Inside the Ground-breaking MB&F HM11 Architect Watch: A Futuristic Horological House
Welcome to the Radical HM11 Architect By MB&F
MB&F is no stranger to radical horological creations that shock and awe the watch world with otherworldly machine designs. However, their latest brainchild – the HM11 Architect – represents the most avant-garde interpretation yet of founder Maximilian Büsser’s unconventional artistic vision. The aptly named timepiece resembles a small postmodern home rendered in miniature proportions to be worn on the wrist. Four cubes with specialized indications branch out from a central rotating core, evoking imaginative structures like Matti Suuronen’s 1970 Futuro House.
Just as those concept homes questioned conventions in pursuit of experimentation and self-expression, the HM11 Architect similarly discarded norms to realize an original 3D sculpture fusing architecture and horology. The end result feels both familiar in its everyday residential inspiration yet radically futuristic in execution.
The Curvaceous Cockpit-Style Case
Enclosing the house-like complication is a smooth 42mm case crafted from polished grade 5 titanium. The rounded square central module connects to four 22.40mm wide pods, available in matching titanium or blue PVD coating. Branching bridges secure the four compartments, with lugs seamlessly integrated into the forms. The overall silhouette is cohesive and more compact than past Horological Machines, especially with a slimmer 12.75mm profile allowing dress cuff clearance.
Sapphire crystal walls let light permeate the rooms while showcasing interior details. The case construction enables smoothly rotating between indications thanks to a central pinion mechanism. A full rotation also winds the 96 hour manual movement similar to revving an engine before a long journey.
A Mechanical Masterpiece of Skeletal Architecture
Inside the expansive transparent case, MB&F’s in-house developed and produced Sowind manual winding movement animates the HM11 Architect’s horological theatrics. The 157-component base calibre took 3 years to develop, formed of sprawling skeletalized bridges originating from two stacked mainspring barrels. Fanning gears translate the horizontal arrangement into vertical energy transmission to power the revolving watch.
A mesmerizing flying tourbillon with bespoke balance wheel oscillator spins at the structure’s center, ticking time with precision while captivating attention. Its poise mirrors the carefully engineered watch architecture enclosing it. Surrounding the kinetic balance, windows to four distinct rooms display unique functions.
Inspired by Radical 20th Century Architects
MB&F founder Maximillian Büsser channeled notable avant-garde architects in designing the MB&F HM11 Architect’s distinctive case shape and compartmentalized construction. The concept echoes the core principles of visionaries who discarded stagnating design dogmas in favor of radical thinking.
Büsser specifically cited progressive influences like:
- Matti Suuronen – Creator of the mind-bending 1970 Futuro House based on UFOs
- Antti Lovag – Designed the alien “Palais Bulles” concrete home in France
- Charles Haertling – Behind the otherworldly winged Brenton House in California
By emulating their novel philosophies in wristwatch form, MB&F continues a proud tradition of artistic boundary-pushing and imagination unleashed by these revolutionaries.
The Self-Designed, Hand-Wound Sowind Calibre
Powering the rotating horological sculpture is MB&F’s proprietary Sowind movement – built from the ground up in their Swiss workshops over 3 years of development. The manually-wound calibre incorporates 193 components, 31 jewels, and twin mainspring barrels capable of storing a substantial 96 hours of reserve when fully wound. This ensures the MB&F HM11 Architect keeps ticking even when resting overnight.
Signature finishing touches like Geneva stripes, anglage, polished screw heads, gold chatons, and more add visual intricacy to match the complex mechanics and case architecture. Further bespoke details include the flying tourbillon cage, balance wheel, and conical gears for redirecting motive force. The HM11 movement deserves appreciation as its own work of kinetic art before even considering its integral role driving the satellite indications.
Unparalleled Three-Dimensional Mechanical Art
Gazing at the HM11 Architect, one instantly realizes this is no ordinary timepiece but a sculptural objet d’art happenstance placed on a wrist rather than a pedestal. The intricate interwoven case components hover at improbable angles, kept aloft through meticulous tolerances and high-tensile titanium construction. It seems implausible for a watch to simultaneously rotate on axis while keeping nested gears, springs, jewel bearings and balance wheels operationally synchronized. Yet somehow, MB&F’s design finesse pulls off this carefully choreographed mechanical ballet.
The watch industry often overuses words like unique and unconventional, but such terms genuinely apply to the HM11 Architect’s status as an unparalleled 3D horological art piece. It Must be experienced firsthand across time to fully comprehend the epochs of design and engineering prowess the sculpture encompasses.
Overcoming Extreme Engineering Challenges
In realizing such a sculptural high complication wrist machine, MB&F needed to push boundaries of materials science and micromanufacturing to solve numerous engineering puzzles. Some of the accomplishments behind the HM11 include:
- Precision milling, grinding, and polishing of titanium to 0.015mm tolerances
- Developing proprietary techniques for double curved sapphire crystals
- Devising a rotating yet functionally water resistant case
- Incorporating a bespoke bimetallic thermometer mechanism
- Designing a manual-winding movement with rotating satellite gearing
- Achieving certified chronometric timing accuracy
Just creating molds to cast the HM11’s case components took 3,000 hours – indicative of its construction complexity. MB&F continues advancing the art and science of radical 3D horology with their latest architectural feat.
Pricing and Availability
The MB&F HM11 Architect retails starting at CHF 198,000 Swiss Francs in grade 5 titanium – with 50 total pieces planned between two case variations. Interested buyers must contact authorized MB&F retailers to place orders, with deliveries beginning Q1 2024.
Given its genre-redefining status unmatched in the watch world and MB&F’s reputation for selling out ultra-limited editions quickly, procurement waits could approach 12 months once the allocation sells through. So prospective buyers should act fast to secure a HM11 Architect to call their own while supply lasts!
In closing, the HM11 Architect represents Maximillian Büsser flexing his creative muscles to develop MB&F’s most radical artistic statement yet. By channeling progressive architecture and design philosophies into wristable horology, they produced a 3D mechanical sculpture that must be experienced to fully comprehend. One could spend hours examining the micro-details across its rotating indications like peering through a macro lens. Ultimately the HM11 Architect achieves its goal of telling time while redefining it as a kinetic art form – a fusion of imagination and engineering that pushes boundaries.
Two editions: In grade 5 titanium and blue dial plate limited to 25 pieces or grade 5 titanium and red gold dial plate limited to 25 pieces.
- Dimensions: 42mm (diameter) x 23mm (height)
- Number of components: 92
- Three-dimensional horological engine featuring bevel gears, composed of a flying tourbillon, hours and minutes, a power reserve indicator and temperature measurement, developed in-house by MB&F.
- Mechanical movement, manual winding (by turning the entire case clockwise)
- Power reserve: 96 hours
- Balance frequency: 18’000bph/2.5Hz
- Number of movement components: 364 components
- Number of jewels: 29 jewels
FUNCTIONS / INDICATIONS
- Hour and minutes
- Power reserve
- Temperature (-20 to 60° Celsius, or 0 to 140° Fahrenheit)
- Sapphire crystals on top, back, and on each chamber-display treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces
- Sapphire crown