You thought having seen all of the watches to be auctioned at Only Watch 2021 already…? Surely, the biennial charity auction, which has become a major event of the horological calendar, has a lot to give this year, with an incredible selection of unique watches – and even non-wristwatches. Except that, among the 50-plus models to be offered, there was still one that was only visible as a sketch… And this ultra-cool MB&F HM10 Panda for Only Watch 2021 has just been revealed.
Behind this new panda-themed watch (but not the kind of panda you usually see in watchmaking…) lies a well-known UHO (unidentified horological object) designed and conceived by MB&F, the highly impressive and bold HM10 Bulldog. Revealed to the world in 2020, the HM10 is yet another unconventional Horological Machine done by Max and his friends. just like the dog it’s named after, the HM10 is muscular and rather compact, just like the dog, the HM10 is bold and rather intimidating. And just like the dog, it has a solid pair of jaws… Yes, the HM10 was yet another crazy creation.
Based on this watch, MB&F has decided to present a new interpretation to be offered at Only Watch 2021, transforming the HM10 Bulldog into a far more endearing animal; the Panda. This isn’t the first time that the brand uses this theme for OW, as in 2011 MB&F presented an HM4 in collaboration with Chinese artist Huang Hankang, which featured a miniature panda bear flying atop an HM4 jet. But now, the concept has been pushed to the max as the whole watch is actually shaped and coloured like a panda.
The case, or at least its base, remains identical to the classic HM10; a rounded, compact body that lends itself perfectly to the shape of the cuddly panda. But then comes the specificities. The top of the case is coated in black and white lacquer to mimic the animal’s colouring. This finishing required changing the material from titanium to steel. The backside is titanium and coated in black PVD.
But more than the colours, it’s the small details that add the playful touch to this MB&F HM10 Panda for Only Watch 2021. Indeed, fused to the surface of the top sapphire crystal dome are two titanium ears and a ceramic tail crafted from machined Grade 5 silicon nitride. The two black-and-white domes to display the hours and minutes are clearly mimicking the panda’s eyes… but if the panda seems to be cute, it can also be a wild animal and the watch still features the teeth of other HM10 watches, not only for fun but also acting as the power reserve indicator (closed when winding is needed).
The movement found inside the watch is identical to the classic HM10 Bulldog watch and is made in-house, with the brand’s signature floating oversized balance wheel dominating the watch – more details about the movement in our hands-on article here. The MB&F HM10 Panda is worn on a black-and-white strap and still benefits from the sprung strap attachment “legs” to provide a comfortable fit.
The HM10 Panda is being offered together with unique works of art by multidisciplinary designer Lee Yuen-Rapati – well-known in the watchmaking world as @OneHourWatch on Instagram – who has graciously created a series of illustrations inspired by the HM10 Panda especially for the auction. The watch will be auctioned in November and has an estimate of CHF 100,000 – 150,000.
Created in 2005, Only Watch is a biennial fundraiser for research on muscular dystrophy – Association Monégasque Contre les Myopathies (AMM). Organized under the patronage of HSH Albert II de Monaco, the watches of the 9th edition will be auctioned by Christie’s on Saturday 6 November 2021. More details at www.onlywatch.com.