November 7, 2013
by Ariel Adams
For 2013, MB&F announces this new limited edition version of the Horological Machine No 5 (HM5) watch in 18k red gold. aBlogtoWatch reviewed the MB&F HM5 watch here when it first became available in 2012. This fifth edition of the Horological Machine legacy is inspired by driving watches (and cars) from mostly the 1970s. The wedge-shaped case displays the time on the side, visible through a sapphire crystal prism that magnifies the hour and minute indicator discs for increased legibility. Originally in all zirconium (similar to titanium) this new HM5 RT version comes in a case using parts made from 18k red gold as well as titanium.
For a longer discussion on the HM in terms of both inspiration and technical features, please reference the above review article. We will primarily focus on the details of this particular HM5 RT “On The Road Again” model. The wedge-shaped case happens to look good using mixed color parts, and the colored frame around where you read the time has been colored in blue versus green. One of the most unique elements of this otherwise highly unique watch is a small lever which opens up the “louvres” (slits) on the top of the case.
Inspired by the rear windows on some 1970s and 1980s sports cars, these louvres allow light to enter the case. Why? Light falls on where the discs that indicate the time are located and allow their luminant to be charged so that one can read the time in the dark. Small holes in the case act as “exhaust ports” allowing any water that enters this section of the case to exit. The movement itself is fully cased and prevents water from entering it. Light is simply hitting a section of the sapphire crystal prism.
Inside the MB&F HM5 RT watch is a unique automatic movement designed by the team at Swiss Chronode. The disc that indicates the hours “jumps” to indicate the time more precisely. Visible through the rear of the case, you can see the MB&F battleaxe style automatic rotor in 22k red gold.
At 49mm wide, shaped in a less than orthodox manner, the HM5 appears to be an awkward item to wear. It is in fact rather comfortable, but reading the time from the side requires getting used to. The concept is based on the idea that if wearing the watch while driving, you don’t need to turn your wrist to read the time. Most of the case is actually in titanium. That includes the inner case, caseback, as well as other elements. The top and front part of the HM5 RT case are in 18k red gold, offering a warmer look than the original all gray zirconium model.
Attached to the same retro-futuristic rubber strap, the Horlogical Machine No. 5 RT retains the bold looks of the original. It isn’t a watch for everyone, but as we stated in our original review, the watch is exceptionally well done for what it is. MB&F will release the HM5 RT as a limited edition of just 66 pieces at a price of $82,000. mbandf.com
– Three-dimensional horological engine developed by Jean-François Mojon and Vincent Boucard of Chronode
– Powered by a Sowind gear train
– Battle-axe 22k gold ‘mystery’ automatic winding rotor
– Power reserve: 42 hours
– Balance frequency: 28,800bph/4Hz
– Number of components: 224
– Number of jewels: 30
– Engine housed in a water resistant, titanium inner container
FUNCTIONS / INDICATIONS
– Minutes and bi-directional jumping hours displayed by reflective sapphire crystal prism with integrated magnifying lens
– Slide to open/close louvres on case top
– 18k red gold and titanium with internal water resistant titanium engine container
– Slide button to open/close louvres
– Exhaust ports to drain water
– Dimensions: 51.5mm x 49mm x 22.5mm
– Number of components: 80
– Water resistance of engine container: 30m / 90’ / 3atm
– Smoked optical grade sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and 20% magnification.
– Sapphire crystal on back with anti-reflective treatment on both faces.
STRAP AND BUCKLE
– Sculptured rubber strap, titanium tang buckle