The new original watch by M&F is a new twist on the previously launched HM3 Frog model with immediately notable frog-eyed elements that are used to display hours and minutes. Since this limited edition was created in the cooperation with the famous Finnish watchmaker, Stepan Sarpaneva, it is also enriched with his personal input. Most notable traits that reveal the recognizable style of Sarpaneva are the inclusion of the moon phase complication and the distinctive grimaced moon faces he tends to use quite often, as well as gear-shaped accents which are present several times. The remarkably executed moon phase display includes moon faces with a grimace which tell the exact phase of the Moon through a crenellated aperture, while its mystery rotor disc, made of steel and 22K gold, is pierced with laser in a manner that replicates the shape of the major stars which can be seen in the northern sky. With such features, it is not unusual that each of three versions of this limited edition costs nearly $100,000.
Moonmachine timepiece by the watchmaker from Geneva comes from its performance Art Pieces which is quite opulent with unusual and exceptional timekeepers. Among them is also HM4 Flying Panda timepiece, created for the Only Watch 2011 auction that we previously covered. As it has been said, it is the product of collaboration with the renowned Finnish creator of watches, Stepan Sarpaneva. Before launching his own brand back in 2003, the Finnish watchmaker was involved with some of the most prestigious companies in the industry, such as Piaget, Christopher Claret and Parmigiani. As the story goes, the whole idea of creating Moonmachine was born after a brief encounter of Sarpaneva with the founder of the Swiss brand Maximillian Büsser when the Finn suggested to the leader of MB&F that he should equip one of his products with a moon phase complication. Büsser liked the proposition, and soon the immensely original timekeeper was born, as a part of the series that displays the combined efforts of the Geneva based watchmaker with independent artists.
Hour and Minute Indications Stand Perpendicularly to the Wrist
One of the first things that catches one’s eye at the first glance is certainly the way in which this watch displays hours and minutes. It utilizes two separate aluminum rotating domes that make this product look very unusual and refreshing. The domes are protected with sapphire crystal and are placed perpendicularly to the wrist. Without any doubt, this trait certainly makes the MB&F product stand out. In accordance with Sarpaneva’s “obsession” with gear shape, we can see exactly those kinds of accents in the center of the domes, surrounded with a tear-drop shaped detail (this is different than on a regular HM3 Frog model where the center of domes has “H” or “M” markers that indicate the purpose of the indications).
The crenellated shape is utilized once again as the aperture for the moon display. It is placed on the sapphire crystal beneath the one that covers the domes (in both instances sapphire includes double glare-proof treatment). Thanks to this choice, one of two meticulously executed moon faces and the automatic rotor that resembles the night sky are constantly visible. The laser piercings correlate to the placement of seven brightest stars in Ursa Major constellation (or commonly known as Big Bear), as well as to the same number of Ursa Minor stars, including the North Star. In order to include the moon phase complication, Sarpaneva cleverly opted to replace the date wheel mechanism on the HM3 with a new disc that has a cycle of about 29.5 days, corresponding to the lunar cycle.
Inside the irregular-shaped housing of Moonmachine, MB&F placed a three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor. The automatic caliber was made with a Girard-Perragaux base that was, as it has been explained, modified by Serpaneva. Its balance oscillates at the frequency of 4Hz, and it transfers the information to domes with the use of ceramic ball bearings. Overall, the movement is comprised from 319 components and it integrates 36 jewels which are all functional.
Three Versions of Moonmachine
There are three variations of the watch, made with different materials and in different colors. Each of them is placed in a peculiar shaped and quite large case with the dimensions of 47mm x 50 mm x 19 mm. Another universal characteristic is the choice of wristlets; all of the watches include black hand-stitched alligator straps with deployment buckles (made in the same material as the case). There are two versions with the titanium case, while the final one is made from gold. Likewise, each of three limited editions of the model is restricted to just 18 models.
The first version of MB&F Moonmachine watch, the part of the Performance Art Pieces collection, has a natural titanium case, combined with white gold moon faces and light blue sky. The next version is fairly similar, only with a darker housing made from black titanium and with a slightly darker shade of blue for the night sky. The last variation sports a red gold case and the matching red gold faces, placed on the top of a contrasting anthracite night sky. Regardless of the material, the cases are quite complex and are forged from 55 parts. The price of these extremely original and exclusive timepieces correlates to the high standards of the production and exceptional horological traits. To buy this great looking timekeeper, one has to spend no less than $98,000.