The last Horological Machine dropped way back in 2010, and its impact can still be felt. The HM4 conjured images of WWII fighter planes, pin-up girls, and the like. It's safe to say that the HM4 left the HM5 some pretty big shoes to fill. So, when 2011 rolled around and hype for HM5 was peaking, MB&F did a 180 and released their LM1, showing off some serious classic watchmaking prowess with the help of Kari Voutilainen. Fast forward to present day, and we've got the HM5 everybody's been waiting for.
Horological Machine #5 takes a decisive step back from where #4 left off. At first glance, you won't see any jaw dropping shapes or protrusions. Rather, we begin with a softer, more thoughtful shape reminiscent of louvered alarm clock from the 70's shaped in the wind tunnel. The teardrop shape gives way to an angled opening comprised of an optical grade sapphire prism that doesn't just serve as a viewing window - the overlapping numerical discs sit horizontally and the sapphire reflects the time 90º and enlarges the "image" by 20%. We can only speculate as to what effect this will have when viewing in person, but in the images here it gives the time a real depth of shape.
The "spine" of the watch is composed of slats that come together, not unlike what you'd expect to see adorning the rear window of a 70s sports car. You might notice a 70s theme emerging here, and for good reason. Max Busser (the MB of MB&F) takes his inspiration here from the 1970s' optimism and enthusiasm for all things future. Lasers, jetpacks, transistors, microwaves… all on the list. As was the Lamborghini Miura, a super car that embraced the forward thinking form design of the 70s. While the zirconium case does share unmistakable references to the low-slung super car, it is actually a direct homage to the Amida Digitrend.
Like the Digitrend, HM5 also uses a "jumping" hour and minutes display. As with all MB&F creations, development of the "engine" came via the F in MB&F, Friends. In this case, those friends are Jean-François Mojon and Vincent Boucard of Chronode. Sure a jump hour movement may seem like childs play to these two, but there is more than meets the eye. The jumping hours are bi-directional enabling the time to be set both forwards and backwards. Additionally, the movement bridge must support the mineral glass disks of the hours and minutes. The rotor retains the now familiar battle-axe shape seen in other Horological Machines.
The movement and the case step away from traditional companionship in that the former is encased in a steel container within the latter. So while the case is not water resistant, the movement is. Underwater, the case will take on some water, which is drained via exhaust ports. Furthermore, the louvers open and close through a slide on the case, allowing light to enter the engine container. Presumably this is to allow the lume on the hour and minute disks the opportunity to charge.
Reading the description is enough to put your imagination into overload, so soak up the pictures instead and be patient for our hands-on with HM5 coming soon.
HM5 is limited to 66 pieces and is priced at $63,000.