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MB&F Horological Machine No.9 roars into life looking like a 1950s jet engine

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Nothing is predictable or derivative about MB&F’s timekeeping marvels and its Horological Machine No.9, also known as HM9 ‘Flow’ is not exception.

The company says the watch was born, from a spiritual point of view, in the 1940s and 50s; a time well before wind tunnels and CAD software imposed their hard logic and restrained creativity.

Wild inventors, brave engineers and bold designers who followed only their instincts and aesthetic sense, ruled the drawing boards where they created cars, planes and trains with flowing lines and generous curves.

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There may have been a little more computer-aided design used in the creation of the HM9 Flow, but digitisation stripped out none of the romance of the timepiece.

Reminiscent of a jet engine, the HM9 case is a geometrically complex combination of milled sapphire crystal and grade 5 titanium.

As the design of the case emerged, it hit a problem. Nobody thought it could be made. They were right, but MB&F came up with completely new manufacturing techniques to create the case’s extreme curves and acute angles.

 

 

The manual winding movement was also developed fully in house over three years. It has two lateral pods each housing a flying balance wheel and fully independent regulating system; all visible under domes of sapphire crystal.

A third pane of sapphire crystal reveals the central gearbox of the HM9 engine: a planetary differential that averages the output of both balance wheels to provide one stable reading of the time. Sitting perpendicular to the rest of the HM9 engine, the dial indicating hours and minutes is driven by conical gears that ensure precise engagement.

The watch is being sold in two titanium limited editions of 33 units each priced at $182,000+tax.

 

Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder

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