“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

HM8 Mark 2 – Back to the dream

Posted by 



MB&F launched a new, fourth timepiece dedicated to petrolheads. The HM8 Mark 2 is released in two editions – one in British racing green and the other with a white CarbonMacrolon® body panel.

Some people are just great storytellers from early childhood. I have no idea how Maximilian Büsser performed in this field as a kid, but he is certainly a captivating speaker now. In his fascinating talk about the MB&F story at the 2019 back-then-SIHH, he also shared that as a child he dreamt about becoming a car designer and he filled sketchbooks with drawings of futuristic supercars. 

He became an engineer and he ended up in the watchmaking industry. In 2005, he founded MB&F with a perspective that is very different from the norm in the fine watchmaking field. The reawakening child soon found himself holding a sketchbook depicting car-inspired watch models and this time he had the resources to realise his visions. Inspired by Marcello Gandini’s design for the Bertone Lamborghini Miura, HM5 emerged in 2012. Its louvres are reminiscent of those on the Miura’s rear window (the Lotus Esprit or Lancia Stratos had similar elements in the 70’s). The wedge-shaped case of the HM5 has unmistakable references to the low-slung supercars of the era. The HM5 was built from an independent water-resistant chassis to which the body panels of the watch were added. The opening and closing slats on the case allow the light into the movement to charge the luminescence and change the dial’s light intensity. It houses a movement with bi-directional jumping hours developed by Jean-François Mojon and Vincent Boucard of Chronode. 

After the highs and lows of the first 10 years of MB&F described by Maximilian Büsser in the above video, they launched the HMX watch in 2015. The influences of a number of supercars can be seen on the HMX. In particular, the distinctive Superleggera style of renowned Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring – creators of automobiles like Alfa Romeo’s Disco Volante – resonates throughout the piece. It was  even equipped with miniature oil caps that could be unscrewed and filled with watch lubricant. 

The next car-related piece paid tribute to the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (known as the Can-Am). The series involved many of the greatest names in car racing, such as Lola (we saw Peter Schleifer’s Lola T310 at the Ennstal Classic many years ago) and McLaren. The HM8 ‘Can-Am’ had a sapphire crystal that also allowed a view onto the spinning rotor. The unusual design and distinctive roll bars of these racing cars became the top motif of the watch. Protected by the two titanium roll bars a three-dimensional engine conceived from a Girard-Perregaux base calibre. 

HM8 Mark 2

The new HM8 Mark 2 draws the body shape from the iconic Porsche 918 Spyder and the curves of the sapphire crystal from the Fiat-Abarth Zagato double bubble. It has two colour versions. Limited to 33 pieces, the one in titanium and British racing green CarbonMacrolon® body panel comes with a red gold rotor and balance wheel and turquoise minute markers. The other is also in titanium, with a white CarbonMacrolon® body panel. The rotor is treated with green CVD and the minute markers are light green. 

True to its ‘supercar’ character, the case material is a special composite typically used on automotive interiors, automotive glazing, electronic or medical devices. Originally Makrolon® is a polycarbonate developed by Covestro, a spin-off from the pharmaceutical giant Bayer’s materials science division. Developed by Covestro specifically for MB&F, CarbonMacrolon® is a very light composite material composed of a polymer matrix injected with carbon nanotubes, which contribute strength and rigidity. Carbon nanotubes offer superior tensile strength and stiffness compared to traditional carbon fibre reinforcing. Beyond the numerous colouring possibilities, the new material allows different surface treatments for MB&F.

The new timepiece has a new crown. It is released by pushing it down and turning it three-quarters of a turn. This has the advantage of gaining space and providing additional security to the system. 

The very unique shapes designed by MB&F have already challenged its suppliers many times. This is the case with the double-curved sapphire crystal of the HM8 Mark 2 too. Creating these is very time-consuming and it is prone to breaking during the manufacturing process but once it is finished, you are good to ride. 

Photo credits: Loupiosity.com
All registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
All rights reserved.