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INTRODUCING: MB&F Horological Machine N°9 Sapphire Vision Editions 2023

The MB&F HM9 Sapphire Vision 2023 in yellow gold with green PVD-coated movement.

The HM9 Sapphire Vision returns with two new editions in white and yellow gold.

The Geneva Watch Days fair is here, and with it, a wave of new and creative designs from various independent watchmakers, including MB&F. Max Büsser is a watch creator who’s never shied away from controversy, and his Horological Machines have spanned creative expressions from space-faring vessels to nature. The original HM9 models were ‘Land’ and ‘Air’ editions, inspired by machines that roam these two realms. Shaped metal cases fitted with curved sapphire crystal covers revealed elements of the movement, with a sleek profile that could easily be compared with a fighter jet or supercar. 

The MB&F Horological Machine 9 Road Edition and Sapphire Vision 2021 Edition.
The MB&F Horological Machine 9 Road Edition and Sapphire Vision 2021 Edition.

Variations of the HM9 followed in 2021 with the first Sapphire Visions that shucked off their metal skins for airy sapphire crystal on a gold frame, looking like ion cannons from a futuristic film. According to the founder, these represent exploratory vessels in the deep sea, hence the glass enclosures that allow a complete interior and exterior view.

The MB&F HM9 Sapphire Vision 2023 in white gold with blue PVD-coated movement.
The MB&F HM9 Sapphire Vision 2023 in white gold with blue PVD-coated movement.

Ocean Farer  

The new HM9 Sapphire Visions for 2023 reprise this same look in white and yellow gold with PVD-coated movement plates and bridges around the same 3D movement as its predecessor. There are two cantilevered balances oscillating at 18,000vph independently and connected by a differential that averages out the performance of both movements, minimising variations in timekeeping. Using conical gears, these impulses are translated into a vertical analogue display on sapphire crystal with Super-LumiNova indexes.   

The dual balances and differential of the MB&F HM9 Sapphire Vision 2023.
The dual balances and differential of the MB&F HM9 Sapphire Vision 2023.

Underneath the two balances on the reverse side of the movement, MB&F has playfully added twin turbines that are purely decorative and swing freely. This is another reference to the submarine inspiration for the HM9 SV. The plates that support the movement’s gear trains are PVD-coated in green and blue for the yellow gold and white gold cases, respectively. The bridges are rhodium-plated and polished to a mirror finish, creating curious and organic plays on light as it passes through the curved sapphire crystal surrounding the watch.   

The curved sapphire crystal of the MB&F HM9 Sapphire Vision takes 350 hours to machine.
The curved sapphire crystal of the MB&F HM9 Sapphire Vision takes 350 hours to machine.

Sapphire crystal is lab-grown and, therefore, a challenge to shape as well as machine. Its hardness also means that it takes great effort and time to polish. Creating it in the curvilinear forms that MB&F requires to create the hull of the watch is even more complex – a single case requires 350 hours of work, according to them. The two crystal pieces are framed and enclosed by a screwed-in gold case and fused with it using a bonding compound to ensure water resistance. This is further secured with a patented three-dimensional gasket, much in the same way a submarine would be.   

The base of the HM9 SV movement features twin turbines that spin freely.
The base of the HM9 SV movement features twin turbines that spin freely.

Both the HM9 SV in white gold with blue PVD-coated movement and yellow gold with green PVD-coated movement are limited to just five pieces each, like their predecessors. The watches will be available in Southeast Asia through The Hour Glass, priced at S$660,000 each, including tax.   

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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