MB&F HM9

Max Busser and his band of merry men (and women) are astutely competent in creating extremely complex mechanical masterpieces that defy even that reality of the most arcane and outrageous. The Horological Machine No. 9, also known befittingly as the Flow, is the latest creation to come out of Max’s atelier of the insane.

The Flow is, in my honest opinion, the best Horological Machine thus far. It embodies what I think Max Busser stands for, and it’s a personification of Max’s unique perspective on modern haute horlogerie. The Flow has a distinctive look to it that, try as some might, will never be replicated. Not, at least, to the extent of which the Flow has such a dramatic and impactful look to it.

There are two versions of the HM9 Flow. The Air version has a dark movement with a cockpit-instrument style dial, while the Road version has a rose-gold plated movement and a speedometer style dial. Both versions will be made in a super limited run of 33 each, and both pieces will cost $182,000.

Dimensionally, and without taking into account its sensual curves and flowing design, the HM9 Flow is striking. It measures 57mm by 47mm by 23mm, and is made of titanium. It may look hefty, but the Flow is lighter than you think. You can see the twin lateral pods, flaring out from the main body of the Flow, each housing a separate balance wheel and escapement. The central body houses the mainspring barrel along with a differential, which acts to average out the rate of the two balance wheels, producing from that average a single time display. 

As complex as the movement is powering the Flow, the most obvious and most prominent part of the watch is, of course, its unique aesthetic. There aren’t many watches that can stupefy and dumbfound seasoned watch collectors like the HM9. And while its dramatic look may lead many to think that this watch is potentially too far outside the box, I like to think of it as a pioneer, in a way creating its very own market niche.

Supply and demand aside, and with all due respect to the conservatives, traditionalists and purists of the horological world, the HM9 Flow is a watch that really is in a league of its own. It defies the very nature of what we consider a watch to be, and as risky as its conception and subsequent execution may have been, I truly believe that MB&F have, yet again, hit the proverbial nail on its head.

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