For the final exciting iteration of the Horological Machine No. 3, MB&F has partnered with world-renowned Boucheron to create the JwlryMachine. Swiss MB&F who celebrates the art of the machine combines their technology with French Boucheron who celebrates the art of jewelry. The result is an incredible work of three-dimensional art that will be made to order for those who want to add this stunning luxury to their collection.
The HM3 watch should require no introduction. It originally came out in two styles which I discussed here, was then offered in another limited edition form as the HM3 Frog here, and you can read a review of mine on the HM3 Sidewinder here.
MB&F is known to exchange talent with other highly-respected watch designers. If you recall, Alain Silberstein lent his talents for the creation of a limited edition HM2.2 Black Box watch that I displayed here. They have indicated to me that such collaborations are not only fun, but highly inspiring - so expect more of these in the future.
Boucheron is a brand I've discussed before. For me, they are most well-known for their almost whimsical-style jewelry that is as fun as it is beautiful. Coincidentally enough, I wrote a piece on them that also featured a purple owl when talking about their Bestiary Ronde Seconde Folle collection of watches here. Why owls? The purple owl is a common symbol of the night and of mystery. Owls also have additional benefit of having an engaging visage. Even in jewelry form its large eyes are expressive - creating a highly palpable face. Out of all symbols and figures, the human mind is most drawn to faces. Human faces first, and likely animal faces next. The larger the eyes, the more we are drawn to the face. No wonder we are so fascinated with owls.
The JwlryMachine is a mechanical bird. Better stated, the JwlryMachine is a bejeweled bird with mechanical innards. The watch is like an MB&F with Boucheron clothing - and in this instance the tailor was very good. MB&F was actually surprised at how smoothly this partnership went. According them, Boucheron was quickly and easily able to take the HM3 and work their Parisian magic on it. The specially modified case is still in 18k gold (white or pink) and titanium, but with its new avian and feather inspired shape. The clear sapphire crystal of the open movement windows on the front are no longer used to cover the movement - but they are still used for the cylinders that tell the time. MB&F worked with Boucheron to create the feathered look of the owl's breast and the "eyes" over the time columns in two special colors.
That is right, the JwlryMachine will come in at least two versions. The displayed purple version, as well as a pink version. Plus, because the watches are made to order, MB&F and Boucheron promise that almost any color the client can imagine will be feasibly available. I personally like to call the purple version the "Night Owl." Because the Night Owl is also a character from Watchmen, and because that character had a ship named Archimedes that looked like an owl. Thus, I placed those images in the post. The Night Owl, as being a major gadget guy himself, might like a JwlryMachine for extravagant nights out on the town.
Amethyst is used extensively in the JwlryMachine Purple. You'll find it as the large cabochon style eyes at the top of the hour and minute indicator cylinders, as well as over the open movement. The crystal there is specially engraved to look like feathers. What is really cool, is that it is semi transparent. Meaning you can still see the 22k gold battle ax style automatic rotor spinning underneath it. Another amethyst is used as a cabochon on the crown. The watch has about 41 carats of amethyst. Aside from amethyst you'll find a few precious stones on the complex case. These include about a carat of diamonds, as well as over 5 carats of mixed blue and purple sapphires.
The JwlryMachine Pink has a few changes, but remains more or less the same. First, the case is in 18k pink gold versus white gold. Instead of amethyst, the watch design uses pink toned quartz and rubellite. It also has diamonds, and a mix of pink, purple, and blue sapphires. This should be a nice "day owl" compliment to the night owl.
I have to say that the combined effort of MB&F and Boucheron is really rewarding. The two respected brands have melded their talents well. and the "JwlryMachine" might have an 'interesting' name but a face anyone can love. The HM3 Frog proved that this was a design meant for eyes, and this is a version of the watch that really proves it. The HM3 JwrlyMachine retains the ability to tell the time, but the date complication has been probably partially obstructed due to the design. I think that is an acceptable trade-off for this fantastic three-dimensional machine and jewelry sculpture. The watch will come on a purple (or otherwise) toned alligator strap with a 18k gold and titanium deployment clasp.
Where can you get one? How much will it cost. Distribution will be highly limited and watches will be mostly made to order. A few MB&F retailers will carry them, but for the most part the watches will be available through Boucheron boutiques around the world. Prices for the MB&F HM3 JwlryMachine will start at $215,000 and depend on the version as well as exchange rates. This isn't the MB&F watch we used to. You don't see precious or semi-precious stones on their watches. The JwlryMachine is certainly a change of pace for the luxury machine style watch MB&F is known for producing. Some people might see that as an issue, but I could care less about the thematic departure. This is simply a revision of their aesthetic as dreamed up by Boucheron, and a beautiful item of interest for all people to enjoy. The real question is, can a man pull off wear it? I am imagining a custom model in all black and while with yellow eyes. That would work.
Tech specs from MB&F:
Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor;
Girard-Perregaux oscillator and gear
Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph. 22K rose gold battle-axe shaped ‘mystery’ automatic winding rotor
Hour and minutes information transmitted via ceramic ball bearings to laser-cut hands.
Number of jewels: 36 (all functional)
Number of components: 304
Hour and day/night indicator on one cone
Minutes on second cone
Date around the movement
JWLRYMACHINE, Purple: 18K White Gold/Titanium and Amethyst
Breast made of an engraved amethyst: 35.27K
Eyes made of two cabochon amethysts: 6.34K
Diamonds: approx. 0.96K
Blue and purple sapphires: approx. 5.17K
Screwed-down crown with cabochon amethyst: 0.33K
JWLRYMACHINE, Pink: 18K Pink Gold/Titanium and Quartz
Breast made of an engraved quartz: 32.71K
Eyes made of two cabochon rubellite: 7.88K
Diamonds: approx. 0.96K
Pink, purple and blue and purple sapphires: approx. 5.17K
Screwed-down crown with cabochon rubellite: 0.33K
Cones and both display backs with anti-reflective treatment on both faces.
Strap & Buckle:
Hand-stitched alligator or lizard strap with 18K Gold and Titanium custom designed deployment buckle.