You think this watch is crazy? It probably is. Yet it is amazing, intriguing, impressive, making a watch with a case completely made of sapphire crystal is one of the biggest challenges you can imagine. Not sure who remembers the Richard Mille made of sapphire crystal made years ago. Back then, I happened to visit the small maker of that sapphire crystal case. He told me that in order to make one case, he had to make many faulty ones that needed to be thrown away. It challenged him to the level where it was actually becoming overwhelming. But he succeeded, the watch was priced much higher than this watch from MB&F is. Not justifying price here. Just telling the story.
First launched in 2014, Horological Machine No.6 is one of our most radical Machines to date. The initial ‘Space Pirate’ editions – in titanium or red gold – were followed by the even more extreme “SV” editions, showcasing the 496-component HM6 calibre thanks to a complex case structure combining precious metals and sapphire crystal.
But that was not enough.
MB&F just announced 4 Pièces Uniques, taking the HM6 series not just one, but three steps further: the HM6 ALIEN NATION.
Step One: a case now made entirely of sapphire crystal.
In fact, 12 separate sapphire crystals which need to come together perfectly and seamlessly. The milling and polishing required for a single case exceeds 500 hours – months of work, and that’s not including assembly! – and breakage is unfortunately frequent. The result? A case that is 100% crystal-clear.
Step Two: luminosity.
It’s dark in outer space… The HM6 spaceship lights up in the darkness thanks to a mix of Super-LumiNova – highlighting various parts of the movement – and AGT Ultra, the high-power lume produced by Ambient Glow Technology and pioneered by MB&F‘s friend James Thompson, aka Black Badger.
Step Three: a crew.
A crew of aliens, individually crafted by hand in 18K white gold. HM6 Alien Nation’s alien commander sits snugly in the external cockpit, while smooth running of the HM6 engine is supervised by 5 aliens placed inside, on the movement itself. You’ll need to look closely to spot them all: the intricacy of these microscopic sculptures created by engraver Olivier Kuhn is baffling. Their arms and necks are finer than a grain of sand… Each alien is unique and the crew of 6 requires more than a month of full-time, intensive artisanship. This short video will give you an idea…
It is not reasonable to create pieces like this, which is why there will only be 4. Each HM6 Alien Nation is unique, distinguished by the colour of its lume: blue, turquoise, green and purple.