MB&F has a history with cars stretching back a decade, with their first iconic car-inspired timepiece starting in 2012 and being continued till today. The journey of MB&F’s connection to cars started with the HM5 in 2012, followed shortly by the HMX in 2015, HM8 in 2016, and now, not only the latest edition but also the most technologically evolved, the HM8 Mark 2.
MBF’s link to the car world didn’t first transpire in 2012 however, in fact, it goes all the way back to 1985, when a certain Maximilian Büsser was having childhood dreams about becoming a car designer. From a young age until he was 18, all the Founder of MB&F would sketch and draw were cars. His aspiration of becoming a car designer took a turn, however, as just before graduating from high school, he learned that the world-famous ArtCenter College of Design from Pasadena, was opening a campus right near his childhood home.
The college had a massive fee of approximately 50,000 CHF, which at that time was an extravagant amount. Unfortunately due to this cost, he would not be able to attend and instead put on his engineering hat as he signed up for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). That wasn’t the end of the story for his passion for cars though.
Maximilian Büsser states “I lost my way, I lost my marbles, and ended up in the watchmaking industry,” he shares with a smile. “So, when I decided to tackle car design in a timepiece, this was humungous for me. It was everything I had ever dreamed of.”
The design of the first car-inspired timepiece by MB&F, the HM5, took inspiration from a crazy design by Amida, more particularly a wristwatch unveiled in 1976 called the Amida Digitrend. MB&F took the concept of this timepiece and worked on a similar one of their own, by employing a sapphire prism that would allow the jumping hours and sweeping minutes to be indicated vertically when they were actually flat on the movement. An iconic design in modern-day timepieces, the HM5 came with a window on the side of the timepiece that indicated time as an old-style speedometer. The MB&F design was greatly improved from the Amida version, with a notable feature being MB&F using discs one on top of each other (unlike Amida’s side-by-side discs) to maximize the size of the digits and increase legibility.
Now, through the different iterations since the creation of the HM5, MB&F has unveiled their most technologically advanced car-inspired timepiece, the HM8 Mark 2. Everything from the case to the movement has been redesigned, starting with new materials.
The case now uses a material called CarbonMacrolon®. Specifically designed for MB&F CarbonMacrolon® is a composite material composed of a polymer matrix injected with carbon nanotubes, which add strength and rigidity. Carbon nanotubes offer superior tensile strength and stiffness than traditional carbon fiber reinforcing. MB&F’s CarbonMacrolon® is a solid material that is hard and can be coloured, polished, bead-blasted, lacquered, and satin-finished, while also being extremely light, weighing approximately 8 times less than steel.
The engine inside this new HM8 Mark 2 is the three-dimensional horological engine, composed of a jumping hour and trailing minutes module developed in-house by MB&F, which is ultimately powered by a Girard-Perregaux base movement. This mechanical automatic winding movement operates at a high frequency of 4Hz (28, 800 VpH) and gives out a decent power reserve of 42 hours. The movement comes with a brand new crown, which has a “double de-clutch” system. This system works by pushing the crown in and turning it three-quarters of a turn to release it. This has the advantage of gaining space and providing additional security to the system, which is a genuine advantage for a sports watch.
A lot of the construction process for the HM8 Mark 2 required specialist technicians and suppliers. The sapphire crystal in particular has pushed the limits of what’s physically possible in the world of Horology. MB&F states “The creation of this double-curved sapphire has reached a complexity that is 30 to 40 times more expensive than a dome sapphire. Only one supplier agreed to take on the challenge. During the many hours required to produce each sapphire crystal, the risk of breakage is incredibly high – and if it is going to break, it is always at the very last moment, much to the utter desperation of all concerned. Once safely completed and fitted into the timepiece, however, it is just as robust as the sapphire crystal on any sports watch.”
MB&F is releasing the HM8 Mark 2 in two versions: a limited edition titanium and green CarbonMacrolon® body panel limited to 33 pieces, and non-limited titanium and white CarbonMacrolon® body panel edition. The limited edition green CarbonMacrolon® timepiece is offered in a white calfskin strap which offers great contrast against the case, while the second edition is offered in a light green calfskin strap, offering an opposing colour image to the limited edition model.
The HM8 Mark 2 brings together 10+ years of experience and knowledge in making an iconic car-inspired design. What started with the HM5, a unique design using an old-style speedometer layout for the dial, has now turned into a watch that is more technical, legible, sexier, and easier to wear. Both versions of the HM8 Mark 2 can be purchased from authorised MBF retailers or through MB&F’s e-commerce website.
Reference: 82.TL.G, 82.TL.W
- Case: 47 x 41.5 x 19 mm
- Case Material: Grade 5 titanium with green or white CarbonMacrolon®
- Dial: Three-dimensional horological engine, composed of a jumping hour and trailing minutes module developed
- Crystal: Sapphire crystals on top, front and display back are treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces. Dual reflective sapphire crystal prisms with integrated magnifying lens.
- Water resistance: 30m (3bar)
- Movement: Automatic Calibre in-house by MB&F, powered by a Girard-Perregaux base movement with 22K gold automatic winding rotor.
- Power reserve: 42 hours
- Strap: Calfskin strap – white for the British green model and green for the white model with a titanium tang buckle.