MB&F originally launched Horological Machine N°6 in November 2014. Since then, 4 versions have been released, the HM6 Final Edition being the last.
The original idea of the HM6 came from a 1970/80s Japanese anime TV series called Capitaine Flam, which featured a bulbous spaceship. Space travel can clearly be seen within the design of the HM6, with different elements perhaps coming through in each of the 4 editions of the HM6.
This particular version follows similar design, however some aspects have been changed slightly to keep things interesting.
A total of 100 pieces have been made across the 4 versions – MB&F explain how they feel about the explosive end of the HM6:
When the hottest-burning stars come to the end of their existence, they take one last stand in the form of a massive supernova. Horological Machine N°6 has only been around since 2014, but its audacious construction and design make it one of the brightest stars in the MB&F constellation, and it has entered supernova phase just four years after its debut. Horological Machine N°6 Final Edition completes the cosmic circle begun by HM6 Space Pirate, a supernova finish to a series that belongs in the stars.
Face & case
As it’s predecessors, the HM6 Final Edition is also by no means a traditional looking watch, crafted from stainless steel and with dimensions of 49.5 x 52.3 x 20.4 mm, the piece uses multiple finishes and features to increase visual impact.
Symmetrical across the vertical centre line, there is a domed sapphire crystal at each of the 4 corners, 2 at the front left and right for the hour and minute indications and 2 for the turbines. The majority of the case is finished in a brushedstainless steel, however each crystal is surrounded by a polished steel frame. Each of the front domes are connected to the rear at it’s same side, with polished steel grooves following the contours of the case, further exaggerating the curved angles of the case.
A larger domed crystal showcases the flying tourbillon in the centre.
Blue hour and minute hemispheres can be seen through the front domes. The hour on the left and minutes on the right can be easily read – a small, white triangular marker sits at the top of each sphere, where white numerals and markings can be seen. The white has been coated with a thickly applied Super-LumiNova that luminesces light blue in the dark.
The hour and minute spheres are oriented in this specific location for ease of reading the time. They actually sit perpendicular to the rest of the gears within the movement and are driven by conical gears to ensure time is kept as precise as expected.
2 domes at the back of the HM6 Final Edition each house a black and white aluminium turbine, which create air resistance to protect the automatic winding system from running outwith it’s safe oscillation speed. These turbines also feature Super-LumiNova in the white accented curved fin areas.
In the centre, the flying tourbillon is raised from the main body of the movement, which is actually a mechanical and philosophical challenge to keep accurate chronometric performance. The upper tourbillon cage is in the shape of the signature double headed battle axe.
A retractable titanium shield can be moved to cover the tourbillon – not only is this a cool feature, but it protects the lubricating oils essential to the smooth operation of the flying tourbillon from the oxidising effects of the ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight.
This is only the second tourbillon movement to come out of MB&F, but the first flying tourbillon.
Above and below the tourbillon, 2 sections of polished steel shape their way outwards and link onto the strap mounting system. Again, a very unorthodox design, there is quite a bit going on, including the MB&F logo boldly engraved on the lower part of the strap mount.
Keeping symmetry in mind, there are 2 very large crowns, one on either side of the watch. The left crown opens and closes tourbillon shield and the right crown is for setting the time and winding.
Turn the HM6 Final Edition over and there is just about as much to look at.
The underside of the front domes at 4 corners are also on view through domed sapphire crystals on the rear. In the centre, there is an additional flat crystal, where parts of the movement can be seen, including the platinum oscillating weight, which has been given a blue PVD (physical vapour deposition) coating and in the shape of a single headed battle-axe.
The case back itself is mainly in a brushed finish and screw down, a number of screws can be seen around the case back and there are a few lightly engraved words around the window, mainly about the piece and it’s number in the series.
The “engine” of Horological Machine N°6, comprises 475 components, 68 jewels and took three years of research and development to master.
Created in house, with the help of David Candaux Horlogerie Créative, the heart beats at 18,000bph/2.5Hz and owners should expect 72 hours power reserve once fully wound.
The strap is made from a dark dusty blue hand-stitched alligator, with tan on the inside. There are large checks missing at the strap mounts, which allow more metal to be visible at the wrist.
The folding buckle is custom designed in stainless steel and features the familiar double headed battle axe in the centre.
The number of pieces made in the Horological Machine N°6 series comes to a total of exactly 100.
In 2014, the HM6 Space Pirate was first in titanium and then in red gold. There are 50 titanium and 18 red gold pieces of HM6 Space Pirate.
Just over a year later, in 2016 the HM6 Sapphire Vision was released – this featured the uppermost and lowest sections of the case in transparent sapphire crystal, sandwiching a centre segment of platinum or red gold. There are 10 pieces of HM6-SV in platinum and 10 pieces in red gold.
In 2017, HM6 Alien Nation was released, featuring a full sapphire-
crystal case with six micro-sculptures of aliens visible inside the machine. There are 4 unique pieces in the Alien Nation edition.
There are 8 pieces of this HM6 Final Edition.
Previous final editions from MB&F also include the HM1, HM2 and HM3.
The MB&F HM6 Final Edition is a serious looking piece and I don’t think there will many people that say it’s just OK – you’re going to either love it or hate it – I have to confess that I do really love it.
There is so much to look at. As well as cool features such as spinning turbines, the heightened flying tourbillon and the crazy tourbillon shield, the overall design and concept is just completely bonkers.
Looking at the size of the HM6 off the wrist, it looks huge and uncomfortable, but in reality, it is actually very comfortable to wear and the size seems to reduce considerably once on the wrist. It is also surprisingly light.
The HM6 Final Edition is an unorthodox looking watch. Add that to the fact there are only 8 pieces ever being made and the price tag of 210,000 CHF and it is highly unlikely you will get a chance to see one in the flesh (unless you’re in the industry, or otherwise blessed!).
What a shame this is the last HM6 – perhaps MB&F will consider an HM6 Reloaded in the future???