MB&F - Megawind
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
MB&F - Megawind

Megawind

MB&F

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

MEGAWIND Time and Power – who says you can’t have it all? Derived from the iconic HM3 series, MEGAWIND combines a giant 22k gold and titanium winding rotor with highly legible time indication cones rising up from the complex asymmetric case, like truncated gold-framed monoliths. Rotating within their twin gold and sapphire crystal frustums, the cones display hours (left) and minutes (right), with the time clearly visible from both the large numbers on the sides of the cones as well as duplicate indications on their flat caps. However, while it may be a temporal desire that attracts the viewer’s gaze towards the three-dimensional sculptures housing the hours and minutes, it is likely to be the giant battle-axe shaped winding rotor that mesmerises the eye as it swings unhurriedly, but indomitably, over the meticulously hand-finished movement. As they revolve, the strong, but lightweight high-tech titanium arms of the rotor intermittently reveal tantalising views through to the fervently oscillating balance wheel. Power is nothing without control and MEGAWIND offers a perfectly harmonious balance of the two.

MEGAWIND is powered by the beautifully engineered, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht-designed HM3 engine. Placing the rotor and regulator on the dial side required an inverted movement, which was only possible thanks to two large high-tech ceramic bearings – visible through the display back – that efficiently transmit time up to the revolving hour and minute cones above. Rotating domes of this size and shape posed a number of technical challenges. The hour and minute domes are machined from solid blocks of aluminium, chosen for its optimal strength to weight ratio; this reduces energy requirements to an absolute minimum. Close inspection of the case – which comprises over 50 separate components – is rewarded with a myriad of carefully considered details, including the bevelled perimeter of the rotor display crystal that adds visual flair as the angles catch and reflect flashes of light; the bespoke clover-head gold screws; and the cleverly integrated lugs attaching the strap. MEGAWIND is available in red gold with a 22k red gold rotor or white gold with a sky-blue 22k gold rotor. MEGAWIND Inspiration and Realization:

The original HM3 was developed to display the machine’s beautifully finished movement in operation and MEGAWIND follows the same principle. Harmoniously crafted bridges, rapidly oscillating balance wheel, gearing and MB&F’s iconic battle-axe automatic winding rotor are all open to view on the dial side. This allows the wearer to fully appreciate the art and craft of the HM3 engine by drawing the viewer’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 22k gold and titanium winding rotor’s powerfully graceful arcs and the high-speed oscillations of the balance wheel. Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, winner of the inaugural award for Best Watchmaker at the 2007 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, was entrusted with turning the drawings and designs of Max Büsser and designer Eric Giroud into horological reality and, with his team at Agenhor, he surpassed the challenge. Indications: The hour and minute cones are milled from solid aluminium to paper-thin thickness. The cones are housed within three-dimensional truncated gold and sapphire crystal cones, which are brazed together. Brazing is a high-temperature soldering technique which is aesthetically pleasing and ensures a solid, water-resistant construction.

Mega Rotor: Independent Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva (co-creator of MB&F’s MoonMachine) provided both the initial idea for the large rotor and the name, MEGAWIND. The two 22K gold blades of the iconic MB&F battle-axe rotor on the dial make what is called a ‘mystery’ rotor because, in appearing to be symmetrically balanced instead of having a visibly off-centred mass, they look to defy the laws of physics. This ‘mystery’ is achieved by machining the underside of one of the gold blades to a razor-thin edge, so reducing its mass. Ceramic Bearings: Time indications are usually located on the top, or dial side, of a movement. As the movement of HM3 is inverted to display its operation, an efficient solution was needed to bring power from the bottom of the movement to the timekeeping cones at the top. Standard pinions set in jewels would have required complex, friction-generating gearing, and would require support top and bottom – a factor which would increase the height of the movement, and thus the watch. So instead of standard jewelled pinions, HM3 features two large-diameter (15mm) high-tech ceramic bearings. Because of their large diameter, these bearings minimise the number of friction inducing gears and, due to the rigidity resulting from their ultra-high precision design and manufacture, they only require support at one end (the base) so allow for a thinner movement. 

Technical specifications

Technical Specifications
Movement :
  • Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht / Agenhor
  • Sowind oscillator and gear train
  • Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph
  • Automatic winding rotor in 3 parts
  • hub in titanium with outer sections in 22K gold, fastened with 4 rivets
  • Time indications transmitted via ceramic ball bearings
  • Number of jewels: 36 (all functional)
  • Number of components: 270
  • Functions: Hours on one cone Minutes on second cone
Case:
  • Available in 18k white gold/titanium or 18k red gold/titanium
  • Screwed-down crown
  • Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 47mm x 50mm x 17mm
  • Number of case components: 52
  • Sapphire crystals: Sapphire cones and front and back display crystals have anti-reflective treatment on both faces 
STRAP :
  • Strap & Buckle: Black hand-stitched alligator with 18k gold and titanium custom designed folding buckle.

Who's who

“Amazing. Maximilian Büsser is definitely an amazing person.” If you ask Laurent Picciotto to go over the main points of his history with the big man at MB&F, you’ll initially be met by a long silence and a pensive look. Where to begin? What about the first meeting, when “Max” was on a work placement at Jaeger-LeCoultre? When he was head of Harry Winston Watchmakers? When he transitioned to become a designer, bringing together the greatest watchmaking talent at MB&F? These are all stages in Max Büsser’s career; yet the person who passed through them has been so different in each role that it can sometimes be difficult to see the continuity. Be that as it may, the link between the two men was indeed first forged in Paris, twenty years ago. Laurent Picciotto had opened Chronopassion three years previously, laying the foundations for a brand that was to become a benchmark, but which at that time was pretty much a complete unknown beyond a tiny number of top watchmaking connoisseurs. Meanwhile the young Maximilian Büsser had just graduated from the Lausanne Federal Polytechnic School and joined Jaeger-LeCoultre. Büsser was enamoured with watchmaking mechanics. When he was in Paris, he went to see Chronopassion in rue Saint Honoré. “He stayed over three hours,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “He was enthusiastic and inquisitive. He asked thousands of questions – he was an unusual young man and already knew a lot more about watchmaking culture than he was letting on.” Max Büsser worked in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Marketing department for seven years. He left in 1991 to move to Harry Winston. The 5th Avenue jewellers in New York City had already made some inroads into the watchmaking world, but without any major breakthroughs. The first timepieces dated back to 1989, but had failed to find much success. Output remained tiny, as the young Max Büsser sowed the seeds of high-class watchmaking at the jewellers. He was soon promoted to the position of Managing Director of the Rare Timepieces department. That was when the paths of the two men crossed again. “I was out for a walk in Geneva,” says Laurent Picciotto, “when a man in a car stopped next to me. He was no longer the young apprentice from Jaeger, but the CEO of Harry Winston Watchmakers. I didn’t recognise him – he’d completely changed, even physically! He really had taken on the stature of CEO. It was amazing.” The two men then saw each other every year during the course of Harry Winston business. The watchmaking part of the brand, driven by Max Büsser, gradually took shape, “but I was interested only in the Opuses,” says Laurent Picciotto with a smile. A friendship developed and when Max Büsser left Harry Winston in July 2005, a new chapter in it began. “Max told me about his new project, MB&F, standing for Maximilian Büsser & Friends. I said just three words to him: ‘I’ll follow you.’ He was a little surprised, as he didn’t have any immediate plans to establish the brand in France and he hadn’t even got the slightest prototype anywhere near ready!” Picciotto’s instinct was right, though. The first Horological Machine, HM1, came into being two years later in 2007. “This timepiece is difficult to apprehend – you need to put it on your wrist and wait a good quarter of an hour before being able make up your mind,” remembers Laurent Picciotto. The next part of the adventure is better known: four HMs and an LM, standing for Legacy Machine, a piece that pays tribute to watchmaking inventors. It is more aesthetically accessible but no less technically complicated for all that. Each MB&F item is the fruit of the greatest talents in top watchmaking, in terms of both watchmaking technology itself and design: Jean-François Mojon, Kari Voutilainen, Peter Speake-Marin, Laurent Besse, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, Eric Giroud, and so on. “At the end of the day, MB&F timepieces really do need to be adopted by their owners. Max adds a touch of humour, born out of his uninhibited approach to watchmaking. It’s definitely a brand that brings a breath of fresh air to the watchmaking landscape, shaking it up to just the right degree,” concludes Laurent Picciotto.

Journaliste : Olivier Müller

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