Editor’s Note: Need a quick watch fix? This preview of the new MB&F HM11 Architect is a GET TO THE POINT (GTTP) review with all the info you want / need to know QUICK. For our actual hands-on reviews, please head to the dedicated section here. Now let’s get to the point.
What Is It
Traditionally, there have been two distinct ways of approaching design and architecture: one, ‘form follows function’, as made popular by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan; second, ‘function follows form’, something likes of Le Corbusier would practice. The new HM11 Architect takes the route of the latter modernist architecture style. As an architect, objects that are inspired by the world of art and architecture always hold a special place for me. My own style is honestly form follows function, considering I was trained by a trainee of Wright himself. Yet, I can see the beauty in the opposite side, and the new HM11 Architect delivers.
Inspired by the off-beat architecture of the 1960s, the new MB&F Horological Machine No11 (HM11) showcases the brand’s expertise in utilising sapphire crystal components with unique shapes. Just like a building, the timepiece showcases externally facing sapphire crystal elements, such as a transparent crown and an atrium roof that allows a clear view inside. The design of the crown presents intricate technical challenges by incorporating two sets of gaskets to ensure protection against water and dust. The case and movement of the HM11 Architect meticulously incorporate a total of 19 gaskets to maintain the watch’s overall integrity. Additionally, the timepiece features a distinctive winding system, a mesmerizing flying tourbillon, and a mechanical thermometer. With the diameter of 42mm, the watch should offer a comfortable fit, and 20m water-resistance adds to its allure and functionality. The 23mm thickness is on the higher side, but that’s the price you pay for a timepiece of this caliber.
It is announced toady on 15 November 2023 as a lead in to this year’s edition of the Dubai Watch Week (November 16 – 20). HM11 Architect is built on costly foundations, raised in two limited editions of 25-pieces each, featuring a blue or red gold dial floor, and retailing for (before taxes) CHF 198’000 (USD 230’000 / EUR 207’000 + VAT).
How Does It Do
Frank Gehry once quoted: “Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness”. The new MB&F HM11 Architect is a masterpiece combining time and architecture, seeped in MB&F’s distinctive style of watchmaking, with time and architecture weaved so intrinsically that the curves beckon the beauty of horlogerie grandeurs.
When it comes to pushing the boundaries of horology, MB&F never fails to astonish. The latest creation, the HM11 Architect, is a true testament to their innovative spirit. It blurs the line between art, architecture, and haute horlogerie. The case, crafted in grade 5 titanium, features a unique architectural design that resembles a futuristic house. The brand asserts that its sleek and curvilinear form is reminiscent of the experimental architecture of the 1960s, with its undulating shapes and organic lines.
At the heart of this architectural marvel is the flying tourbillon, a mechanical masterpiece that ensures precise timekeeping. The tourbillon is housed under a double-domed sapphire crystal roof, symbolising the central atrium of the house. From this spinning core, four symmetrical volumes extend outwards, creating the four parabolic ‘rooms’ of the watch.
Each room in the HM11 Architect serves a different function. The time room displays the hours and minutes with rod-mounted orbs as hour markers, while the power reserve room indicates the remaining autonomy of the watch with increasing-sized orbs. The temperature room features a mechanical thermometer (-20 to 60° Celsius, or 0 to 140° Fahrenheit), a rare complication in watchmaking. And finally, the last room serves as the time-setting crown, allowing you to adjust the watch’s time with ease.
The attention to detail in the HM11 Architect is impressive; the case, comprised of 92 components, is meticulously finished and perfectly showcases the complex horological engine inside. The in-house developed manual-winding movement boasts 96-hours power reserve, comprises 364 components and 29 jewels, and operates at a frequency of 2.5Hz.
The HM11 Architect transcends the realm of timekeeping and ascends to the status of a true artistic masterpiece. It seamlessly fuses the intricate worlds of horology and architecture, resulting in a timepiece that is nothing short of extraordinary. The HM11 Architect pushes the boundaries of what a watch can be, leaving an indelible mark on anyone who beholds its magnificence. If you seek a timepiece that defies convention and evokes a sense of wonder, the HM11 Architect stands as the pinnacle of artistic expression and a symbol of true craftsmanship.
To find out more about the new MB&F HM11 Architect and their other watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018.