When it comes to timepieces, craftsmanship and art are aligned. When it comes to MB&F, these two have masterfully merged. As the world’s first watchmaking concept laboratory, the brand has made a name for itself with its artistic timepieces, so-called “Horological Machines”. Ten years ago, MB&F started a collection inspired by automobiles, and it was a childhood dream come true for the company’s founder Maximilian Büsser. The first model, the HM5, was released in 2012. The HMX followed in 2015, and the HM8 in 2016. This year, the HM8 Mark 2 enriches the collection as another portable work of art. The model is available in two versions: with a green titanium and CarbonMacrolon case, limited to 33 pieces, or a white one.
The case measures 47 x 41.5 mm in diameter and is 19 mm in height. It is waterproof to a depth of 30 m. The Porsche 918 Spyder inspired the shape of the HM8 Mark 2 case. With each collection, MB&F dare to take up new material challenges to implement their unusual designs. This model is no exception, as new solutions had to be found.
Titanium and CarbonMacrolon
To emulate the shape of the vehicle body particularly well, MB&F chose a chassis construction. It consists of titanium grade 5 and a green or white CarbonMacrolon body panel. CarbonMacrolon is a polymer matrix with injected carbon nanotubes for increased strength and rigidity and was specially developed for MB&F. This unique solid material is eight times lighter than steel and offers a wide range of design options.
Green or white?
The coachwork is available in two colour variations – British racing green or white. The open-worked roof and the bottom of the CarbonMacrolon body are coloured in the corresponding hue. However, there is titanium in the center of the coachwork, that runs along the sides. The caseback is also made of titanium. Whereas the top of the case has a matt finish, the sides are highly polished. Yet, machining the material was challenging, as the alloys are difficult to mill due to their hardness.
The versatility of its case makes the HM8 Mark 2 stand out and invites the wearer to observe it from all sides. From above, the movement is visible through the glass roof of the coachwork. The “Double Bubble” roof of Fiat Abarth’s Zagato served as inspiration for the roof’s appearance. It required a complex manufacturing process to bring the sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides into its double-curved shape.
Unlike other timepieces, the HM8 Mark 2 displays the time on the front side and thus under the “hood” when you turn your wrist. There are two sapphire crystal windows integrated into the titanium frame. Between them, as on the front end of a car, is the MB&F emblem in the form of a badge. On the underside, the sapphire crystal offers a view of the lowered caseback, which bears the model’s name and an engraving of the brand name on a black ring with a bar. Moreover, the surrounding metal showcases an engraving of the material name on the left and the reference number on the right.
In addition, the case of the HM8 Mark 2 is equipped with a never-before-seen type of fluted crown. It is released by pressing and turning it three-quarters of a turn. Through this integration, the crown is more secure and takes up less space. Another peculiarity of the crown is its location as it is not on the right side of the case but on the rear side.
True to the concept, the dial resembles a speedometer, making it easy to read the time even while driving. Strongly inspired by the Amida Digitrend from 1976, the display is vertical and visible through two windows at the front of the watch.
Counter-rotating sapphire discs indicate the jumping hour and sweeping minutes. Unlike the Amida Digitrend, however, the discs are not placed next to each other but one above the other. Due to the vertical format, the numerals are actually inverted. But with the help of dual reflective sapphire crystal prisms with integrated magnifying lenses, they are visually reversed and appear the right way around. In addition, there is Super-LumiNova under the sapphire crystal, making it look flat instead of bulging.
Through this implementation, the white numerals on the sapphire discs with a black metal coating are more visible and appear almost digital. In addition, the minute counter adds a touch of colour with turquoise for the British racing green version and light green for the white version.
The sapphire crystal roof reveals an automatic movement, which is based on the Girard-Perregaux GP03300 calibre. It is supplemented by a module developed by MB&F with jumping hours and sweeping minutes. The movement oscillates at a frequency of 4 Hz with a power reserve of 42 hours. The colour of the battle-axe-shaped rotor in 22-carat gold contrasts with the rest of the movement and draws all the attention. In the British racing green version, the rotor and balance are made of red gold. Likewise, the white version has a CVD-coated rotor in green. One of the rotor blades is only two-tenths of a millimetre thick and was therefore stamped and not engraved.
Strap, price, and availability
A white calfskin strap with a titanium pin buckle accompanies the British racing green model, limited to 33 pieces. The white version, on the other hand, has a calfskin strap in sage green. Both versions are available for CHF 73‘000.
|MODEL||HM8 Mark 2
|REFERENCE||British Racing Green: 82.TL.G
|CASE MATERIAL||Titan Grade 5 and CarbonMacrolon in British racing green or white
|DIMENSIONS||Diameter: 47 x 41,5 mm
Height: 19 mm
|WATER RESISTANCE||30 m
|DIAL||Vertical, sapphire crystal discs with a black metal coating, Super-LumiNova
|STRAP/BRACELET||White or sage green calfskin leather strap with titan pin buckle
|MOVEMENT TYPE||Based on GP03300 by Girard-Perregaux
|POWER RESERVE||42 hours
|FUNCTIONS||Jumping hours, sweeping minutes