Chomp. Chomp. Growl. Beware of the new MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’

Chomp. Chomp. Growl. Beware of the new MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’

The new 2020 watch release MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’ is a beast waiting to be unleashed. Like all MB&F watches, it is a wrist device in a class of its own.

I realise I used the term ‘beast’ for the last MB&F watch I covered, Legacy Machine FlyingT. Risking sounding repetitive, I can not but use it here, given the watch is nicknamed ‘Bulldog’ and for all intents and purpose looks like one too. 

Courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018

The Reactions. 

My first reaction on seeing this watch was a bout of laughter. I like dogs as much as the next person. Bulldogs? Sure. Though ugly as fu%^, love the look of them.

It then came to me as a wonderful and apparently cheerful surprise that this new watch by the depths of the genius Maximilian Büsser’s convoluted brilliant mind was a mechanical replica of a bull dog.

My second reaction, on reading about the watch in detail, was of pause and reflection.

The watch not only resembled a bulldog, but it functioned like one too. There were so many conceptual influences in the design that it has taken me a few days after the release was announced to write this review. 

Reminding me of my architecture days, the watch is a pleasure to study. It’s an exercise in ideas, concepts, design mechanics, all fused into one. 

Human. Meet Dog.

Love dogs? Own a bull-dog? Want one? Fear one? 

The new MB&F Horological Machine N°10 is a homage to the above questions. And much more. 

The dog shaped rounded, compact body is made from titanium or red gold that features two prominent aluminium time-display “eyes”. While a collar studded with projections allows you to wind the mainspring or set the time, the stout but flexible “legs” wrap firmly around the wrist providing for a grand visual look.

Wrist. Meet Jaws.

The most visually striking of this watch is the use of “jaws” in the design. 

MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’
Courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018

The hinged jaws open and shut according to the amount of wind left in its mainspring: a fully closed mouth tells you that “Bulldog” is wound down and ready for a nap. If you can clearly see the rows of shining teeth lining the jaws, get ready, because that means “Bulldog” is full of fight, charged up with a 45 hours of mainspring energy. 

The Context

The watch features elements from MB&F’s own design language and history.

The power serve mechanism used is evident of its use in 2014’s LM 1 Xia Hang model. The paper-thin aluminium domes have their roots in the HM 3 Frog that were refined in 2014’s HM 6. And the animal design aesthetics evoke the architecture of Horological Machine N° 7 ‘Aquapod’. 

The grille work design motif in the “ribs” set beneath the balance and in the tail-end of the body echoes the automotive-inspired HM 8, HMX and HM 5

MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’
Courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018

But will it bite?

The watch is bold, no doubt. But so is the presence of the beast that inspires it. The question is, is it comfortable? Will it fit or will it drag the wrist down under its heft?

The answer is an easy one: it’s not going to fit under the cuff for a boardroom meeting if that’s your game. Otherwise, it’s designed to fit to a T. 

Measuring 45mm across, 54mm from nose to tail and with a maximum height of 24mm, HM10 Bulldog is surprisingly wearable. 

Its sprung strap attachment “legs” allow the body to fit closely around the wrist, and the calf-leather strap — as robust as any well-made leash — is fastened with either a folding buckle or Velcro system. 

The Suggestion

This borders on tacky but we would have loved if MB&F had included some sort of an alarm or minute repeater complication that mimicked the bark of the dog as well.

The Versions

MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’ is available in two editions: 

Ti version: grade 5 titanium case with blue “eyes” hour and minute domes

RT version: 18k red gold and titanium case with black “eyes ” hour and minute domes

The Movement

The heart used — calibre Bulldog — is a manual winding in-house movement featuring a bespoke flying 14mm balance wheel with four traditional regulating screws floating above the domed dials. 

It beats at the low frequency of 2.5Hz (18’000 A/h). It comprises of 34 jewels, features 301 components and boasts of a decent 45-hour power reserve.

MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’
Courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018

The movement is encased inside a 54mm × 45mm × 24mm case.

The case in covered by two sapphire crystals treated with anti-reflective coating on both sides. 

The case has two crowns, with the left one at 11’o clock used for winding and the right one at 1’o clock for time-setting.

The Dial 

The watch face shows hours on the left dome (aluminium dome rotating in 12 hours), minutes on right dome (aluminium dome rotating in 60 minutes), and the power reserve is indicated in 3D by the opening and closing of the jaws.

MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’
Courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018

The super-LumiNova on the hour and minute domes and markers aides in legibility. 

MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’
Courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018

To complete this beastly look, the watches come either on a hand-stitched brown calf-leather strap with custom-designed red gold folding buckle or a hand-stitched blue calf-leather strap with Velcro system and titanium buckle.

Watch Ya Gonna Do About It?

Founder Maximilian Büsser’s quest to constantly innovate and be one step ahead is evident in this horological wonder. 

Now let’s be honest about this; MB&F’s watches are usually weird, out-of-the-box wrist machines that barely qualify for the word wrist-watch

Not that there’s any wrong with that. On the contrary, it’s a welcome change.

We love it’s a manual winding movement, establishing a more personal connection with the machine rather than an automatic winding one. 

It’s like you stroke your pet, feed it, wind it and the jaws open up and its awake! 

If I personally had the finances —  105′,000 USD in titanium or 120’000 USD in red gold — for this, I would love to buy it. It’s probably the first MB&F watch that’s truly caught my fancy. I did admire them previously, but this, this is something else. 

The new 2020 watch release MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’ is a beast — again I find myself using this term — that while it may be caged on your wrist, it’s roaming free within your imagination. 

The engraved message on the body of the watch, “Forget the dog, beware of the owner”, is a strong statement. It reflects the mind of a collector that will be buying this. 

The ‘Bulldog’ is the definition of what 3-D kinetic art can create when allowed to be tampered by a genius.

For more information on this watch and other MB&F watches, head to their website here.