Inspired by, what else, a jellyfish, MB&F’s latest offering is technically impressive and visually arresting.
It’s always interesting to see what brands such as MB&F, which make it their calling card to defy the expected tropes of traditional watchmaking, come up with next, and its jellyfish-inspired ‘horological machine’ doesn’t disappoint, with plenty to intrigue and amuse fans of ‘disruptive horology’. The Aquapod is the eighth offering to be released by MB&F, though it was meant to be the seventh – the HM8 ended up coming out first, due to the unforeseen length of time demanded of the machine inspired by a jellyfish.
In one way, it’s the most traditionally ‘watch-like’ offering from MB&F to date, having a round dial and a unidirectional rotating bezel that are a more recognisable form of horology than many of MB&F’s previous creations. Look at it top down, and the outwardly radiating rings offer a pleasing series of circles spanning outwards. Turn the little creature to one side, however, and you’ll see that it resembles a tiny flying saucer, complete with domed central pod, the futuristic shape in polished titanium (or rose gold) case and sapphire top and bottom crystals.
The Aquapod HM7 boasts a tentacle-like automatic winding rotor in titanium, with a flying tourbillon placed in the centre of the movement with indications radiating outwards.
There’s another nod to more traditional horological tropes to be gleaned in this shape: it has its genesis in the onion pocket watches of the 18th century, but where most watch design seeks to keep things as flat as possible, the HM7 embraces its roundness and stacks one component atop another, with everything concentrically mounted around a central axis. This unusual 303-component, 72-hour power reserve HM7 movement was designed entirely in-house by the MB&F team.
Hours and minutes are displayed by two spherical segment discs in aluminium and titanium, which are supported by specially developed oversized ceramic ball bearings. To create the curved ceramic bezel, the numerals and markers were first engraved in the ceramic using a laser, after which the engraved sections were filled with metalized titanium. The whole ring was then polished to a high gloss. Finally, in yet another nod to its aquatic inspiration, the Aquapod is liberally illuminated thanks to a luminescent ring that lights up the indications in a vivid blue Super Luminova (hand painted because it is impossible to print neatly on such curved components.)
Three-dimensional vertical architecture, automatic winding. Central fl ying 60-second tourbillon. Power reserve: 72 hours.
Spherical, in grade 5 titanium or 18-carat rose gold 53.8 mm x 21.3 mm. Water resistance: 50 m / 150
feet / 5 atm.
Rubber bracelet moulded in aircraft-grade Fluorocarbon FKM 70 Shore A elastomer with folding buckle matching case material.