MB&F - Horological Machine N° 7 « Aquapod »
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
MB&F - Horological Machine N° 7 « Aquapod »

Horological Machine N° 7 « Aquapod »

MB&F | 112'000 € Tax inc.

Sold out Contact us
Notice of laurent

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

Take a deep breath…

After pushing the boundaries of horological exploration by blasting into outer space (HM2, HM3, HM6), launching into the sky (HM4), and powering down the road and around the track (HM5, HMX, HM8), MB&F plunges into the water with Horological Machine No.7, aka HM7 Aquapod.

 

The organic jellyfish-inspired design of HM7 Aquapod is counter-balanced by the very mechanical horology within: a central flying tourbillon tops the concentric vertical movement architecture, with indications radiating out from the centre like ripples in a pond.

 

HM7 Aquapod began its gestation as a horological jellyfish, and the architecture of its Engine is appropriately biomorphic. Jellyfish are radially symmetric, Aquapod is radially symmetric. Where a jellyfish generates power from food caught in its tentacles, HM7 generates power from its tentacle-like automatic winding rotor.

 

Where jellyfish have a radially symmetric ring of neurons for a brain, Aquapod has radially symmetric rings displaying hours and minutes. Where jellyfish have a hood or bell on top, HM7 Aquapod has an imposing flying tourbillon regulating the power generated by the rotor, and transforming it into the display of time.

 

The winding rotor’s tentacles are crafted from a solid block of titanium; their very three-dimensional nature makes machining and finishing extremely challenging. Underneath the tentacles, a platinum mass ensures powerful and efficient winding.

 

And then there's that ceramic bezel. While Horological Machine No.7 is not a dive watch, it is a timepiece comfortably at home in the water – so MB&F added the one element that all serious aquatic watches possess: a unidirectional rotating bezel. However, unlike every other dive watch on the planet, Aquapod's bezel isn't attached to the case, but floats apart like a life buoy.

 

The 303-component, 72-hour power reserve HM7 Engine was developed in-house by MB&F. Spherically three-dimensional, all its mechanisms – from the winding rotor at the bottom, past the mainspring barrel and hour and minute displays, to the flying tourbillon on top – rotate concentrically around the centre. The curves of the high-domed sapphire crystal are mirrored in the shape of the time display rings, which are not simply flat and angled, but are mathematically precise, curved spherical segments.

 

And, like many jellyfish, HM7 glows in the dark. It glows where you would expect it to – on the hour and minute numerals – but also around the inside of the movement, to light up that flying tourbillon at night… and in addition, along the tentacle-like winding rotor so that its operation, too, can be appreciated in the dark.

 

HM7 Aquapod launches in 33 pieces in grade 5 titanium with blue bezel, and 66 pieces in 18K 5N+ red gold with black bezel.

Technical specifications

HM7 Aquapod technical details

 

 

Launch editions in grade 5 titanium with blue bezel and 18k 5N+ red gold with black bezel – both with blue luminescent details.

 

 

Engine

Three-dimensional vertical architecture, automatic winding, conceived and developed in-house by MB&F

Central flying 60-second tourbillon

Power reserve: 72 hours

Balance frequency: 2.5 Hz / 18,000 bph

Three-dimensional winding rotor in titanium and platinum

Number of components: 303

Number of jewels: 35

 

 

Functions/indications

Hours and minutes displayed by two aluminium / titanium spherical segment discs rotating on oversized central ceramic bearings

Unidirectional rotating bezel for elapsed time

Numerals, markers and segments along the winding rotor in Super-LumiNova 

3 panels of AGT Ultra (Ambient Glow Technology) lume around the flying tourbillon

Two crowns: winding on left and time-setting on right

 

 

Case

Spherical construction

Material: launch editions in grade 5 titanium or 18k 5N+ red gold

Dimensions: 53.8 mm x 21.3 mm

Number of components: 95

Water resistance: 50 m / 150 feet / 5 atm

 

 

Sapphire crystals

Top and bottom sapphire crystals treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces.

 

 

Strap & buckle

Rubber bracelet moulded in aircraft-grade Fluorocarbon FKM 70 Shore A elastomer with folding buckle 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

Read more