Watchmaker MB&F produced one of the most talked about timepieces at the recent SIHH in Geneva.
Geneva-based luxury watchmakers MB&F have been producing cutting-edge timepieces since 2005, including a line of science-fiction-inspired watches called ‘Horological Machines’ since 2007 . . . and their 2017 effort might be the most outrageous yet.
Described by founder Maximilian Busser and his Friends as “contemporary machines inspired by our childhood”, the HM line already includes a watch nicknamed the ‘Space Pirate’ featuring a case made up of four sapphire crystal domes, a chrome piece resembling a Star Wars TIE fighter, and the ‘Arachnophobia’, containing a clock within the eight legs of a mechanical spider.
The latest in the futuristic line was revealed at the 2017 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie watch fair in Geneva in January, the HM7 ‘Aquapod’, another space-age addition to the off-the-wall collection.
The Aquapod features a ceramic diver’s bezel surrounding the case — but instead of being laid on top of the case, it floats around the bulbous crystal dome, like the rings surrounding Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.
The designers say the piece is inspired by the anatomy of a jellyfish, with a 60-second flying tourbillon at the very top of the movement ringed by two rotating titanium/aluminium discs that display minutes and hours, “radiating out from the centre like ripples in a pond,” according to MB&F.
The time is also illuminated at night by ‘Ambient Glow Technology’ — what us mere mortals would call glow-in-the-dark material — to also evoke a jellyfish, while the winding titanium rotor on the back of the case mimics a number of curved, three-dimensional tentacles.
This is a huge watch — 53.8mm in diameter and 21.3mm high, meaning it sits off the wrist — and includes 303 components, 35 jewels, a 72-hour power reserve, and water resistance to a depth of 50m.
The HM7 Aquapod has been limited to two editions, both with a rubber strap: a titanium version with a blue bezel for 98,000 Swiss Francs (AU$130,000; limited to 33 pieces), as well as an 18k rose gold with a black bezel for 118,000 Swiss Francs (AU$156,000; limited to 66 pieces).