A traditional wristwatch has a relatively straightforward role: to tell the time. All that is needed is a hand for the hours, another for the minutes and perhaps a power reserve indicator to keep track of running time. Horological Machine No4 has a hand for the hours, another for the minutes and a power reserve indicator. HM4 tells the time. HM4 is not a traditional wristwatch. The aviation-inspired case and engine of the HM4 are one. Neither would, nor could, exist without the other, yet each is so transcendental as to be able to stand alone as a work of art in its own right.
The HM4 engine is the culmination of three long years of development. Each of the 300-plus components – including the regulator and even the screws – was developed specifically for this anarchistic calibre. Horizontally configured dual mainspring barrels drive two vertical gear trains, transferring power to the twin pods indicating hours/minutes and power reserve. But describing HM4’s engine through its mechanical functionality is like describing Renoir’s work through the chemical composition of his paint. Only careful contemplation enables full appreciation, and the sapphire case section and display panels top and bottom allow full access to the flawless fine finishing of HM4’s intricate and vibrant micro-mechanics.
The sleek aerodynamic form of Horological Machine No4’s envelope has its roots in Maximilian Büsser’s childhood passion for assembling model plane kits, though none looked remotely as futuristic as these. The striking transparent sapphire section of the case requires over 185 hours of machining and polishing to transform an opaque solid block of crystal into a complex, exquisitely curved panel allowing the light to come in and the beauty of the HM4 engine to stand out. Every component and form has a technical purpose; nothing is superfluous and every line and curve is in poetic harmony. Articulated lugs ensure supreme comfort. Highly legible time is a fringe benefit.
The HM4 series:
– HM4 Thunderbolt: launched in 2010, nicknamed after the A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft; case in titanium/sapphire.
– HM4 ‘Razzle Dazzle’ & ‘Double Trouble’: presented in 2011, these 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.
– HM4 RT: launched in 2012, a limited edition of 18 pieces in red gold, titanium and sapphire.
– The HM4 Final Edition closes the HM4 series in 2013 with a limited edition of 8 pieces in blackened titanium and sapphire.
Inspiration and Realization
A long childhood passion for assembling model aircraft had Maximilian Büsser’s walls, cupboards and ceiling covered in small aircraft of every description. Planes were what he saw last thing at night and planes were what he saw first thing each morning. Many boys sketch supercars and fast planes, but few have the drive and determination to make their dreams come true. Büsser created MB&F to do just that. The HM4 Thunderbolt is born of the child’s fantasy and the man’s tenacity. HM4 is the quintessential machine as three-dimensional kinetic art.