MB&F have never been shy about embracing their sources of inspiration to create structures and shapes unlike anything else out there. One particular source of inspiration has been a mainstay within the Horological Machine collection, and that is from the automotive space. We first saw it in the HM5 back in 2012, and then the original HM8 in 2016, and today that concept takes a step further with the HM8 Mark 2, which is an evolution of the original HM8, shrouded with a new aerodynamic case and crystal that appears to be taken straight off the back of a Porsche 918.
The HM8 Mark 2 isn’t the first time we’ve seen an existing Horological Machine take on a significantly new form. The HM3 saw a variety of configurations in its lifespan, from the original released in 2010, to the Frog and Magawind variations that pushed the boundaries of the platform (and of sapphire). The HM8 in original form, called the Can-Am for its race inspired structure, featured a relatively flat case that placed a vertical display at one end, with the time being reflected in a similar manner to what we saw in the HM5. That design was a bit steampunk-ish and even geometrical in nature. The new Mark 2 variant takes things in a more organic direction.
Right at the onset you’ll notice a more cohesive case shape with voluminous curvature blending the CarbonMacrolon shroud and the ‘double bubble’ sapphire that looks to have been shaped in a wind tunnel. A center section of titanium separates the two pieces of CarbonMacrolon which, at the moment, are offered in white and a more limited British Racing Green. CarbonMacrolon is “composite material composed of a polymer matrix injected with carbon nanotubes” according to MB&F. It was developed for them and features a bevy of benefits such as lightness, stiffness, and the ability to accept different finishes and colors. Because of their shape, they are milled from a single block.
Within the titanium mid case is a jump hour movement with the brand’s trademark battle-ax rotor. The movement is a Girard-Perregaux base caliber, and remains largely visible through the exhibition… everything. Control happens via the crown at the rear of the watch, which has been re-worked to be set further into the case. A push and turn unlocks the crown for use, saving a bit of space and adding some security to the system in the process.
The calfskin strap uses a hook and loop, aka velcro, system which suits the rest of the watch quite well both visually and practically. I’m a big proponent of these kinds of straps and love seeing them employed by brands such as MB&F to hopefully break a bit of the stigma around it being a cheap material. Overall the HM8 Mark 2 is exceptionally wearable thanks to this strap, as well as the low profile case.
The HM8 Mark 2 is priced at $78,000 and is available immediately. While the white variant is a ‘regular’ production model, the BRG case will be limited to 33 units. MB&F