“I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.” (Hugo Cabret). In this philosophical motto quoted by the young and talented Cabret, who used to tell the travellers passing by Montparnasse train station what the exact time was, I can see MaximillianBüsser.
Talking about MB&F timepieces is not an easy task because they are the mirror of the creative evolution of those dreams thought by a young micro-mechanics engineer, who took inspiration from his own childhood dreams and who doesn't follow current trends but rather talks about himself. Maximillian Büsser's philosophy involves reinterpreting the way one reads the time and not crafting complications that, quite often, resemble marketing challenges among manufacturing companies rather than technical challenges.
Please don't take me wrong; I totally understand the need and the ability to craft a timepiece that features, for example, a long power-reserve or an extremely accurate moon phase indication (we talked about that on Horbiter® on several occasions already) but if things had always gone that way there wouldn't be anything new in the world of watch-making. I reckon that his time spent at Jaeger–LeCoultre and at Harry Winston, and, most of all, his collaboration with independent watch-makers (like F.P.Journe, Preziuso and Halter to name just a few) linked to the creation of the Opus models, have enriched and reinforced the technical and creative skills of this philosophical engineer.
Büsser's creations tell about dreams or meetings, like on this occasion, that occurred during his childhood. This particular event that tickled his imagination was his bumping into a jelly fish during his holidays in a seaside resort. Despite the simplicity of this creature, the creation of the Machine n° 7 Aquapod wasn't easy at all and that's why it actually came out after the Machine n° 8; Maximillian already has his mind busy somewhere else thinking about his new masterpieces.
The MB&F HM7 Aquapod's movement is made up of 303 elements with 35 rubies and 72 hours of power reserve, all the components are vertically laid out and towered by the flying 60 second tourbillon that oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 A/h and features an ultralight cage made of titanium in the shape of a “space sabre”. This choice was made because, if compared to a classic tourbillon, the upper bridge would have required the use of smaller spheric discs to allow the user to read hours/minutes.
This layout allows full viewing during the day, while at night, three glowing panels made of AGTUltra (Ambient Glow Technology) simulates the same bio-luminescence as jelly fishes. The hours and minutes discs are made of aluminium and titanium in a tridimensional shape coupled with big, tailored ceramic-madeballbearings. Indices and numbers are made of SuperLuminova® and are hand-painted since the classic tampon-printing technique wouldn't have allowed such an impeccable and precise result.
The winding rotor of the MB&F HM7 Aquapod's movementis a tridimensional sculpture with titanium-madearms and propellers (“tentacles”) made of platinum that remind me of those of the Mycenae fortress in the Mazinger Z anime. My mind also drove back to some childhood memories and, frankly speaking, there are quite a few details that let your fantasy fly away. The case is quite complex in itself and massive too; it measures 53,8mm and is 21,3mm thick, it is waterproof up to 5 atmospheres. The spheric architecture is created through two big anti-glare sapphire glasses placed on the upper and lower part of the case-back, whose structure is quite complex too and is made up of 4 arms stemming out to which the rotating bezel and the mobile lugs have been attached. There are two big crowns on the sides; the left crown is used to wind up the movement while the one on the right is used to adjust the time.
The bezel is made of ceramic, it is curved and it bears numbersand indices that are laser-engraved, the two sections have then been filled with metallized titanium and the entire ring has been polished to mirror finish. The strap is made of shore A hardness FKMfluorocarbonrubber designed for aeronautics. This material has excellent anti-resistance properties to deformation and UV rays to name just a few and is coupled with a gold or titanium buckle depending on the model selected.
Unlike other high-end brands that craft small amounts of precious metal items, this timepiece will be crafted in 66 red gold pieces and 33 titanium ones. If you consider that this brand has existed for 12 years and has crafted about 2,000 samples due to difficulties in crafting and finishing the movement and the case, the MB&F HM7 Aquapod can be considered quite a unique and rare item. Honestly, if I could be the lucky owner of an MB&F HM7 Aquapod, I wouldn't use it when I go to the beach but rather after a long and stressful day at work and during a hot and relaxing bath with a low light level inside the bathroom so that I could fully enjoy the “bioluminescence” effect and I could dream about bumping into sea creatures or space stations; this is the beauty of an MB&F time machine.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting by Entropik)