At the end of 2018, MB&F launched one of their most radical Horological Machines, the HM9 ‘Flow‘. MB&F Horological Machine N°9 HM9 Sapphire Vision
In 2021, the Geneva-based brand goes even further presenting the new HM9 ‘Sapphire Vision‘. Thanks to a a transparent sapphire crystal shell, the HM9 engine is now revealed in all its amazing details.
Inspired to the lines of automotive and aviation mid-century design and somehow reminiscent of a jet engine, the HM9 ‘Sapphire Vision‘ comes in four editions, each limited to only five pieces: two editions with 18K white gold frame, featuring a PVD-coated purple or red gold-plated engine, and two editions with 18K 5N+ red gold frame, combined with a PVD-coated blue or NAC-coated black engine. MB&F Horological Machine N°9 HM9 Sapphire Vision
The case is characterised by an outer hull of sapphire crystal and precious metal, curved and bubbled and precisely fitted together in three parts, sealed with a proprietary combination of patented three-dimensional gasket and high-tech compound bonding process to guarantee water resistance to 3 ATM (approximately 30 metres / 100 feet).
Two independent balances, slowly beating at the frequency of 2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations per hour), provide two sets of chronometric data that can be translated by a differential to produce one stable averaged reading.
Conical gears turn the engine’s energy and information current through a 90° angle to feed the time display on a sapphire crystal dial, marked with Super-LumiNova for enhanced legibility in poor light environments.
On the reverse, co-axial beneath each of the balances, we find two spherical turbines that spin freely as an element of pure visual interest.
Comprised of 301 components and 52 jewels, the HM9 engine is equipped with a single barrel delivering an autonomy of 45 hours when fully wound.
Measuring 57 mm x 47 mm x 23 mm, the watch is secured to the wrist by a hand-stitched brown or black alligator strap with red or white gold folding buckle matching the case.
Every new edition from MB&F is enough to blow our minds, but could the most recent iteration of its Horological Machine, the Horological Machine N° 9 Sapphire Vision, or HM9-SV, be its most radical?
Today we are bringing you the freshest, most up-close-and-personal photographs of this sapphire-cased timepiece to let you explore and make your own decision. And as you will see from our hands-on photos, the Horological Machine N° 9 Sapphire Vision features the technological delights that make MB&F timepieces such fan favorites.
In 2007, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser presented the three-dimensional, four-barrel Horological Machine N°1. It was a wholly inspired and disruptive timepiece that even today seems like it stepped through a stargate from the future.
In 2018, Büsser was still breaking new ground when MB&F presented its ninth Horological Machine – dubbed the HM9 Flow. At the time, Büsser called its engine “the most beautiful movement we’ve created to date.”
The outsides of the HM9 Flow were also pretty impressive. In tribute to the automotive and aeronautical designs of the 1940s and 1950s, the curvilinear case drew inspiration from the aerodynamic lines of Art Moderne design.
The combination of this streamlined aesthetic and groundbreaking caliber set an extremely high bar for future horological innovations. But three years later, Büsser and his team have again blasted ahead by encasing the HM9-SV engine in a see-through sapphire crystal shell.
The crystal material used for the case allows us to appreciate fully every aspect of MB&F’s watchmaking skill. But first, let us revel in the glory of the case construction.
The outer layer of the case is composed of curved and carved sapphire crystal and precious metal. This shell is composed of three parts, which fit together precisely, and then sealed with a patented three-dimensional gasket and a proprietary high-tech compound bonding process.
While the HM9 Sapphire Vision shares many aerodynamic attributes with its Flow predecessors, the degree of difficulty involved when working with sapphire and precious metal required a few stylistic adjustments. Look closely, and you’ll see that the sharp angles and parabolic curves of the previous Flow versions have been softened.
This reworked silhouette was necessary because sapphire crystal, although very hard, can also fracture under pressure. We think you’ll agree that these changes only add to the supernatural aesthetic of the watch.This complex case not only served as a window into the soul of the Sapphire Vision, but it also protects the watch’s fully independent cantilevered balances as they channel data into a differential that turns two heartbeats into one coherent time-pulse.
Concisely tuned conical gears efficiently move this energy and information through a 90-degree angle to feed the time display on the sapphire crystal dial.