Ever wonder what impact niche-appeal, high-end watches from small independent brands make on the larger general culture? This prop gadget from the Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show is how, and it illustrates how a niche luxury product is able to make a stylistic impact on a pop culture demographic that probably has no idea where the idea came from in the first place.
In episode 11 (season 1) of ABC's new for 2013-2014 Joss Whedon-produced "Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" television show, this item showed up as a wrist-worn tool. A distinctive item, it takes a true watch guy to understand exactly what the gadget was emulating. In the episode, a wrist gadget was developed and used which was clearly based on the MB&F HM3. We have an aBlogtoWatch review of the MB&F Horlogical Machine No 3 here. The tool was featured in episode 11 "The Magical Place" and wasn't really a watch but more of a delivery mechanism to administer a neutralizing agent into the bodies of bio-mechanically augmented soldiers. You know what... the specifics don't really matter. My wife gave up on the show after one episode and I really should have done the same. Nevertheless, seeing this MB&F-inspired prop was worth sticking it out this long.
The device in the Marvel Agents of SHIELD show seems to most resemble the "ReBel" variant of the MB&F HM3 watch in terms of its layout while eschewing the ReBel's blacked-out appearance in favor of a silver and blue color scheme not uncommon to MB&F. For those who don't know about the HM3, it was originally released in 2008, and has had many variations over the years being one of MB&F's most success products.
The limited edition MB&F HM3 ReBel was produced in black as the only "left" HM3 for the Paris retailer Chronopassion. Could the prop designer for the show be a watch nerd at heart? We hope so. At minimum, I have to assume that someone Googled cool watch designs and was inspired by MB&F's creations. The newest version of the HM3 is the Megawind (hands-on here) and it retails for $92,000.