The MB&F HM4 ‘Double Trouble’ is a symphony of mechanical artwork, or as one might say “Haute Horlogerie” at its finest. The HM4 ‘Razzle Dazzle’ & ‘Double Trouble’: presented in 2011 are limited editions of 8 pieces. Each take the aviation theme even further with real rivets in their titanium fuselages and hand painted nose art, inspired by the rebellious paintings on WWII aircraft.
The Movement: HM4’s engine was entirely designed and developed by MB&F over three years of intensive work with Laurent Besse and Beranger Reynard. Two mainspring barrels connected in parallel provide 72 hours of energy, and they transfer their power to the dual jet-turbine-like indication pods (one displaying the hours and minutes, the other the power reserve) via vertical gear trains.
Visible through a shaped, sapphire display panel on the top of the case, a distinctive streamlined cock supports the balance, its centre cut away to reveal as much of the oscillating wheel as possible and validating the “kinetic” in MB&F’s “kinetic art”.
The Case: The ‘Double Trouble’, grade 5 titanium and sapphire with hand painted nose art, is undeniably inspired by aviation! Visually, the case is composed of three parts: two streamlined jet-turbine-styled pods supported by a horizontal section housing the engine, clearly visible through transparent sapphire display panels and the central section of the case itself. The case also includes articulated front lugs; making the HM4 fit and feel perfect on you wrist. MB&F have used methods borrowed from aeronautic engineering that are visible in the externally mounted screws, which offer both rigidity and watch resistance to hold the case’s three sections solidly and elegantly together.
The Dial: The majority of timepieces are designed to tell the time. However, for a timepiece that is not designed specifically for this purpose, the MB&F HM4 ‘Double Trouble’ excels in this department. On the left pod, the power reserve is clearly indicated by a skeletonised hand, echoing MB&F’s battle-axe motif. On the right, hours and minutes are displayed by bold, arrow-tipped Super-LumiNova filled hands. Each of the two aviation instrument-styled dials are directly controlled by their own crowns, one to wind and re-fuel the tanks, the other to set the time, which provides direct and instantaneous feedback of the action performed.
Strap & Buckle: The Double Trouble: authentic vintage leather strap crafted from Swiss military bags with contrasting white hand stitching. Titanium/white gold custom designed deployant buckle. On the wrist it feels luxuriously soft and supple with a well-worn feeling to it.
Conclusion: The Daily Mail last week posted an article about MB&F with a title of “Would You Really Want to Have One on Your Wrist?”. My answer to this would be it depends on the price; which is £161,000 RRP. Many will argue it’s very ostentatious and not worth the money but this is what haute horlogerie is. It is the reluctance to conform to the norm and the complete expression of ones imagination. Which is something that Maximilian Büsser and his Friend’s have executed well in this (time) piece of artwork, depending how you look at it. The price drops it into an area where there are some serious masterpieces, all of which I personally think will have a great deal more residual value, in my honest opinion. It will be interesting to see in a few years if I’m correct but if you have money to burn it’s a great watch and certainly different.
For more information on this piece of haute horlogerie visit the official MB&F website.