The MB&F HM7 Aquapod is back. First released in 2017, the original Aquapod combined an annular design inspired by a jellyfish with dive watch elements and a flying tourbillon. This morning, the brand announced the introduction of a new limited-edition version with a titanium case and an electric-green bezel.
If you recall, the unidirectional bezel construction from the original Aquapod was one of its highlight features. It isn’t attached to the watch itself at all; instead, it floats freely above the dial resembling a life buoy. In order to reach the ideal tint for the bezel, a sapphire crystal ring was inserted inside of it. Then the numbers and indices were metalized under the sapphire crystal, along with a layer of green lacquer.
The watch’s three-dimensional movement architecture, while very avant-garde compared to most of today’s flat, horizontal versions, actually has its roots in the “onion” pocketwatches popular in the 18th century. Developed entirely in-house by a talented team of “Friends” (MB&F stands for “Max Büsser & Friends”), the movement of the HM7 features a winding rotor, mainspring barrel, hour and minute indicators, and flying tourbillon, all concentrically mounted around a central axis and rotating concentrically around it. Energy generated by the tentacle-like rotor at the bottom travels up to the tourbillon regulator at the top via a series of gears that allow the power to transition from level to level in the manner of climbing stairs.
The three-dimensional rotor is crafted from a solid block of titanium, with a heavy platinum mass underneath the tentacles to ensure powerful winding. The tourbillon regulator, positioned as the “hood” that protects the ring of neurons that serves as the jellyfish’s brain, is surrounded by the hours and minutes displays, on two concentric, spherical segment disks, made of aluminum and titanium, supported by extra-large ceramic ball bearings and rotating with a very low coefficient of friction. All in all, the movement contains 303 components and holds a 72-hour power reserve.
The case — which measures 53.8 mm in diameter and 21.3 mm thick — has been described by MB&F as a “three-dimensional sandwich, with two hemispheres of high-domed sapphire crystal on either side of a metal case band.” The crown on the left is to wind the movement, while the crown on the right is used to set the time.
Going back to the Aquapod’s moment of origin — founder Max Busser’s chance encounter with a jellyfish during a family beach vacation — it’s refreshing to see the brand playing around with different shades of luminescence just like the bioluminescence of its nautical inspiration. Overall, the updated Aquapod enhances an already-magnetic timepiece.
The MB&F HM7 Aquapod is limited to 50 total pieces and is priced at $108,000.