MB&F celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2015, and for the most significant anniversary of its decade-long existence, the creative lab has conceived HMX “X” as in the Roman numeral for ten, as a thank you to the Friends who have supported the brand over the last 10 years. Instead of developing an ultra-complicated, ultra-expensive anniversary piece, a standard practice in the luxury watchmaking world, MB&F has cut sales margins without sacrificing quality, offering a true Horological Machine at an unprecedented price. Paradoxically, creating such a Machine also made HMX one of the most difficult to develop as MB&F considered, tested and rejected a plethora of combinations of forms, finishes and details before being satisfied that everything was "just right".
The tag line for MB&F's 10th anniversary is “A creative adult is a child who survived”, a reference to a child's sense of wonder and awe that usually fades under the onslaught of the everyday realities of reaching adulthood. As a child, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser dreamt of becoming a car designer and his sketchbooks were full of drawings of the supercars of his imagination. The automobile-inspired HMX is proof positive that the child in Büsser survived. HMX displays bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes. Apparently simple, but it is how and where the time is displayed that makes HMX so special. Rotating discs on top of the movement feature mirror image numerals. These are reflected 90° and magnified by two sapphire crystal optical prisms that "project" the time onto the front vertical display. Light streaming through the transparent engine cover both illuminates the top of HMX's engine and backlights the time display for high legibility.
Also visible through the sapphire crystal engine cover are supercar-inspired dual "rocker covers" on top of the movement, each featuring shiny chrome oil filler caps. These oil caps are not just pretty design elements, but are fully functional oil caps that the watchmaker unscrews to oil the jewelled bearings for the indication discs. An automatic winding mechanical movement provides HMX with power, its "fuel" topped up by the 22K gold rotor visible through the display back. HMX is a limited edition of 4 x 20 pieces in grade 5 titanium and stainless steel, available in Lotus Black, British Racing Green, Ferrari Red and Bugatti Blue. 10 years is an important milestone for anyone, but it is an especially significant anniversary for a small, horological creative lab that persistently bucks trends, zigs when others zag, and creates three-dimensional kinetic Machines rather than watches. When Maximilian Büsser founded MB&F in 2005, he hoped that a few collectors might be brave enough to follow him into unexplored horological territory, but had no idea just how big a revolution MB&F would ferment. "From the beginning, the idea for HMX was to give something back to our Friends: the collectors and supporters who were vital in enabling MB&F to reach its 10th anniversary”, says Maximilian Büsser. “The industry norm for anniversaries is to develop ultra-expensive pieces, but we decided to do the opposite: HMX is by far our most affordable Horological Machine to date and is our way of saying thank you."