Basel Preview: MB&F’s New Horological Machine, the HM3 Megawind

MB&F HM3 Megawind - front-backMB&F — the boutique haute horlogerie brand founded by watchmaker Max Büsser — has released news and images of its latest timepiece, the MB&F HM3 Megawind, with a movement designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht that features an oversized “battleaxe” rotor.

The HM3 Megawind (the “HM” stands for “horological machine,” MB&F’s term for its unconventionally designed watches) derives its nickname from its extra-large winding rotor, made of 22k gold and titanium, which is visible from the front of the watch thanks to the inverted movement design. The rotor, in MB&F’s familiar ‘battleaxe” shape, allows a view of the oscillating balance wheel, gearing and hand-crafted bridges as it swings to and fro. As on other HM3 watches, such as the recent “MoonMachine” model, the hour and minute are indicated by revolving cones, machined from solid blocks of aluminum to paper thinness, housed inside larger cones made from brazed gold and sapphire.

MB&F HM3 Megawind - front-back

The movement of the Megawind, like every MB&F creation, is the result of a team effort. It was Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva, who previously collaborated with Büsser on the MoonMachine, who conceived the name of the watch and the concept of the large “mystery” rotor — so called because it appears to be symmetrically balanced but actually has an off-centered mass, created by machining the underside of one of the “blades” to reduce its mass. Busser and fellow designer Eric Giroud created the drawings of the movement and Wiederrecht, winner of the 2007 “Best Watchmaker” prize at the 2007 Geneva Grand Prix, turned them into reality with his team at the movement-making firm Aghenor. Inverting the movement — which comprises 270 components — required a clever technical solution to transmit power from the bottom of the movement to the timekeeping cones at the top. MB&F’s team used large-diameter (15 mm) high-tech ceramic bearings (instead of the standard jewelled pinions), which minimize the number of friction-inducing gears and require support at only one end, the base, due to their rigidity, thus allowing the movement to be unusually thin.

MB&F HM3 Megawind - movement

MB&F HM3 Megawind - rotorThe case, which is made of 52 separate components, measures 47 mm x 50 mm x 17 mm, and is available in 18k white gold/titanium combo (with a blued gold rotor, pictured) or 18k rose gold/titanium (with rose-gold rotor). The sapphire crystals surrounding the time-indicator cones have non-reflective treatment for ideal legibility. Other highlights include the screw-down crown, bespoke cloverhead screws, and MB&F’s ergonomically designed integrated lugs, attaching the hand-stitched black alligator leather strap. The MB&F HM3 Megawind will make its world debut at this week’s Baselworld watch fair; U.S. prices have yet to be announced.

MB&F HM3 Megawind - profile

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