When presented back in 2017, the MB&F HM7 Aquapod was a proper surprise… Like a shock, really. This watch, a jellyfish-inspired timepiece, with a diving bezel, a vertical movement with tourbillon, a decent water resistance and an organic design, looked like nothing else on the market. Bold, weird, spectacular, artistic, ugly… I’ve rarely experienced a watch that gathered so many different adjectives. Reactions were strong, in both directions – which I consider an achievement for such a concept piece. Today, after the inaugural black and blue versions, and the titanium/green model, MB&F launches another piece in the HM7 Aquapod series, in red!
John Doe “What is that..?” – Me “MB&F’s latest watch, a red HM7” – John Doe “sorry, I don’t get it” – Me “normal, that’s a UTO or unidentified timekeeping object“. John Doe “But why…?” Me “Why not, dude!”
While the question if I personally like or not this watch is irrelevant here – each of you will have his own opinion – the real topic is different. Do we need to justify contemporary art and to give a reason behind its creation process? Not that I am aware of. Contemplation is more than sufficient enough to understand the raison d’être of art. In this instance, consider this watch as an artistic, unclassified, unexplainable piece of watchmaking art. Will it please the masses? Certainly not (and clearly, even better this way). Is it controversial, over the top, unconventional? Most certainly. Is it practical, functional, reasonable… In short, does it make sense? No, but who cares!
Following this assumption, which works for most of MB&F’s Horological Machines, the brand’s latest piece makes no exception to the rule. It is extravagant, flashy, large, complex, almost outrageous but properly unique – and that makes it cool. Based on the HM7 concept, Max’ vision of an aquatic watch – don’t consider it a dive watch either, but a watch that can easily take a swim – MB&F brings here a bright, vivid version in platinum and red. Even more exclusive, even more segmenting than past models…
After several space-inspired watches (HM2, HM3 and HM6), after several car-inspired pieces (HM5, HMX and HM8) and even a plane-inspired creation (HM4), the MB&F HM7 Aquapod takes a plunge into the water with its more organic, less robotic inspiration. The design has been created around the shape of a jellyfish – see the round central body and the strap, attached to the case like tentacles. This new inspiration was combined with classical MB&F elements, such as an unusual display of the time or a vertically mounted movement placed underneath a massive glass bubble.
The watch is constructed around concentric rings, starting from the central tourbillon – heart and brain of the watch… Just like a jellyfish has a ring of neurons as a brain. Around it are two rotating rings that are used to display the time, with hours and minutes. Finally, around the inner shell of this watch is placed a unidirectional bezel, which can be used to time a diving session – or cooking pasta, up to you. Unlike most other dive watches on the market, the MB&F HM7 Aquapod’s bezel isn’t attached to the case, but floats apart, as if it was unattached to the case.
The watch is massive – 53.8mm in diameter, 21.3mm in height – smooth and curved all around and sits on the wrist like nothing else you could have tried before. It’s both a visual and tactile object. The movement, developed and manufactured in-house by MB&F, has a symmetrical conception, with the regulating organ (a one-minute tourbillon) placed on top, right in the centre of the watch, exposed under a highly domed sapphire bubble. Finally, power is brought to the movement by a winding rotor, placed on the other side of this calibre, as a counterweight to the tourbillon on top. The “tentacles” of this rotor are crafted from solid titanium in a complex three-dimensional way.
For its 4th edition, the MB&F HM7 Aquapod adopts the rarest and most luxurious of the metals, as well as one impressively bold colour for its bezel. The combination of a 950 platinum case with a red insert for the bezel is contrasted, bright, unusual and clearly, many will be shocked. Still, it is exactly this unusual attitude that collectors of such watches are looking for. Just like the green version, the ceramic bezel of the black and blue models has been replaced by a sapphire crystal ring where numbers and markers are laser-engraved and filled with luminous material, along with a layer of bright red lacquer.
Note – MB&F explain why red?
Red is not a colour that immediately comes to mind when thinking of marine life — but it has a very particular significance when it comes to the jellyfish. The deeper you go in the ocean, the less colour you see. Red is the first colour to disappear, being on the lowest end of the visible light spectrum and thus most easily absorbed by water. This is why you find a higher concentration of red sea creatures in the deepest waters – being red makes them almost invisible to predators. Deep-sea jellyfish often have red stomachs as a form of protective camouflage, as their transparent bodies would otherwise allow predators to spot them via their stomach contents.
Some other novelties have been implemented on this new MB&F HM7 Platinum Red. In addition to the new material and colours, the brand also adds a sapphire crystal bridge on top of the tourbillon’s balance. Finally, the hours and minutes rings features a new design, with three-dimensional numerals sculpted in titanium – a material chosen for its lightness, in order to have as little weight on these ring, not to damage the movement. They are however much more complex to machine than the aluminium rings used on other versions. The numerals are filled with untinted Super-LumiNova. An AGT Ultra technology (Ambiant Glow Technology) luminous ring surrounds the flying tourbillon.
The MB&F HM7 Platinum Red is delivered with 3 rubber strap (red, black, white) moulded in aircraft-grade Fluorocarbon FKM 70 Shore A elastomer – very soft to the touch – with folding buckle in platinum. It will be limited to 25 pieces and priced at CHF 155,000 (Excl. taxes).
Another impressively weird, controversial piece by Max Büsser and Friends… Funny enough, I can remember Max saying that the day one of his creations would be unanimously recognised as good (just good, no more), it would mean that his creativity is dead. No worries Max, this one will again provoke many opposing opinions!
More details on www.mbandf.com.