MB&F astonishes with yet another interesting design like no other watch you have ever seen. Pushing the boundaries with space exploration with HM2, HM3 and HM6, with planes with the HM4, and the road with the HM5, HMX and HM8, MB&F takes their adventure to the water: the HM7 Aquapod.
The MB&F HM7 Aquapod
Max Büsser takes his inspiration from the organic jelly fish. The HM7 incorporates a central flying tourbillon on top of the concentric vertical movement architecture. The indicators radiate from the centre like the riples in a pond.
Jellyfish and HM7 Aquapod comparisons
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, the 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; the three-dimensional form makes machining and finishing extremely challenging. Underneath the tentacles, a platinum mass is used for efficient winding. And then there’s that ceramic bezel. While Horological Machine N°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 case and indicators
The design is yet another collaboration with Eric Giroud, who have been working with Max since the early years. Known for his eye for proportions and detail, Eric is one of the most sought after watch designers in the market. The design is organically inspired by the jellyfish, and the result is amazingly like a jellyfish, albeit stylised.
The hours and minutes are displayed by two spherical segment discs in aluminium and titanium, which are supported by specially developed oversized ceramic ball bearings. The hour and minute numerals and markers have been handpainted in Super-LumiNova, making them legible by night. They are hand-painted, because it is impossible to print neatly on such complexly-curved components.
The case is a three-dimensional sandwich comprising two hemispheres of high-domed sapphire crystal on either side of a metal case band. Working with domes sapphire have been an expertise of MB&F, having cut their teeth with the HM6, and the LM series.
The unidirectional ceramic bezel floats outside the case proper, while dual crowns are located between the two structures: the one on the left is for winding the movement (if necessary) and the crown on the right is for setting the time. The large crowns are ergonomically designed for ease of use, even when manipulated with wet fingers.
To create the eye-catching, curved ceramic bezel, the numerals and markers were first engraved in the ceramic using a laser, after which the engraved sections were filled with metalized titanium. The whole ring was then polished to a high gloss.
The strap in engraved aircraft-grade rubber highlights the casual nature of HM7 Aquapod, ensuring that it looks just as good with jeans and a t-shirt on land as it does with a bathing suit in the water.
Whereas the majority of watch movements are developed horizontally to be as flat as possible, the Engine of HM7 goes up, not out, with all of its components arranged vertically. The movement of HM7 was entirely developed in-house by MB&F.
TheHM7 Engine comprises of 303 components, boasts of a power reserve of 72-hour power reserve. Spherically the architecture is 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. In addition to the Superluminova used in the indicators, MB&F elected to use technology based on Ambient Glow Technology (AGT)’s lume for the panels surrounding the tourbillon. MB&F have earlier collaborated with Black Badger who supplied the AGT technology in the HMX-Black Badger.
It glows where you would expect it to – on the hour and minute numerals (Superluminova)– but also around the inside of the movement (AGT), 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. The choice of a flying tourbillon was deliberate as the upper bridge of a normal tourbillon would have necessitated the use of smaller, less legible time-display rings.
HM7 Aquapod launches in 33 pieces in grade 5 titanium with blue bezel at CHF 98,000 and CHF 118,000 ,for the 66 pieces in 18K 5N+ red gold with black bezel.
MB&F HM7 Aquapod Technical Specs
Launch editions in grade 5 titanium with blue bezel and 18k 5N+ red gold with black bezel – both with blue
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
Hours and minutes displayed by two aluminium / titanium spherical segment discs rotating on oversized central
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
Material: launch editions in grade 5 titanium or 18k 5N+ red gold
Dimensions : 53.8 mm × 21.3 mm
Number of components : 95
Water resistance : 50 m / 150 feet / 5 atm
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