MB&F - MB&F , HM8 CAN white gold
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
MB&F - MB&F , HM8 CAN white gold

MB&F , HM8 CAN white gold

MB&F
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87'000 €

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

MB&F , HM8 CAN-AM , white gold

Over the last decade, two indelible forms have often marked MB&F’s Horological Machines: the distinctive angular form and optical prism displays of the revisited 1970s Amida watch, which first manifested in HM5 and then HMX; and the now signature “battle-axe” winding rotor, which took centre stage on top of HM3, MB&F’s most popular model to date. 

Horological Machine N°8 (HM8) takes those two idiosyncratic features and infuses them with high-octane Can-Am race car-inspired design – generating an exquisitely sculptured, high-speed wrist-borne fantasy. 

Gentlemen, start your engines. Feel the THUNDER! 

HM8 rises from the turbo-charged ashes of the Can-Am, a discontinued “anything goes” car racing series that would have celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. 

The Canadian-American Challenge Cup, Can-Am for short, was a sports car racing series running from 1966 to 1987. Bruce McLaren developed his very rst car for the Can-Am series; McLaren, Lola, Chaparral, BRM, Shadow and Porsche all ran manufacture teams. Class restrictions in the Can-Am were minimal and allowed for unlimited engine sizes, turbo- charging, supercharging, and basically unrestricted aerodynamics. This all led to the development of pioneering technology in many fields. And extremely powerful engines. 

HM8 Can-Am features a curvaceous yet angular case, with dual optical prisms vertically displaying bi-directional jump- ing hours and trailing minutes, while the distinctive battle-axe winding rotor is visible on top. But the real star of HM8 is its Can-Am inspired polished “roll bars” majestically sweeping from the front of the Machine down to the beguiling tapered back. Incongruously for a fully mechanical racing machine, the visual effect is electric. 

MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser describes Horological Machine N°8:”I feel that this is one of the coolest pieces I’ve ever created.” 

Those roll bars are milled from solid blocks of grade 5 titanium and then meticulously hand-polished to gleam like tubular mirrors. 

HM8’s Engine sits in full view under a nearly invisible sapphire crystal engine cover. The open centre of the blued-gold battle-axe rotor enables appreciation of the circular wave nish on the movement, while the hour and minute indica- tion discs are visible in the corners. 

The generous use of sapphire crystal allows unfettered visual access to the movement while its transparency backlights the time displays, making them more legible by day. Light also charges the Super-LumiNova numerals on the hour and minute discs for maximum legibility by night. HM8’s form ampli es its function rather than simply following it. 

HM8 Can-Am launches in two versions: 18K white gold/ titanium and 18K red gold/titanium. 

 

Technical specifications

ENGINE 

Three-dimensional engine conceived and developed by MB&F from a Girard Perregaux base calibre Automatic battle-axe winding rotor in 22k gold
Power reserve: 42 hours
Balance frequency: 28,800bph / 4Hz 

Number of components: 247 Number of jewels: 30 

FUNCTIONS/INDICATIONS 

Bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes displayed by two optical prisms that both re ect and magnify 

CASE
Material:
launch editions in 18k white gold/titanium and 18k red gold/titanium Dimensions: 49 mm × 51.5 mm × 19 mm
Number of components: 60 components
Water resistance: 30 m / 90’ / 3 atm 

SAPPHIRE CRYSTALS 

All sapphire crystals – front, back, top, bottom – treated with anti-re ective coating on both faces 

STRAP & BUCKLE 

Hand-stitched alligator strap in marine blue (white gold case) and dark brown (red gold case) with folding buckle in matching case material

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.
 
Journalist : Olivier Müller
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