The MB&F Horological Machine 7 Aquapod

For so long the standard dive watch was confined to one fairly basic look. Look at the Rolex Submariner, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, the Omega Seamaster, or any countless others and you’ll start to notice a trend. After over 60 years of the same dive watch template you’d think someone would come along and innovate. That title of “innovator” now goes to Max Büsser of his namesake company Maximilian Büsser and Friends. Of all the things that could have been done to the standard dive watch design, Max’s approach definitely didn’t follow any typical set of industry norms. In the case of the HM7 the whole standard diver design was blown up. The rotating bezel would no longer be directly attached to the main display. There would be two crowns on the watch at 3 and 9 o’clock, but inside the exploded bezel. Hands? Unneeded. The hours and minutes would now do the work of hands using rotating discs to display the time with the help of indicators. The whole time-telling section of the watch would be housed in a spherical crystal, the movement would poke out the bottom of the watch, and for good measure it was decided that a dive watch can’t go on without a flying tourbillon, so it was stuck right in the middle of it all. You’d think all of this would turn out terrible, but somehow this actually turned into one of the coolest watches available.

MB&FHM7WMWB7Initially launched in 2017 with two models, a red gold case with a black ceramic bezel limited to 66 pieces and a titanium case with a blue ceramic bezel limited to 33 pieces, MB&F returned in 2018 with a new HM7 released in a titanium case with a green ceramic bezel limited to 50 pieces. Both the black and blue bezel options have blue lume while the new green bezel model features matching green lume. All options also have three panels of lume which light up the central flying tourbillon. The watch is an absolute piece of art even with the lights off as the way in which time is displayed on it allows for all lumed numbers to be visible from a top view which to me appears as a lit up “sea of numbers” as I like to call it, fitting with the aquatic theme of the dive watch. While it does have the look of a dive watch, it doesn’t exactly have the water resistance of one… the HM7 is guaranteed to 50m depth in water, while most other dive watches offer a few hundred meters to start. 100m would have been acceptable, but 50 really leaves the watch in a bit of an in-between zone where the appearance is “high horology diver”, but the reality is “high horology, diver-inspired”. This really is a small qualm though as this watch belongs on land where it can be seen and appreciated rather than 80m down in light-lacking water.

The case is designed to resemble a jellyfish, a theme that MB&F has continued with for their Medusa line of clocks. From the side, combined with the strap pieces, the Aquapod looks exactly like a mechanical jellyfish or flying saucer. Coming in at close to 54mm this watch definitely isn’t small, but it’s one of the few watches that can really be enjoyed in a larger size. Most watches over 44mm tend to be obtrusive and lacking in tact, but this is the exception. There is so much going on on the inside and outside of this watch that it requires the larger size to really be appreciated. That’s another important note: there’s so much going on, but it comes together so beautifully. It never appears overly busy or hectic, it just feels “complete”.

MB&FHM7WMWB3The HM7 Aquapod beats at 2.5 Hz or 18,000 bph, and stores enough power for 72 hours. 35 jewels, 303 total components, and lots of innovative design later we’re left with a striking redesign of the diver’s watch that offers something truly unique and special for watch collectors.

The green version of the Aquapod, limited to 50 pieces, is priced at 108,000 CHF.

The blue version, limited to 33 pieces, was originally priced at 98,000 CHF

The red gold version, limited to 66 pieces, was originally priced at 118,000 CHF.

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