November 24, 2011
by Ariel Adams
Finally, the first limited edition Horological Machine Number 4 from MB&F is here. My favorite HM series watch to date gets done in two cool and very limited versions called the HM4 Razzle Dazzle and HM4 Double Trouble. The difference between the two? The pinup art of course.
Right here you can see a hands-on post on the standard non-limited MB&F HM4 watch. From the start this timepiece was meant to honor MB&F founder Max Busser’s love of airplanes with two engine style pods for the time and power reserve indicator. These limited edition models are a more retro take on the concept celebrating World War II era aircraft. Details include real rivets on the titanium “fuselage,” an aged look for the lume on the dials, a bomber-jacket inspired strap, and pinup art on the case body.
Pinup art is a specially honored American tradition – especially for service men. For a long time crews would celebrate their aircraft by painting images of women and other things as tokens of good luck just as sailors use to do with figureheads on the bows of ships. I wonder if that happens anymore today as much? Done by Geneva-based artist Isabelle Villa, the limited edition HM4 Razzle Dazzle and Double Trouble watches have hand-painted figures on the sides of the watch case. These cheeky figures are fun but tasteful (as is the Swiss way).
I think there should be a new watch modification culture revolving around doing small paintings on watch cases – but that is another story. Both the HM4 Razzle Dazzle and HM4 Double Trouble will be limited to just 8 pieces each. Now that is limited. The dials of the pods are still applied with SuperLumiNova, but now with some copper added to give it an aged patina look.
The cool looks of the HM4 with its various sapphire crystal pieces looks particularly cool in this neat vintage plane style. I can’t wait to get some hands-on shots of these pieces. There is something so warm and celebratory about them. To complete the WWII look of the watch the strap is meant to look like vintage bomber jacket leather. It is in fact leather sourced from Swiss military issue bags. Good thing they didn’t have to ruin a nice jacket for these watches.
MB&F continues to have fun and move forward with their designs. While not AS retro as the Legacy Machine No 1, this is a very fun retro styled piece that manages to look good, celebrate and era, and celebrate art all at the same time. The MB&F HM4 Razzle Dazzle limited edition watches will be priced at $216,000 each.
Horological Machine No4 Thunderbolt – Technical Specifications from MB&F
Razzle Dazzle & Double Trouble are each limited editions of 8 pieces
Three-dimensional horological engine developed 100% by MB&F
Manual winding with two mainspring barrels in parallel
Power reserve: 72 hours
Balance frequency: 21,600bph/3Hz
Number of components: 311
Number of jewels: 50
Hours, minutes and power reserve indicator
Hours and minutes on right dial, power reserve indicator on left dial
Separate crowns for time setting and winding
Grade 5 titanium and sapphire
Dimensions: 54mm wide x 52mm long x 24mm high
Number of components: 65
Articulation of lugs: 3°
Nose art hand painted on case side.
Five sapphire crystals: 2 x dials, 1 x central case section, 2 x display panels (top and bottom)
Strap & Buckle:
Authentic vintage leather strap crafted from Swiss military bags with contrasting white hand stitching. Titanium/white gold custom designed deployment buckle attached to articulated lugs