January 15, 2017
by Ariel Adams
One of the most notable elements of the design is the “orbiting” rotating diver’s style bezel. I have to admit that I would not have anticipated an MB&F watch with this particular “pedestrian” feature. In the titanium version, the bezel insert with its cut markers and numerals is in blue ceramic, and the gold version is in black ceramic. I’m quite anticipating seeing how this looks and feels to operate in person.
Moving inward on the watch you can see how the divers-style bezel literally does seem to float around the inner case. The inner case is once again a sapphire sandwich, and designed to contain a fascinating “spherical” mechanical automatic movement. It has two crowns, which is an ongoing theme of many MB&F watches these days. Other models such as the LM1, HM4, and HM6 also have dual crowns. One crown on the MB&F HM7 Aquapod is for winding the movement, and the other is for setting the time. Again, the movement is an automatic so winding it manually is not required all the time.
While it isn’t exactly uncommon for an MB&F watch to not be incredibly legible (an artistic trade-off, for sure), the MB&F HM7 Aquapod will once again require a bit of brain re-wiring to read at a glance. Two angled and rotating rings are used to indicate the hours and minutes. The rotating central flying tourbillon could be considered the running seconds indicator.
Given the dive-watch theme of the MB&F HM7 Aquapod, it has a lot of luminant. In fact, enough luminant that seeing the watch in the dark seems to be one of the features that MB&F is promoting. If you like luminant and MB&F, then you might also recall the MB&F HMX Black Badger (hands-on here). Apparently the MB&F HM7 Aquapod has luminant hand-painted not only where you read the time, but applied in such a way as to appreciate various angles of the movement. I do look forward to shooting some lume shots of this timepiece for sure.
Central tourbillons are great looking. There aren’t a huge number of them around, but they are increasingly common. In the past several months, we looked at a few other central tourbillon watches such as the Bulgari Papillon Tourbillon Central (hands-on here) and the Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon (hands-on here). Interestingly enough, the MB&F HM7 Aquapod is the most affordable option of the trio. Speaking of the Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon, the Horological Machine No. 7 reminds me of it at least thematically. The two watches are not competitors per se, but I think they appeal to very similar if not the very same clientele. Centrally mounted tourbillons are ideal, in my opinion, because of the symmetry they provide, as well as how nicely they feature the constant rotating motion of the tourbillon cage itself. Though, such mechanisms are inherently quite complicated.
The first important fact about the movement (“engine”) inside of the MB&F HM7 Aquapod is that it is designed to be more spherical in shape than round. MB&F typically puts as much (if not much more) effort into making their movements beautiful in addition to their cases. Once again, we have something that looks lovely both inside and outside with the MB&F HM7 Aquapod timepiece.
Consisting of 303 parts, the movement indicates the minutes and hours with the flying tourbillon (that once again has the MB&F battle axe logo-shaped cage). Operating at 2.5Hz (18,000bph), the movement has a power reserve of 72 hours (three days). Inspired by jellyfish tentacles, the automatic rotor is produced from titanium, and has a weight produced from platinum. I really can’t wait to see this beauty in action sandwiched between the two sapphire crystal semi-domes.
You’ll notice that the MB&F HM7 Aquapod has what appears to be semi-articulating lugs, which are designed to help the watch wear better on the wrist. Attached to the lugs is a black rubber-style strap which I believe is produced in a material that is extremely similar to that of the Apple Watch straps. MB&F says it is “aircraft-grade Fluorocarbon FKM 70 Shore A elastomer.” So I will have to see what that feels like.
Both the titanium and 18k red gold version of the MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 Aquapod will be produced as a limited edition, with 33 pieces in titanium and 66 pieces in gold (usually it would be the other way around, but this is clearly suggestive of what the brand’s buyers prefer). It is entirely possible that there might be some future versions in other materials and styles. As always, there is a lot of room for MB&F to play around with something like this, and I am sure they will. Price for the MB&F HM7 Aquapod will be 98,000 Swiss francs in titanium and 118,000 Swiss francs in 18k red gold. mbandf.com