MB&F HM6 Space Pirate
MB&F HM6 Space Pirate takes inspiration from a Japanese cartoon character. Angus Davies visits Marcus, the prestigious retailer in London, to view this unusually styled watch, equipped with a flying tourbillon.
This detailed review of the MB&F HM6 Space Pirate includes live images, specification details and pricing.
It is often said that “there is a fine line between genius and insanity”. I am reminded of this statement as I sit down with the MB&F HM6 Space Pirate gracing my wrist. This timepiece doesn’t look like anything I have seen before. Indeed, no allegations of plagiarism can be levelled at Max Büsser and his friends who are responsible for its creation.
As I study the unusual, curvaceous shape of the HM6 Space Pirate, I ponder whether its creation is an indication of madness or magnificent genius.
Max Büsser often draws upon childhood memories when sketching his bold designs. This latest watch, formed of two spheres connected by a tube, was inspired by a Japanese cartoon character of Büsser’s youth, Capitaine Flam and his trusty spaceship.
By fusing two space-ships together and positioning a movement between their sinuous bodies, a breathtaking form took shape, courtesy of Büsser’s HB pencil. The seeds of the HM6 were sown and three years of movement development ensued.
The upper spheres
The HM6 is made of Grade 5 Titanium and features a total of five upper spheres populating its form, each employing small, acutely domed sapphire crystals.
Placing the watch upon the wrist, two spheres face the wearer, indicating hours and minutes. The two displays are orientated at 90° to the movement which apparently presented a number of technical challenges for the company’s technical team to overcome.
Positioned in the opposite corners of the watch case are a further two spheres, each containing a turbine. These act like brakes, slowing the oscillating mass, positioned at the centre of the watch, and preventing excessive rotation that could result in premature wear.
The fifth sphere is positioned at the centre of the case. Turning the crown, adjacent the hours display, causes a series of mechanical eye-lids to retract, revealing a flying tourbillon. According to MB&F, a flying tourbillon was chosen because of the absence of an upper bridge, necessary due to the limited space available within the case. The ability to hide the tourbillon from view mitigates the exposure of the movement to UV light, which could otherwise result in premature degradation of lubricants.
The second crown, positioned adjacent the minutes display, is used for adjusting the display and winding the movement.
The lower spheres
The back of the watch includes five additional sapphire crystals, four of which adorn the underside of the spheres gracing the upper surface of the case. A fifth sapphire crystal, positioned at the centre of the watch, appears relatively conventional by comparison and discloses the self-winding movement within.
A technical tour de force
My host from MB&F obligingly placed an uncased movement in front of me, together with an empty case. I pawed the case and marvelled at the absence of sharp edges despite the complexity to its form. The case width tapers, proving slightly wider near the hour and minutes display.
The movement, despite appearing space-age, does not eschew traditional watchmaking craftsmanship with splendid finishing much in evidence.
With a six-figure price tag, only the most affluent individuals will be able to consider acquisition. Moreover, even those prospective buyers with the necessary pecuniary means may still contemplate the opportunity cost of purchase.
I applaud the creation of the HM6 because it does not emulate already successful designs created by others, but explores new uncharted territories. It is similar to space exploration itself, where new discoveries are the deserving reward for absolute bravery.
I return to my introduction. The reality is that the HM6 is probably a little mad and yet displays magnificent genius at the same time. This is not a watch I would realistically consider for myself due to its price. However, I am glad it has been produced because it offers something new and, once again, shows the creativity of this fascinating company.
- Model: MB&F HM6 Space Pirate
- Case: Grade 5 titanium; dimensions 49.5 mm x 52.3 mm x 20.4 mm; water resistant to 3bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes.
- Movement: Self-winding movement; frequency 18,000 vph (2.5Hz); 68 jewels; power reserve 72 hours; 475 parts
- Strap: Black hand-stitched calf leather strap presented on a folding titanium buckle
- Limited Edition: 50 pieces