Daring watchmaker MB&F has added a new piece to its Performance Art collection, with a partnership with Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva and the creation of a new version of its Frog horological machine.
Sarpaneva launched his own brand Sarpaneva Watches in 2003, and himself has worked with prestigious watch brands such as Piaget, Parmigiani and Christophe Claret. He has also worked alongside watchmaker Kari Voutilainen.
Sarpaneva has three signature themes which are all celestial – a moon face, northern stars and constellations, all three of which have been incorporated into the new timepiece.
The HM3 Frog watch was selected for the Moonmachine because of the large opening at the side of the dial and the bulbous domes which are said to reflect the habitable domes that are often depicted on the moon in science fiction novels.
The Moonmachine is said to “portray the time in a playful manner” and indeed the attention to detail is fun but the finishing is also meticulous.
For example, the rotor is decorated to mimic the stars in the Northern Sky, with each laser-pierced allowing light to reflect from the movement underneath.
The constellations featured the Plough, plus the seven brightest stars of Ursa Minor, more commonly known as the Little Bear, which includes Polaris, the North star.
Max Busser, founder of MB&F said of the partnership: "Stepan has an incredible sense of design and a real sense of detail. His work and everything he surrounds himself with is extremely coherent.”
The Moonmachine is available in three limited editions of 18 pieces each, with a choice of titanium case with white gold moon faces in a light blue sky, black titanium case with white gold moon faces in a dark blue sky and red gold case with red gold moon faces in an anthracite sky.
Sarpaneva said of his design: “The visible movement at the top of HM3 Frog added a technical aspect that provided a serious counterpoint to the playfulness of the bulging frog-eyed indications.
“In covering the movement, the moon phase and sky hides this and makes the timepiece more poetic. With Moonmachine, HM3 is transformed into a fairy tale.”
This most recent collaboration follows previous partnerships between MB&F and other artists or companies, that have included the JWLRYMACHINE designed with Boucheron and the Blackbox designed with Alain Silberstein.