sapphire envelope.
With two absolutely unbiased cantilevered balances, the HM9 engine works like a miniaturized, hyper-efficient manufacturing facility, the place time is each the uncooked materials and the ultimate product. The balances feed information right into a differential that averages their outputs, offering one coherent time pulse, a technique impressed by earlier designs however honed to perfection on this newest model.
What actually units the HM9-SV aside is its thematic focus. Taking inspiration from the mysterious aura of the oceanic depths, it serves as an invite to discover a world not fully our personal. To emphasise this, HM9-SV options propellers beneath every of the balances, twin generators that spin freely, extra as parts of an aesthetic attract than a useful necessity. These propellers stand as silent sentinels, urging you in the direction of a brand new type of escapism, one the place time and area grow to be fluid constructs.
Let’s take a second to speak concerning the materials that permits this masterwork to exist: sapphire crystal. Rated 9 on Moh’s scale of hardness, sapphire is only a step away from diamond. Its sturdiness permits for unparalleled legibility and longevity, setting it other than widespread alternate options like silicate glass. Its hardness, nonetheless, additionally makes it significantly difficult to form, particularly with the precision that watchmaking requires.
In 2023, MB&F unveiled two new editions, including a pop of color with engines in shades of blue and inexperienced, framed in white and yellow gold. Restricted to 5 items every, these watches are as unique as they’re extravagant. The method of sealing these new sapphire elements concerned high-tech bonding compounds and a singular three-dimensional rubber gasket, guaranteeing water resistance as much as 30 meters.
The HM9-SV gives greater than the mere monitoring of hours and minutes; it presents time as artwork, inviting a tactile and visible exploration of its advanced innards. From its twin stability wheels to the planetary differential, each element is purposeful, a part of an intricate dance that’s mesmerizing to behold. On this sense, the HM9 ‘Sapphire Imaginative and prescient’ tells a narrative—a narrative of human ingenuity, aesthetic aspiration, and the endless quest to make the elusive tangible. In a world that usually calls for we rush, the HM9-SV serves as an eloquent reminder that point can nonetheless be a surprise to behold.