MB&F kicks off Dubai Watch Week in only the way MB&F can, with the release of their latest creation, the retro future-inspired HM11 Architect!
Dubai Watch Week 2023 has kicked off officially, and whilst not a format that all brands use to release pieces globally, Max Busser has done just this with his MB&F Horological Machine 11, or the MH11 Architect. Why Architect? Because this time-telling machine is designed based on an architectural style from the 60’s, designed around the human form and the way these architects, or “Habitologists” saw people living in modern houses of the future.
Max, being a keen observer of all things, looked at one of these houses, and thought, “What if that house was a watch?” And so the idea of the HM11 Architect was born.
At the heart of this horological house, is a central flying Tourbillon, which is housed under a double domed sapphire roof. Surrounding the Tourbillon are four ‘rooms’, all similar in nature providing the watch with a nice symmetry on the wrist. All these ‘rooms’ are the same basic layout and style; glossy white walls with a full sapphire crystal window pane to showcase what’s inside. But what is inside, is not the same in each room.
The four rooms are used for four different functions – The Time Room, Power Room, Temperature Room, and the last, the Time Setting Room (or crown if you will). The Time Room is unique in the way it is designed, featuring rod-mounted orbs that function as the hour indicators using larger and lighter polished aluminium orbs for each quarter and smaller and darker polished titanium orbs for the rest. The red-tipped markers of the hour and minute hands mark the time and provide a nice contrast to the otherwise stark room.
Next is the Power Room, which tells its user how much of the 96hr reserve is left. In a similar design as the Time Room, there are rod-mounted orbs here too, 5 in total that ascend in size to the final 2.4mm polished orb that indicates the full power reserve is reached and the barrel is fully wound. Again, the red-tipped arrow indicates the amount of charge in the house, I mean watch!
Turning the watch around you will find something that isn’t all that common, in fact, extremely rare in a mechanical wristwatch – a thermometer. The HM11 Architect uses a mechanical system of temperature indication with a bimetallic strip, which may seem quaint in this age of instant high-precision electronic thermometers and thermostat-regulated smart homes. This mechanical system functions without any external energy input and is available in Celsius or Fahrenheit display variations.
The last room is vacant. A seemingly unassuming void, but one with a purpose as this is what MB&F has designed as the ‘Crown’ of the watch. There is a sapphire crystal window, and set into this is the MB&F Battle-Axe motif of the crown. Acting in a similar way to your standard watch, you pull the crown out and set the time. As MB&F describe, it’s the key to the front door of your horological house.
The whole piece is constructed of Grade 5 Titanium, polished to give it a shiny lustre that gleams like an out of this world craft in a 60’s sci-fi movie, with the double domed sapphire at the centre with the HM11 engine beating away at 2.5Hz / 18,000 VpH. The plates and bridges of the movement are coloured using PVD for the ozone blue colour or you can choose the golden hue of the 5N Gold variant.
What is unique about this piece is the way MB&F has constructed the movement and power unit. With a traditional manual winding watch, you would need to wind the crown a good 30 times to generate the standard 48-72 hours of power in the barrel or barrels. With the HM11 Architect, you turn the whole case, rather than the crown, and only requires 10 full turns to generate its 96 hours worth of power. The HM11 achieves this due to the case winding the barrel, not the crown. A larger winding range per turn equals more torque and this means less energy required to wind the mainspring. The other aspect of the HM11 is that you end up winding the watch when you simply play with it and turn the case to view the different rooms. Something you won’t do with most manual winding pieces. To get an idea of this, see our Instagram post with Champsg showcasing it on the wrist with the one and only Max Busser!
Whilst we’ve not had a lot of time with the HM11, our initial thoughts on the piece are, well, like every other creation that comes out of MB&F, somewhat crazy and somewhat genius! But sometimes you need to be a little crazy to come up with genius ideas, and this is what Max and his team at MB&F do so well.
Whilst the HM11 seems or looks a little cumbersome, its 42mm diameter isn’t large and the way MB&F has designed the case and lugs, it hugs the wrist nicely. Yes, it’s large at 23mm thick, but being titanium, it’s lighter than you think and the rubber strap on the blue model wears very well, especially in the heat of Dubai where it’s just been launched.
Like the other Horological Machines that have come before it, this isn’t a piece that you get to tell the time. This is a piece that you buy to have a piece of art, science and engineering on your wrist, that just happens to tell you the time. And in this case, the temperature as well. Being limited to just 25 pieces of each of the blue and gold models and retailing at close to $370,000 AUD (or 213,000 CHF), it’s not like you’ll see too many out in the wild, and you’ll know you have something very unique in your possession!
Reference: MB&F HM11 Architect – Limited to 25 pieces each in Blue and Gold
- Case: 42mm diameter
- Case thickness: 23mm
- Case Material: Grade 5 polished titanium
- Dials: Conical rods in stainless steel (Ø 0.50mm to 0.60mm), darker beads in polished titanium and lighter beads in polished aluminium (Ø 1.30mm to 2.40mm). Base plates ad Brisdges in PVD coloured blue or 5N Gold
- Crystal: Sapphire crystals on top, back, and on each chamber-display treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces
- Water resistance: 20 meters / 2ATM
- Movement: Three-dimensional horological engine featuring bevel gears, composed of a flying tourbillon, hours and minutes, a power reserve indicator and temperature measurement, developed in-house by MB&F. Mechanical movement, manual winding (by turning the entire case clockwise).
- Power reserve: 96 hours
- Strap: Rubber strap – white for the blue model and khaki green for the red gold model, both with Titanium folding buckle.
Recommended Retail Price: Approx AUD $370,000 (213,000 CHF)
Availability: Available from MB&F via enquiry. For more details or to enquire, head to shop.madgallery.ch