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MB&F - Horological Machine N°3 "FROG X"

MB&F Horological Machine N°3 "FROG X"

The ten-year leap.

Now, 10 years after its debut, HM3 Frog makes its comeback, radiantly exposed in a sapphire crystal case, yet still with a hidden message to be discovered. Presenting Horological Machine N°3 “FrogX”.

For the first time, the HM3 engine is showcased in all its glory, used here in its MegaWind iteration that trades the date display for an expanded rotor. Two paper-thin domes, milled out of aluminium to be as light as possible, indicate the hours and minutes, rotating under markers designed to resemble the lateral pupils of a frog’s eyes. Super-LumiNova accents, like the vivid colours that nature endows upon its feistiest creatures, reveal themselves in fluorescing segments under the rotor and on the time-display domes.

Horological Machine N°3 « FROG X »

FrogX © MB&F

If the first HM3 Frog was an animal of land and lake, FrogX brings us into the arboreal realms of the transparent-skinned glass frogs of Central American cloud forests. The transparent case of FrogX is entirely of sapphire crystal, one of the hardest known minerals, and must be milled with diamond-tipped tools or special high-tech carbide bits. Despite MB&F’s experience with the most advanced sapphire-crystal producers (as demonstrated in earlier MB&F creations such as the HM4 Thunderbolt and HM6 Alien Nation), machining the case of HM3 FrogX still provides a considerable challenge. The separate sapphire domes not only need to be uniform in size, they must also be exactly uniform and consistent in thickness and curve so as not to create any final optical distortions in the reading of the time.

Horological Machine N°3 « FROG X »

FrogX © MB&F

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.

To create the secret battle-axe signal, MB&F worked with light-sculpting techniques pioneered by Rayform, a Swiss company whose technology has various applications, from design to anti-counterfeiting measures.

Horological Machine N°3 « FROG X »

FrogX © MB&F

By micro-forming a metal surface at levels nearly imperceptible to the human eye, Rayform technology is able to direct incident light beams to be reflected in customised ways, creating a light-encoded message or design that can be viewed on any relatively uniform surface.

Among the global Tribe of MB&F, certain elements constitute an insiders’ understanding of a shared passion, the battle-axe insignia being the first and foremost identifier of this exclusive community. With the secret message hidden via Rayform technology in the crown of HM3 FrogX, the code goes further undercover… even in a creation that exposes its innermost workings to the world.

Horological Machine N°3 « FROG X »

FrogX © MB&F

Corundum, commonly known in its gem-quality form as sapphire, is one of the hardest minerals known to man. It is surpassed in hardness only by a few other materials, notably diamond (crystalline carbon), which rates a 10 on Moh’s scale of hardness, while corundum is rated at 9. This exceptional hardness means that sapphire watch crystals are virtually scratch-proof, providing unparalleled legibility and material integrity over the long term, not to mention imparting a level of prestige that is not associated with regular silicate glass or transparent polycarbonate — the two most common alternatives to sapphire watch crystals.

Horological Machine N°3 « FROG X »

FrogX © MB&F

Concurrently, this also means that sapphire is extremely challenging to machine in complex three-dimensional shapes, a challenge that is compounded by the small machining tolerances required in watchmaking. Since its very first creations, MB&F has worked with ever-increasingly complicated sapphire crystal components; the HM2 “Sapphire Vision” editions, the double-arched crystals of the HM4 Thunderbolt and the hallucinatory body of the HM6 Alien Nation being prime examples.

Machining and polishing each case of HM3 FrogX requires weeks of intensive and meticulous work, a number that would be multiplied greatly if not for MB&F’s 15 years of experience in boundary-pushing sapphire crystal design since 2005.

Horological Machine N°3 « FROG X »

FrogX © MB&F

Horological Machine N°3 was first presented in 2009, and in its six years of production became MB&F’s most popular model. Before FrogX, the case and movement architecture gave rise to 19 previous variations: HM3 Starcruiser in red and white gold, HM3 Sidewinder in red and white gold, HM3 ReBel, JWLRYMACHINE in purple and pink versions, HM3 Frog Ti, HM3 Chocolate Frog, HM3 Black Frog (green rotor), HM3 Frog Zr (purple rotor), HM3 Fire Frog, HM3 Poison Dart Frog, MoonMachine in titanium, black and red gold variations, MegaWind in red and white gold and the 2015 MegaWInd Final Edition. Apart from its straightforward success as an MB&F creation, HM3 (and particularly HM3 Frog) is also the emotional touchstone of the MB&F Tribe, the global community of owners and aficionados that constitute an essential part of the universe of Maximilian Büsser & Friends. Now, with HM3 FrogX and its hidden battle-axe call sign, members of the MB&F Tribe have in common not only an open passion, but a secret code.

The watches are available at the M.A.D Gallery.

 

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