Time Machines: Radical Watch Designs for the 21st Century

MB&F HM4 Thunderbolt

As I recently held MB&F’s latest twin-engine HM4, aptly dubbed Thunderbolt, I recalled the first time I saw the prototype for MB&F’s HM1 (Horological Machine Number 1) in a Geneva café before the nascent brand’s debut piece launched in 2006. Max Büsser took a huge risk by investing in a boutique brand that embodied his radical vision of watchmaking, and it has paid off with a devoted fan base enamored with the concept of wearing futuristic machines rather than watches. Though the Thunderbolt’s functions are straightforward—hours and minutes with power reserve—the design is anything but simple. Inspired by the model airplanes he assembled as a kid, Büsser’s titanium and sapphire crystal instrument was three years in the making, given the complexity of its specially designed 300-plus components.

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