When it was launched in 2010, the Horological Machine N. 3 (or more simply HM3) by MB&F created quite a lot of buzz among watch enthusiasts for its disruptive design.
With its two rotating “eyes” to give the hours and minutes and the large “mouth” to revealing the oscillating MB&F battle-axe rotor, the watch was nicknamed "Frog".
Ten years later, the Swiss brand celebrates the 10th anniversary of one of its most iconic models with the new Horological Machine N. 3 Frog X.
Measuring 48.3 mm x 52.7 mm x 17.5mm, the transparent case of Frog X is entirely made of sapphire crystal, one of the hardest known minerals, and must be milled with diamond-tipped tools or special high-tech carbide bits, a real manufacturing challenge. In fact, the separate sapphire domes not only need to be uniform in size, they must also be perfectly consistent in thickness and curve to avoid any possible optical distortions in the reading of the time.
Two rotating domes, milled out of aluminium to be as light as possible, indicate the hours and minutes.
Super-LumiNova segments are used under the battle-axe and on the hour and minute domes to enhance readability in poor light conditions while providing a fascinating spectacle.
The HM3 FrogX 10th anniversary limited editions are available in three versions of 10 pieces each with blue, purple or turquoise rotors and matching colours of Super-LumiNova and case gaskets.
The HM3 Frog X incorporates the HM3 engine in its MegaWind Final Edition version that trades the date display for an expanded rotor.
Comprising more than 300 fine-finished, high-precision components, this self-winding movement was built by award-winning master watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and is based on a Girard-Perregaux calibre beating at the frequency of 4Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour).
In order to provide a view of the enlarged 22k gold and titanium winding rotor and the oscillations of the balance wheel, the movement has been literally turned upside down. The two 22K gold blades of the MB&F battle-axe rotor make what is called a “mystery” rotor because, in appearing to be symmetrically balanced instead of having a visibly off-centred mass, they seem to defy the laws of physics. This is achieved by machining the underside of one of the gold blades to a razor-thin edge, so reducing its mass.
Water resistant to 30 metres / 90 feet, the watch is matched to hand-stitched alligator straps with a titanium custom designed folding buckle.
The MB&F Horological Machine N. 3 Frog X has a retail price of CHF 138,000 + VAT (EUR 128,000 + VAT / USD 152,000). mbandf.com