Beware. Horological Genius On The Prowl – Going Hands-On With The MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’
Editor’s note: This review of the Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’ is part of our ‘W.R.A.T.H’ series, or ‘What’s Really Available Today Here’ watch photo reviews. It is a new series where we go hands-on with watches that can at least at the time of writing be bought! These could be the latest novelties from brands or simply rather popular models that are now available. For our other reviews of the latest novelties, please head here. For our detailed reviews, please head to our dedicated review section here. Today’s watch is brought to you with the grateful assistance of The Hour Glass Sydney.
The Watch: The MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’
We looked at the Ti version that features a grade 5 titanium case with blue “eyes” hour and minute domes and a hand-stitched blue calf-leather strap with Velcro system and titanium buckle
Available At: The Hour Glass Sydney
Suited For: The gentleman who appreciates Haute Horlogerie and doesn’t take life too seriously. It’s for someone who can appreciate all the genius that’s gone behind this mechanical wonder.
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’s going to wearing it.
Our In-person Impression: When it comes to watches likes the MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’, it’s difficult to fully appreciate them without actually wearing them. I reckon the same is true for most independent brands.
The ‘Bulldog’ is too artistic, futuristic, almost an idiosyncratic talent of pure mechanical genius.
When I had looked at the press releases and reviewed this based on those earlier this year, as much as I loved the watch, I couldn’t help but feel that it would be a monster.
I then looked at other reviews from the big guns of watch journalism that had managed to acquire hands-on with this watch, and again the zoomed-in macro photos portrayed this to be a beast. I had this impression that while it was great as ‘wrist art’, it would perhaps be completely unsuited as ‘wrist wear’. I couldn’t have been further from reality.
To me, this was my first reaction/impression after seeing it in person – undeniably charming, surprisingly wearable.
Measuring 45mm across, 54mm from nose to tail and with a maximum height of 24mm, I found the HM10 ‘Bulldog’ to be a great wrist companion, just like a dog, man’s best friend.
The titanium body is featherlight, something that the press photos of-course fail to address. I remember I was wearing my Heuer Monaco when I first saw the ‘Bulldog’ in person. I am mentioning this because I feel that Monaco is my upper limit of what I reckon fits on my 6 and a quarter inch wrist. Anything bigger, and it looks like a wannabe rapper trying to compensate.
But this, the ‘Bulldog’, didn’t feel huge. It sat just right.
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.
Will You Like It: MB&F have their own design language, and when it comes to their offerings, they would appeal to a relatively niche audience or collector base that appreciates (and can afford) fine watchmaking.
But that said, there is an innate appealing quality to the ‘Bulldog’, that combined with the high wearability quotient I reckon should appeal to most. If you are someone with finances of about $170’000 AUD to spare, the MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’ is simply a timepiece that no serious collector should miss out on.
Do We Like It: Absolutely!
It’s different, it’s quirky, it’s a fun timepiece. Strapped on, it doesn’t feel out of place or out of context as one might think. Sure it’s bold and ‘awkward’ looking, but on the wrist, it doesn’t scream ‘look at me’, ‘look at me’. Honestly, I found it out more wearable than many Hublot offerings.
Where does it score: The ‘Bulldog’ inspired elements. That’s its true mark, that’s where it manages to ‘bark the loudest’.
In the media pictures, it’s a big, mean dog. On the wrist, it’s more like a puppy, looking at you with those two big eyes, just wanting some attention.
And attention it gets. The most visually striking of this watch is the use of “jaws” in the design.
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.
I also love that it features 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!
It’s also a mishmash of various other MB&F timepieces:
- The power serve mechanism used is similar to 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
- 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
- Like MB&F’s Legacy Machines, the ‘Bulldog’ also sports a hovering balance wheel
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.
Anything Else: The movement is encased inside a 54mm × 45mm × 24mm case that is 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 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.
The Verdict: Avant-garde. And fun. In the words of Al Pacino’s Tony Montana, ‘say hello to my little friend’.
To find out more about the MB&F Horological Machine N°10 ‘Bulldog’ and other MB&F timepieces, please head to their website here or visit their authorised retailer The Hour Glass at 142 King St, Sydney (02 9221 2288). All images unless otherwise stated are ©WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt.