When it has been introduced back in 2018, MB&F HM9 Flow made some noise. Not that we should be surprised by the independent watchmaker creating a bold watch, but the HM9 Flow was using different inspirations and came with unprecedented shapes. The latest opus in the Horological Machine series, HM9 paid tribute to 1940s automotive or aeroplane “streamline” trend. Today, the brand introduces new red gold versions of the MB&F HM9 Flow Air and Road editions.
HM9 Flow is a mechanically complex and design-centric horological UFO to be worn on the wrist.
When it has been introduced back in September 2018, the HM9 Flow made an impression with its organic, retro-futuristic and curvy shapes. While previous watches in the HM9 collection where mostly inspired by 1970s Sci-Fi or daring concept cars, the independent watchmaker’s latest creation was paying tribute to the 1940s and 1950s “streamline” trend, when the search for perfect aerodynamics was a field in which aesthetics were paramount, an era that gave birth to some of the most beautiful man-made objects ever created – MB&F lists the Mercedes W196 Streamliner, the 1948 Buick Streamliner or the de Havilland Venom as some of the most striking creations of the period.
HM9 Flow came on the market with an inaugural edition of twice 33 pieces in titanium, with two models named Air and Road – mainly differentiated by their speedometer- or pilots-inspired dials. Today, MB&F introduces HM9 Flow in 18k red gold, still in two sub-editions with Air or Road dials.
The case of the HM9 Flow is a masterpiece of complexity and design-centric engineering. Shaped like no other watch on the market, this unidentified time-telling object is a sleek, retro-futuristic aircraft or sportscar piece with organic, curved surfaces, enlightened by multiple domed windows on its mechanics. Still, it remains in line with the rest of the collection, with a bit of HM4 for the conception of the case and the display, the organic shapes of HM3 Frog or HM6 Space Pirate, the driver’s orientation of HM8 Can-Am. Overall, it looks like a streamlined jet engine flanked by two aerodynamic, ogival pods with drop-shaped sapphire domes housing twin balance wheels. Unusual for sure, but making quite an impression!
The shape of the watch was driven by both aesthetics but also by the movement encased in this piece. This is a purpose-built engine shaped just like the case. This in-house mechanical movement is regulated by two oscillators operating at 18,000 vibrations per hour. These are held under mirror-polished curved bridges reminiscent of the MB&F Legacy Machines. In the centre, a differential averages the rate of the two balance wheels – a concept that was first found on the Legacy Machine 2. The winding crown is located at the rear of the body, to drive the in-line central gear train. Finally, a conical gear transmission is used to drive the vertical display. The movement comprises 301 parts, which are all finished with great attention to detail.
The main novelty this year is the addition to the collection of two new versions crafted in red gold. The case, with its usual large dimensions – 57mm x 47mm x 23mm – is mostly brushed with several polished details. This gives the watch an even more “steampunk” look than the titanium version, being warmer but not flashy.
As with the titanium model, two versions named “Air” and “Road” will be available. The difference is mainly on the dial side, with either a classic pilots watch or a speedometer inspiration. Some differences in the coating of the balance wheels, as well as the main plate of the movement, can be spotted too.
These new red gold version of the HM9 Flow are worn on supple and perfectly integrated calfskin straps, here done in dark brown and secured by a folding buckle in titanium and red gold.
The MB&F HM9 Flow Air and Road Edition now in red gold will be limited to 18 pieces per edition, available in the coming days at retailers. It will be priced at CHF 188,000, USD 198,000 or EUR 174,000 (all prices before taxes). More details at www.mbandf.com.