The new MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 HM7 Aquapod is by far the craziest and coolest MB&F released to date. Inspired by a jellyfish and the ocean, the watch is unlike anything else they have ever released. After pushing the boundaries of horological exploration by blasting into outer space with watches like the HM2, HM3 and the HM6; launching into the sky with the HM4 and powering down the road and around the track with the HM5, HMX and recently with the HM8 Can Am, MB&F now decides to conquer the confines of the ocean and plunges into the water with the new SIHH 2017 Horological Machine No.7 'Aquapod'. Available in a limited edition of 33 pieces in grade 5 titanium with blue bezel and 66 pieces in 18K 5N+ red gold with black bezel, the HM7 Aquapod is one of those watches that took the center stage this week at the SIHH 2017 in Geneva.
The jellyfish-inspired design of the new MB&F HM7 Aquapod is counter-balanced by a rich horological execution with a central flying tourbillon with indications radiating out from the center like ripples in a pond. The HM7 Aquapod generates power from its tentacle-like automatic winding rotor. Where jellyfish have a radially symmetric ring of neurons for a brain, Aquapod has radially symmetric rings displaying hours and minutes. Where jellyfish have a hood or bell on top, HM7 Aquapod has an imposing flying tourbillon regulating the power generated by the rotor, and transforming it into the display of time.
The curves of the high-domed sapphire crystal are mirrored in the shape of the time display rings, which are not simply flat and angled, but are mathematically precise, curved spherical segments. The hour and minute numerals and markers have been hand-painted in superluminova, making them legible by night. They are hand-painted, because it is impossible to print neatly on such complexly-curved components.
And then there's that ceramic bezel. While Horological Machine No.7 is not a dive watch, it is a timepiece comfortably at home in the water, therefore, MB&F added the one element that all aquatic watches possess: a unidirectional rotating bezel. However, unlike every other dive watch on the planet, Aquapod's bezel isn't attached to the case, but floats apart like a life buoy.
To create the eye-catching, curved ceramic bezel, the numerals and markers were first engraved in the ceramic using a laser, after which the engraved sections were filled with metalized titanium. The whole ring was then polished to a high gloss.
The 303-component, 72-hour power reserve HM7 Engine was developed in-house by MB&F. The movement beats at a frequency of 18,000 vph Spherically three-dimensional, all its mechanisms —from the winding rotor at the bottom, past the mainspring barrel and hour and minute displays, to the flying tourbillon on top— rotate concentrically around the center. The winding rotor’s tentacles are crafted from a solid block of titanium; their very three-dimensional nature makes machining and finishing extremely challenging. Underneath the tentacles, a platinum mass ensures powerful and efficient winding.
And, like many jellyfish, HM7 glows in the dark. It glows where you would expect it to —on the hour and minute numerals— but also around the inside of the movement, to light up that flying tourbillon at night and in addition, along the tentacle-like winding rotor so that its operation, too, can be appreciated in the dark.
The Case & Crowns
The case of the new MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 HM7 Aquapod is basically a three-dimensional sandwich comprising two hemispheres of high-domed sapphire crystal on either side of a metal case band. The case is comprised of 95 components and measures 53.8 mm in diameter by 21.3 mm tall.
The unidirectional ceramic bezel floats outside the case proper, while dual crowns are located between the two structures: the one on the left is for winding the movement —if necessary— and the crown on the right is for setting the time. The large crowns are ergonomically designed for ease of use, even when manipulated with wet fingers.
The strap in engraved aircraft-grade rubber made Fluorocarbon FKM 70 Shore, an elastomer that highlights the casual nature of HM7 Aquapod, ensuring that it looks just as good with jeans and a t-shirt on land as it does with a bathing suit in the water. The strap is very nicely done with a matte finish and glossy edges and equipped with a double-folding buckle matching the case material. The interior side of the strap features a bubble pattern and the Aquapod name on it.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the new MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 HM7 Aquapod wears really big and high on the wrist. While we absolutely love the design and craftsmanship of the watch, we just can't think that someone will be able to wear this watch without knocking the hell out of it as the watch is so big and it protrudes so much. Nevertheless, this is yet another amazing creation from the think tank at MB&F and a watch that is definitely one of the most impressive and memorable timepieces at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève 2017. The HM7 Aquapod is available in a limited edition of 33 pieces in titanium and 66 in 18K red gold.
Sticker Price $98,000 USD for titanium and $118,000 USD for 18K red gold. For more info on MB&F click here.