When MB&F launched its first timepiece, Horological Machine 1, in 2007, it changed the way we look at watches. It also paved the way for the vibrant independent watchmaking industry we are accustomed to today.
It is very likely that for young collectors, MB&F may be the first independent watch brand that people are familiar with. Considering the influence and reputation the brand has built over the past 14 years, this is not surprising.
Today, we have the opportunity to get in touch with one of the first models released by the brand: Horological Machine 2 (HM2). This is a courtesy of our collector friend Nicholas, who bought this watch not long ago. Here, we will see what the early MB&F watches were like, and how this watch built the foundation of the brand-and led them to today.
MB&F Watch Machinery 2 (HM2)
MB&F Horological Machine 2 was first launched in 2008 and, as its name implies, is the second in the brand’s famous Horological Machine series.
This watch, also known as HM2, is a collaboration of Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, Maximilien Di Blasi and Patrick Lété. It is worth noting that HM2 is completely opposite to HM1. This MB&F has a modern-style rectangular case with a pair of circles that can accommodate two retrograde indicators and a moon phase display. This is different from HM1, where the situation is more curved and no different from Venn diagrams.
Although it may be less technically complex (compared to HM1’s tourbillon, four barrels and revolutionary adjustment system), HM2 certainly pays more attention to design elements-which in turn sets the direction for the future of the watch machine series . In today’s article, we will revisit HM2 and find out what makes this work so special.
Case, dial and hands
For any collector who has been on the scene for a while, HM2 is a timepiece that can be easily identified. This is all thanks to its large rectangular case (dimensions 59 x 38 x 13 mm) and a pair of bolted portholes with two independent dials.
Inspired by science fiction novels of the 20th century, HM2 is indeed a fascinating work with a sense of modernity and modernity. There are many exposed screws on the watch, and its 100-part modular structure-influenced by Max’s childhood meccano suit-gives the watch a unique appearance, which is very different from other watches when it was first launched. It was and is still a bold watch-but Max launched this watch very successfully. However, if we compare it with the newer MB&F watches, this is definitely mild.
This particular example is made of ceramics and titanium, which we think fits well with the theme of the watch. In particular, the brushed surface gives the watch a quite industrial feel, and the relatively darker tone of the ceramic further enhances this feeling.
Next, let’s take a look at the most important element of HM2: the dial.
As mentioned earlier, HM2 is equipped with two independent dials, each with a separate porthole. On the left, we have the date indicator, of which the former is equipped with a retrograde mechanism. In addition, the same porthole is also equipped with a dual hemisphere moon phase display, which is made of platinum.
For the other porthole, it is equipped with a time display. Similarly, the minute indicator uses a retrograde mechanism, while the hour indicator uses an energy-efficient time-jumping system. It is worth noting that the latter can be read through the ring on the sapphire crystal.
Finally, the two retrograde pointers appear as small triangles. The triangle is also full of luminescent material. The irony is that in the grand scheme, the hand is so simple. However, we do think that this is also a good balance so that the watch does not look too outrageous or overly complicated and cause unnecessary confusion at the end of the day.
It is worth mentioning that the HM2 is powered by a Girard Perregaux/Sowind-based movement and designed by Jean-Marc Widrecht/Argenhall. The self-winding movement consists of 349 parts and 44 jewels.
In addition to complications, the highlight of the movement is the 22k red gold “Tomahawk” winding rotor. The rotor is a sight worth seeing, it is accompanied by a series of beautiful inward and sharp angles, with angles. In terms of finish, the overall movement is good, but it is definitely not as spectacular as the movement in the Legacy Machine series. It is worth noting that the focus of this piece is complexity and overall design, so we do not emphasize the completion of the movement here.
The operation is very simple. The time and date indicator can be adjusted by the crown at 12 o’clock, which can be unlocked by the latch on the front of the timepiece. As for the moon phase indicator, there is a separate button on the side of the case.
HM2 or HM3 may be the first watch to introduce them to the world of independent watchmaking. Of course we have to thank Max and his team for this.
Interestingly, when talking to the owner of the watch, we came to the same conclusion about the HM2. This watch is at a turning point for MB&F. If we look at the HM1, we will find that the complications of this watch are very technical. On the other hand, if we look at any watches after HM3 (without the LM series), aesthetics and design — and visual elements, especially in terms of timing — seem to play a more important role. Subsequent watches also present a more organic feel, which puts the HM2 in a very interesting position, where it fully integrates design and complex functions-thus achieving the best of both worlds.
After using this watch for a few weeks, we do agree that it is still a very attractive piece until today. It wears like we imagine: magic. You just can’t help peeking at it from time to time; you know it is indeed a very special project.
When you wear it, you will definitely feel special. best watches to buy