Hands-On With The MB&F HM6 Space Pirate

Robert-Jan Broer
January 13, 2015
Hands-On With The MB&F HM6 Space Pirate

It has been a few months since the release of Max Büsser’s Horological Machine No. 6. An introduction that basically went with a Big Bang! Not the Hublot kind of big bang, but with a birth of the universe kind of big bang. The news about the MB&F HM6 ‘Space Pirate’ was about everywhere on the internet on the day of introduction.

At first I’ve to admit that I wasn’t too fond about this timepiece. However, that was mainly because I was under the impression that this organic shaped watch was very large. Unwearable, was what I thought.

I was wrong though. Seeing the MB&F HM6 ‘Space Pirate’ in the flesh, there’s nothing not to like about it actually. The size is great and it is even a watch that you can wear. The Horological Machines are – in my opinion – odd creations that are pieces of horological art and not really suitable for every day wear. The Legacy Machine models are perhaps more traditional shaped and thus easier to wear. However, that’s just me and my conservative thinking of course.

HM6HM6 Space Pirate

Max Büsser loves these space related themes and every piece of the Horological Machine series could be a product from outer space. This HM6 Space Pirate is the space on your wrist, according to the official MB&F website. It was actually the character of a Japanese anime TV series called Capitaine Flam (Captain Future) and his spaceship (‘Comet’) that initially inspired Max Büsser to come up with the HM6 Space Pirate.

With no less than 10 sapphire (of which 9 are domed) on the watch, the biomorphic case, turbines, a tourbillon with a protective shield and two crowns. Ready for space.

HM6The two crowns need some explanation. One crown is – of course – for setting the time but the other crown has a very specific function. This crown on the left is to activate the protective shield for the tourbillon that will block harmful (UV light) rays from oxidising the lubrication oils inside the movement. MB&F advices to use this on a regular basis.

Speaking about the movement of this watch, it goes without saying that it is of course specifically developed for the HM6. Together with David Chandaux of Horlogerie Créative, MB&F designed this self-winding tourbillon movement and needed a whopping 475 components to do so (of which 68 are jewels).

The rotor, as can be seen on the photo, is shaped like battle-axe and is made of platinum. Iridescent green platinum to be precise. The twin turbines are crafted from aluminium and are there to reduce friction. We’ve explained this before when discussing a similar system from Urwerk. The power reserve of the 18,000 bph frequency movement is 72 hours.HM6MB&F used an aeronautic grade (Ti-6Al-4V) titanium case for their HM6 Space Pirate. As said, I first thought the case would be way too large to wear but after trying it on the wrist I have to admit it was rather comfortable. Despite the size in specifications (49.5mm x 52.3mm x 20.4mm), the watch fits nicely on the wrist due to the organic shape. The case of the MB&F HM6 consists of no less than 80 components. As you can see, the watch has a very complex mechanism to make the watch fit nicely on any type or size wrist.

All-in-all, I can’t exactly explain why this timepiece didn’t do much for me on the day internet broke down due to all the massive enthusiasm for the MB&F HM6 Space Pirate. Perhaps I just didn’t get it due to the odd shape and the bulky looking dimensions (in writing). When I was able to see and hold the watch in the flesh just a week after introduction, I was immediately convinced I misjudged the watch at first. The HM6 Space Pirate is modest on the wrist and still one of the most complex timepieces I’ve ever seen.

I had to look at it a couple of times to discover everything there is under the domes of the watch as the design is very distracting (in a good way). It is definitely one of the most impressive and complex timepieces I’ve come across.

It will be very interesting to see how MB&F is going to top this HM6 with a possible upcoming HM7 in the future. If possible at all that is.

HM6 ‘Space Pirate’ is a limited edition of 50 pieces in Ti-6Al-4V titanium. There will only be 100 HM6 movements made in total. Price $230,000.- USD. More information can be found on the official MB&F website.


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Robert-Jan Broer
About the author

Robert-Jan Broer

Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more

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