You’ve Never Seen Anything Like This $98,000 Watch From MB&F
Every year, the avant-garde watchmakers at MB&F come up with a new “Horological Machine,” a timepiece that is meant to change the way we mark—and think about—the passage of time. They’re often Star Trek-looking devices, that will have you peering into their sides to find out what hour it is, or piecing it together through a series of bulbous, walleyed indicators. One looked like the exhaust pipe of a rocket ship, and another was designed to evoke a 1970s-era turntable. Though MB&F has been doing this for only a decade, it was beginning to feel as if the brand had explored every different permutation of time-telling.
So when the company decides to go round—you know, like most other watches—you know it’s still going to be a leap beyond the ordinary. For 2017, with the Horological Machine No. 7, MB&F founder Maximillian Büsser was inspired by the anatomy of a jellyfish; indeed, the “Aquapod,” as his team is calling it, has an almost traditional ceramic dive bezel encircling the outer perimeter of the case.
But tradition ends there. Positioned in the very center of the watch, under a high domed crystal, is a flying tourbillon. Radiating out in concentric circles from there are rotating discs that show the hours and minutes. You tell time by reading a marker painted onto the glass as the discs turn below.
Underneath, an aggressive-looking titanium rotor with tentacle-like arms spins to charge the movement. The unit is lit at night by panels of glow-in-the-dark “Ambient Glow Technology” luminescent material.
Two super-sized crowns on the right and left float in the air between the movement and the bezel, and allow for winding and time-setting. Flexible lugs help ease wearability for such a large watch.
The whole thing is big on the wrist—53.8mm across and 21.3mm high—and has a 72-hour power reserve. You can order it in either titanium (with a blue bezel) or the 18k red gold you see in these pictures (with the black bezel); both come with the rubber bracelet.
The price is CHF 98,000 CHF ($97, 960) for the titanium version and 118,000 CHF for the rose gold.