MB&F makes all sorts of things in its Swiss watchmaking laboratories. They make Legacy Machines, Horological Machines, Art. What they don’t make, is a standard wristwatch. And the Horological Machine 6 (HM6) is no ordinary wristwatch indeed.
The HM6 has been released in various shapes, sizes & finishes the past couple of years. Yet 2019 is the year where the HM6 sings its swan song. This explains the name of this particular release: HM6 Final Edition.
The HM6 family has been impossible to ignore over the years and while certainly not for everyone, it adds spice to a (let’s be honest) sometimes pretty bland-tasting industry. Hate it or love it, remaining emotionless is nearly impossible when giving this particular piece a try.
Main visual elements to the HM6’s are the 360° spheres which you find in each corner, all housed under their own little sapphire crystal dome. In addition, there’s the huge heart at the center where you see the flying tourbillonFlying Tourbillon Like the classic tourbillon, its purpose is to counter the effects of gravity on the rate of the watch (rate deviances). It tries to achieve this by rotating the escapement and balance wheel in all possible directions. The balance, anchor and escape wheel are positioned in a cage, which rotates 360° in one minute. With the Flying Tourbillon this complex construction is anchored on one side only, which lends the complication its apparent weightlessness, enables increased precision and gave rise to its name. There is no bridge obstructing the view, giving the appearance that the tourbillon is indeed flying. [Learn More]. In the Final edition, the central dome has been expanded providing an even better view at the heart. It is mesmerizing to look at it toil away.
The two spheres at the ‘front’ rotate vertically and display the time, hours & minutes. For this edition, the accent color is what I would call a ‘vivid navy blue’. At the back you’ll notice the turbines, they are not only there because they look cool, they also help reduce shock and wear to the automatic winding system. One function that is really just there for fun, is the shield. You can add a ‘shield’ to cover the heart of the movement, for no other reason than just that, fun, and it makes the watch look quite different too (compare the shots above and below for a comparison).
How does it wear? Much to my surprise, thanks to the very fluid casedesign (‘biomorphic’ according to MB&F), it sat perfectly well on the wrist. I have no idea what the diameter is of this watch, but frankly it doesn’t matter. This watch does not fly under the radar, it’s loud and sits in your face, and it has absolutely no problem with that.
Based on pictures I figured this belongs in someone’s vault, not on someone’s wrist. Yet when wearing it it, this felt absolutely and perfectly at home on a wrist. This is no museum piece. Not to say that it’ll fit under your cuff or be suitable to wear for all occasions, but I think that’s not really the aim of this piece either. To me the HM6 is essentially a piece of haute horlogerie art on your wrist. It is the result of a collaboration between a group of ‘friends’, each with their own particular expertise, which results in this absolutely unique piece of horological machinery. It may sound cliché, but you do really feel the heart & emotion in this piece of art. And yes, as with any type of art, some will love it, others will hate it, and that’s perfectly fine.
Art, yes, but functional art too. This isn’t a watch that is purely designed to ‘look’ a certain way. You feel that when you put it on the wrist and you see it at the details. Small detail which works wonders for comfort, the articulating lugs on the HM6 make that this piece seems to mold to your wrist, I wish more watches explored this feature. The way the case itself sits on your wrist, again, I’m sure it is no accident it sits that well. Also, the way the strap incorporates with the case is nicely done and the clasp deserves a worthy mention as well – it is rock solid.
The Horological Machine N°6 Final Edition series first started in 2014. With this last member to join the series, only 8 pieces of HM6 Final Edition are made. As per MB&F’s math wizards, the number of pieces made in the Horological Machine N°6 series therefore comes to a total of exactly 100. I’m sad to see this series move into retirement so quickly, but this of course means MB&F will be able to bring us something entirely new (and with MB&F that really means something ‘entirely’ new). And so we bid farewell to the HM6 with this Final Edition, and are eagerly awaiting the next creation coming out of the labs at MB&F.