HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N°6 FINAL EDITION

HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N°6 FINAL EDITION

SUMMARY

 

 

When the hottest-burning stars come to the end of their existence, they take one last stand in the form of a massive supernova. Horological Machine N°6 has only been around since 2014, but its audacious construction and design make it one of the brightest stars in the MB&F constellation, and it has entered supernova phase just four years after its debut. Horological Machine N°6 Final Edition comes in steel, and is available in a limited edition of 8 pieces.

 

Following the case-material precedent set by Legacy Machine N°1 Final Edition, HM6 Final Edition is presented in stainless steel, a fittingly robust and durable material to memorialise the last outing of this series. Any machine that has experienced four years of intergalactic exploration – transitioning from cosmic pirate ship to futuristic alien vessel – is bound to bear the marks of adventure (or misadventure); the body of HM6 Final Edition is deeply grooved with polished lines that stretch from the turbine pods to the hour and minute spheres, contrasting sharply with the satin-drawn main surfaces.

 

The temperature of a star determines its colour, with the hottest stars appearing bright blue due to their higher radiation frequency. Appropriately, this shade features prominently in HM6 Final Edition. The platinum oscillating weight, visible through a sapphire crystal pane on the underside of the case, has been given a blue PVD (physical vapour deposition) coating. The hour and minute spheres are also in this arresting hue, with numerals and markings standing out in thickly applied Super-LumiNova that luminesces light blue.

 

The hour and minute spheres are oriented perpendicular to the rest of the engine to facilitate readability, and are driven by conical gears to ensure that this unusual configuration still provides the necessary precision in displaying the time. At the opposite end of the HM6 engine, twin turbines create air resistance that protects the automatic winding system. Such commitment to the mechanical integrity doesn’t come easily. The engine of Horological Machine N°6, comprising 475 components, took three years of research and development to realise – almost as long as the entire lifespan of the HM6 series itself.

 

Central to the design and construction of HM6 is the flying tourbillon, protected by a retractable shield and evocative of the sharply controlled chaos at the heart of our universe. Now that things are coming to a close for HM6, the sapphire crystal dome above the flying tourbillon takes a page from the show-all playbook of HM6 Alien Nation and expands its dimensions in order to more fully expose the beating regulator in its revolving cage.

Horological Machine N°6 Final Edition completes the cosmic circle begun by HM6 Space Pirate, a supernova finish to a series that belongs in the stars.

 

THE HM6 SERIES

 

 

MB&F launched Horological Machine N°6 in November 2014, all biomorphic curves and brushed metal in its inaugural edition, known as Space Pirate first in titanium then in red gold. Just over a year later, at the beginning of 2016, HM6-SV (Sapphire Vision) followed, with the uppermost and lowest sections of the case in transparent sapphire crystal, sandwiching a centre segment of platinum or red gold. In 2017, HM6 Alien Nation made its debut, featuring a full sapphire-crystal case and an additional passenger load: six micro-sculptures of alien hominids.

 

The initial sparks of inspiration for HM6 came from a 1970s and 1980s Japanese anime TV series called Capitaine Flam, featuring the eponymous captain and his improbably bulbous spaceship. The Sapphire Vision edition of HM6 took graphic elements from a travel icon of the 1950s and 1960s, American Greyhound buses of the so-called Streamline era, with their lateral grooves and bright metal sidings.

 

Every aspect of the HM6 engine is constructed to intersect neatly with this retro-modernist take on space travel and technology, from the sleek whirling turbines with curved fins to the cinematic flying tourbillon with its manually operable shutters. The signature MB&F battle-axe appears in two places in the HM6 engine: in single-headed form for the rotor, and double-headed for the upper tourbillon cage.

 

There are 50 titanium and 18 red gold pieces of HM6 Space Pirate, 10 pieces of HM6-SV in platinum and 10 pieces in red gold, and four unique pieces in the Alien Nation edition. With the 8 pieces of HM6 Final Edition, the number of pieces made in the Horological Machine N°6 series comes to a total of exactly 100.

 

THE HM6 ENGINE

 

 

The otherworldly engine of Horological Machine N°6 was created over three years of research and development. It was the second tourbillon movement to come out of MB&F and the first flying tourbillon to do so.

 

Unlike other flying tourbillons, which safeguard chronometric performance by keeping the rotating escapement as close to the main body of the movement as possible, the flying tourbillon of the HM6 engine is distinguished by its extreme height, a mechanical and philosophical challenge equal to the audacity of the overall HM6 design. Its one concession to the laws of nature is the retractable titanium shield that protects the lubricating oils essential to the smooth operation of the flying tourbillon from the oxidising effects of the ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight.

 

Time is displayed through two rotating hemispheres, marked separately with the hours and minutes. These hemispheres are milled to paper-thinness to reduce the torque demand on the mainspring barrels and extend the power reserve to its maximum length. Additional mechanical and visual complexity is offered by the positioning of the hemispheres such that they rotate perpendicular to the rest of the geared elements in the HM6 engine. Conical gears are employed to achieve this angular translation without compromising a single iota of precision engagement.

 

A space-worthy craft would not be complete without multiple security features and guards, and the automatic winding system of the HM6 engine is equipped with turbines that act as a winding buffer. Two sets of curved fins provide the necessary air resistance to keep the winding rotor within a safety zone of oscillation speed, further enhancing the longevity of this complex 475-component engine.

 

THE MB&F FINAL EDITIONS

 

Horological Machine N°6 is the fourth Horological Machine by MB&F to receive an edition to formally mark the end of series production. Previously, HM2 (2008-2011), HM3 (2008-2015) and HM4 (2010-2013) also received Final Editions.

 

With the Final Edition of Legacy Machine N°1 (2011-2017), steel was established as the material that would distinguish future such editions, a choice that has been perpetuated in HM6 Final Edition.

 

Completing an MB&F series is a major strategic decision and is central to the belief in continual exploration and development that is held by everyone at MB&F. Only by ending production of existing pieces are Maximilian Büsser and his team able to go on to future challenges while keeping the creative spark and momentum that comes with a compact organisation.

 

HM6 – TECHNICAL DETAILS

 

 

Engine:

Three-dimensional horological engine developed exclusively for HM6 by MB&F with David Candaux Horlogerie Créative

60-second flying tourbillon with retractable shield

Platinum 950 battle-axe automatic winding rotor

Twin aluminium turbines driven by winding rotor

Power reserve: 72h

Balance frequency: 18,000bph/2.5Hz

Number of components: 475 (496 for the HM6 Alien Nation)

Number of jewels: 68

 

Functions/indications:

Hour and minutes on separate semi-spherical aluminium indications

Left crown opens/closes tourbillon shield; right crown for time setting and winding

Dual turbines regulate the automatic winding rotor

 

Case:

HM6 Ti: Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5) titanium

HM6 RT: 18K 5N+ red gold and Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5) titanium

HM6-SV: Sandwich construction of two transparent sapphire crystal plates on either side of a central precious metal case band, in 18K 5N+ red gold or platinum 950.

HM6 Alien Nation: sapphire crystal with white gold aliens and 4 different gasket colours.

HM6 FE: Stainless steel.

 

Dimensions:

Ti, RT and Final Editions: 49.5 x 52.3 x 20.4 mm

SV + Alien Nation Editions: 50 x 51 x 22.7 mm

 

Number of components:

HM6 Ti and RT: 80

HM6-SV: 78

HM6 Alien Nation: 95

HM6 FE: 85

Water resistance: 30m / 90’ / 3atm

 

Sapphire crystals:

10 sapphire crystals: 9 domed (4 for the hour and minute indications, 4 for the turbines, 1 for the tourbillon) and one flat (display back); 2 additional sapphire crystal plates for the SV and Alien Nation editions; and additional case band in sapphire crystal for the Alien Nation.

 

Strap & Buckle:

Hand-stitched calfskin strap for the HM6 Ti and RT; alligator strap for the HM6-SV, HM6 Alien Nation and HM6 Final Edition. Custom designed folding buckle matching the case material.

 

‘FRIENDS’ RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HM6 SERIES

 

Concept: Maximilian Büsser / MB&F

Product design: Eric Giroud / Eric Giroud Design Studio

Development and production management: Serge Kriknoff / MB&F

R&D: Guillaume Thévenin, Ruben Martinez and Simon Brette / MB&F

Movement development: MB&F with David Candaux

 

Case: Riccardo Pescante / Les Artisans Boitiers

Sapphire case for HM6-SV: Sebal

Profile-turning wheel/pinion/axis: Jean-François Mojon / Chronode, DMP and Paul André Tendon / BANDI

Barrels: Stefan Schwab / Schwab-Feller and Sébastien Jeanneret / Atokalpa

Steel spring + turbine aluminium: Alain Pellet / Elefil Swiss SA

Tourbillon: Andreas Kurt / Precision Engineering

Retractable shield: Benjamin Signoud / AMECAP

Plates and bridges: Rodrigue Baume / HORLOFAB, Georges Auer / Mecawatch, Benjamin Signoud / AMECAP

Platinum winding rotor: Roderich Hess / Cendres et Métaux, Pierre-Albert Steinmann / Positive Coating

Hand-finishing of movement components: Jacques-Adrien Rochat and Denis Garcia / C-L Rochat

Movement assemblage: Didier Dumas, Georges Veisy, Anne Guiter, Emmanuel Maitre and Henri Porteboeuf / MB&F

In-house machining: Alain Lemarchand and Jean-Baptiste Prétot / MB&F

Quality Control: Cyril Fallet / MB&F

After-Sales service: Thomas Imberti / MB&F

Buckle construction and production: Dominique Mainier / G&F Châtelain

Specific crown of the shield mechanism: Cheval Frères SA

Metallisation of hour and minute domes: Jean-Michel Pellaton / Bloesch and Anthony Schwab / Econorm

Semi spherical hour and minute: Hassan Chaïba and Virginie Duval / Les Ateliers d’Hermès Horlogers

Super-LumiNova: Aurora Amaral Moreira / Panova

Manufacturing of the aliens for HM6 Alien Nation: Olivier Kuhn / Atelier Création Kuhn

Strap: Camille Fournet

Presentation case: ATS Atelier Luxe

Production logistics: David Lamy, Isabel Ortega and Raphaël Buisine / MB&F

 

Marketing communications: Charris Yadigaroglou, Virginie Toral and Juliette Duru / MB&F

M.A.D.Gallery: Hervé Estienne / MB&F

Sales: Thibault Verdonckt, Stéphanie Rea and Jean-Marc Bories / MB&F

Graphic design: Samuel Pasquier and Thibault Baralon / MB&F, Adrien Schulz and Gilles Bondallaz / Z+Z

Product photography: Maarten van der Ende

Portrait photography: Régis Golay / Federal

Website: Stéphane Balet / Nord Magnétique, Victor Rodriguez and Mathias Muntz / Nimeo

Texts: Suzanne Wong / REVOLUTION Switzerland

 

MB&F – GENESIS OF A CONCEPT LABORATORY

 

2018 marked the 13th year of hyper-creativity for MB&F, the world’s first-ever horological concept laboratory. With 15 remarkable calibres forming the base of the critically acclaimed Horological and Legacy Machines, MB&F is continuing to follow Founder and Creative Director Maximilan Büsser’s vision of creating 3-D kinetic art by deconstructing traditional watchmaking.

 

After 15 years managing prestigious watch brands, Maximilian Büsser resigned from his Managing Director position at Harry Winston in 2005 to create MB&F – Maximilian Büsser & Friends. MB&F is an artistic and micro-engineering laboratory dedicated to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches by bringing together talented horological professionals that Büsser both respects and enjoys working with.

 

In 2007, MB&F unveiled its first Horological Machine, HM1. HM1’s sculptured, three-dimensional case and beautifully finished engine (movement) set the standard for the idiosyncratic Horological Machines that have followed – all Machines that tell the time, rather than Machines to tell the time. The Horological Machines have explored space (HM2, HM3, HM6), the sky (HM4, HM9), the road (HM5, HMX, HM8) and water (HM7).

 

In 2011, MB&F launched its round-cased Legacy Machine collection. These more classical pieces – classical for MB&F, that is – pay tribute to nineteenth-century watchmaking excellence by reinterpreting complications from the great horological innovators of yesteryear to create contemporary objets d’art. LM1 and LM2 were followed by LM101, the first MB&F Machine to feature a movement developed entirely in-house. LM Perpetual and LM Split Escapement broadened the collection further. MB&F generally alternates between launching contemporary, resolutely unconventional Horological Machines and historically inspired Legacy Machines.

 

 

As the F stands for Friends, it was only natural for MB&F to develop collaborations with artists, watchmakers, designers and manufacturers they admire. This brought about two new categories: Performance Art and Co-creations. While Performance Art pieces are MB&F machines revisited by external creative talent, Co-creations are not wristwatches but other types of machines, engineered and crafted by unique Swiss Manufactures from MB&F ideas and designs. Many of these Co-creations, such as the clocks created with L’Epée 1839, tell the time while collaborations with Reuge and Caran d’Ache generated other forms of mechanical art.

 

To give all these machines an appropriate platform, Büsser had the idea of placing them in an art gallery alongside various forms of mechanical art created by other artists, rather than in a traditional storefront. This brought about the creation of the first MB&F M.A.D.Gallery (M.A.D. stands for Mechanical Art Devices) in Geneva, which would later be followed by M.A.D.Galleries in Taipei, Dubai and Hong Kong.

 

There have been distinguished accolades reminding us of the innovative nature of MB&F’s journey so far. To name a few, there have been no less than 4 Grand Prix awards from the famous Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève: in 2016, LM Perpetual won the Grand Prix for Best Calendar Watch; in 2012, Legacy Machine No.1 was awarded both the Public Prize (voted for by horology fans) and the Best Men’s Watch Prize (voted for by the professional jury). In 2010, MB&F won Best Concept and Design Watch for the HM4 Thunderbolt. In 2015 MB&F received a Red Dot: Best of the Best award – the top prize at the international Red Dot Awards – for the HM6 Space Pirate.