A few weeks ago, I wrote an in-depth 4-page review of all my watches for a very prestigious publication called ‘International Watch Magazine’. Very generously the editor/owner Gary George Girdvainis included the article in his Winter Edition, which will be distributed in the United States. The editorial features every watch I have created to date including a collaboration with Konstantin Chaykin. It also highlights how difficult it is to create bespoke timepieces, especially if you want to use unusual materials. This challenge becomes even more difficult if you want to use a 3-dimensional movement. Even exclusive brands like MB & F have to overcome obstacles to realise their visions. Certainly, this was the case with the Horological Machine N°9 ‘Sapphire Vision’, which took two years to develop.
In recent times MB & F have produced several versions of the existing models. Personally, I have always gravitated towards Maximilian Büsser’s more Avant-Garde Horological Machines rather than the more classic Legacy Machines. That is why I was excited to receive a press release unveiling an exciting limited edition of the Horological Machine N°9 called ‘Sapphire Vision’. It’s probably one of the most ambitious pieces the brand has created and probably the most expensive at 420‘000 CHF (approximately $474’365).
One of the biggest developments in the watch industry is the use of more experimental materials. Certainly, a favourite with brands is sapphire crystal because of its durability and transparent qualities. At the high end, companies like Richard Mille and Hublot have achieved some of the most effective results. However, I recently reviewed a superb and affordable $5,000 sapphire crystal timepiece by Aventi A-10, which has a strong visual identity. The brand was able to keep the price down by using a Chinese tourbillon rather than a Swiss alternative.
MB & F’s Horological Machine N°9 ‘Sapphire Vision’ is more curvaceous than other examples on the market and illustrates advancements by sapphire manufacturing companies. It’s also one of the largest sapphire timepieces measuring 57mm x 47mm x 23 mm. At the heart of the watch is a phenomenal 3-dimensional manual winding movement, which is visible from all angles. This mechanism comprises 52-jewels, two fully independent balance wheels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. The timepiece also has a power reserve of 45-hours and is water-resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
As a perfect finale the Horological Machine N°9 ‘Sapphire Vision’ is presented on a hand-stitched brown or black alligator strap with red or white gold folding buckle.