For someone who enjoys discovering new and unusual timepieces made by Swiss watchmakers, it's always a treat to get my hands on one of these beauties.When MB&F let me borrow an MB&F Horological Machine No. 9 "Flow" recently, I was able to take use of this unique chance.
MB&F is noted for its innovative designs, limited manufacturing runs, and complex difficulties.There are no weak places in the HM9 "Flow". There is a possibility that the Horological Machine line of MB&F's sibling company is more avant-garde than the Legacy Machine (or LM). Legacy Machines from MB&F have a more classic circular casing and dial style (with tons of unique aspects for sure). MB&F, on the other hand, has shown a willingness to experiment with a wide range of styles seldom seen in contemporary watchmaking with the Horological Machines collection.
The HM9 appealed to me because of its audacious nature. Understated? Not at all with this timepiece! The HM9 features a distinctive design with curved lines and various views into the in-house manual wind movement.People were telling me I looked like I had an aircraft, spacecraft, or vehicle on my wrist when I initially wore it out with friends.Cars and aircraft are strongly evoked by this twin barrel-like container (think the 1930s-50s). Dual inspirations from air and road resulted in MB&F creating two versions of the "Flow" HM9, "Air" version and "Road." Both watches include an analog-style vertical dial similar to that of an automobile speedometer, but both also feature an analog-style horizontal dial similar to that of a typical Pilot Watch.Titanium was the model I used for my test drive.
Two barrels or "engines" encase two totally independent balance wheels with planetary differential in this charmingly steampunk timepiece. The dial form is distinctive. Seen through the watch's viewing windows, their autonomous operation is quite a visual pleasure. It is difficult for MB&F to design watches with windows that display their magnificent movements without making it seem out of place or "over the top." Indeed, MB&F just released a variant of the HM9 with a sapphire casing in which the whole movement of the watch can be seen. These items would be perfect for a follow-up post.
However, despite the watch's huge dimensions (57x47x23mm), it fits snugly on the wrist. Wearing the bracelet on my 6.75-inch wrist didn't make me feel out of place. I mean, it's a large watch, and it's going to draw attention, no matter what size of wrist you have. As a result of its design, the watch may be worn by men and women of all sizes.
The calf-skin strap was specially created for the watch and fits it perfectly, which is something I don't usually do when it comes to wristwear.I'm not sure what to call the strap, but it's comfy, one-of-a-kind (like the watch) and complements the watch's general retro-vintage aesthetic.
MB&F also pays attention to the tiniest details when it comes to its timepieces.There's a pilot's dial on the HM09 "Flow" Air, as mentioned earlier on.Discovering the little dial featured luminescent hands and indices made my day!
A lovely surprise from such an avant-garde work of art....Water resistance extends to 3ATM, or 30 meters, but who's going swimming with this watch?A manual wind mechanism with 301 components and 51 jewels provides 45 hours of power.
MB&F is a terrific company since you'll almost certainly be the only person in your social circle who owns a piece of their work. They can do this because of the small run sizes of all of their works (even if they aren't limited editions).
A 33-piece limited edition of titanium HM9 "Flow" Air is available. It seems sense to want a watch like the Horological Machine to have a strict production run.
As with many other Horological Machine watches, the HM9 is polarizing. Each item is meticulously crafted with care and attention to detail, but the designs aren't for everyone to like. In my opinion, the Horological Machine series by MB&F is even more avant-garde and distinctive than Richard Mille's timepieces.
In my opinion, most of their products are excellent.I like MB&F's willingness to take risks with their timepieces, and I feel the company succeeds almost every time they introduce something "new."Finally, MB&F does not have to appeal to every single person's taste or sensibility. Just a few watch collectors are needed to grasp the concept.MB&F's Legacy Machines are still available if you want a more conventional approach.
Read our evaluation of the MB&F Legacy Machine EVO Titanium here.