MB&F has introduced an out-of-this-world addition to its line of
By Logan R. Baker
Ever since Max Büsser embarked on his independent horological journey back in 2005 with the very first Horological Machine, there has been an intergalactic quality not only to his products but to the scope of his watchmaking vision. It would even be fair to say that Max Büsser and Friends have elevated the pantheon of what we consider haute horologie in the 21st century. That’s why when the Horological Machine No. 6 Alien Nation was unveiled this morning, a watch that easily could have been overly contrived in the wrong hands instead serves as a clever representation of just how far the brand, and watchmaking, has come in the past 12 years.
The HM6 Alien Nation arrives with six alien micro-sculptures crafted from white gold that, while immobile on the watch, appear to scatter around the movement, constantly tinkering on an alien voyager flying across the stars. A sole passenger rides in front and outside of the watch, appearing to be the captain of this ship. Some are sitting to the side, hiding from their captain’s watchful eye, while others appear to be hard at work on the watch’s turbine or maneuvering around gears. Each alien required up to 34 hours of delicate work to complete, totaling an entire month of work for sculptor Olivier Kuhn.
Surprisingly, these alien passengers aren’t even the most compelling aspect of the watch. That claim belongs to the sapphire crystal case. The watch itself is entirely transparent, with 12 separate blocks of sapphire crystal making up the case, caseback, and domed dial. It’s because of this extreme complexity that the total man hours for machining and polishing the crystal climbs over 500.
The engine that runs this ship is powered by an intricate movement that combines 496 total finished components. The movement drives dual hour and minute domes next to the alien captain: they rotate perpendicular to the movement. Twin regulating turbines are set behind the powerful caliber. On top of the movement lies a 60 second flying tourbillon that is fitted with a retractable shield.
The innovation doesn’t end there: the watch is set with stripes of luminous material, dubbed Ambient Glow Technology, which previously outfitted the MB&F HMX Black Badger and the Starfleet Machine Black Badger. Each of the four Alien Nation pieces is outfitted with a different color of the luminous material: blue, green, purple, and turquoise. More delicate areas of the timepiece such as the upper surface of the turbine fins, the dial markings, friction wheels, MB&F logo, and upper tourbillon cage are lined with Super-Luminova.
The inaugural edition of the Horological Machine No. 6 collection was originally released in November 2014 in a 68-piece limited edition known as the Space Pirate. It was followed at the beginning of last year by the 20-piece Sapphire Vision. The Horological Machine No. 6 Alien Nation will be the most limited of the bunch, with only four total timepieces released.