MB&F Horological Machine N°7 Aquapod
2017 GPHG Sports Category Finalist
The diver's watch reimagined and expressed as an art form, the MB&F Horological Machine N°7 Aquapod is inspired by nature and formed by the pure undistllled escapism of a creative mind.
Of the six preselected finalists in the GPHG 2017 Sport category the HM7 Aquapod by MB&F almost looks out of place in its strange, ethereal and otherworldly beauty, but with the dive watch as the kernel of its concept, we should know not to expect the normal from the coolest gang in Watchtown.
They say inspiration can come from anywhere, and if there's one watch brand for whom that tenet applies more than any other, it's at MB&F, where limitations on creativity are uncapped by convention, and where the very finest watchmakers of our time guest to create works which fascinate like no others.
The Horological Machine N°7 Aquapod is no exception, and in every detail and from every perspective it is outrageous yet irresistible in its jellyfish-inspired appearance, as well as being technically innovative with superb craftsmanship in its workings. To say that it stands out among its GPHG finalist rivals here is an understatement, as this watch would stand out in any company.
Beneath the giant domed crystal, and around the central tourbillon uppermost, the time is displayed by means of a pair of stacked, concentric rotating rings, with minutes above the hours, and referenced off the blue marker at the 6. Low light legibility is excellent thanks to Super LumiNova and Ambient Glow Technology transforming the display like an eerie deep sea creature with its fluorescent markings.
As bizarre and unusual as it looks, the HM7 Aquapod is clearly derived from the modern dive watch, and features a blue ceramic unidirectional bezel, which seems to float around the central nerve centre. As with most, if not all of MB&F's output, it transcends what we think of as a watch. It stops in their tracks people who might otherwise have zero interest in horology, and I genuinely don't know of anyone who would not want to own one, had they the means at their disposal.
All this praise is all fair and good, but will that translate into another victorious night for MB&F, following a 2016 win for the Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar? Is it as good or as practical as a sport watch as the Grand Seiko, the Ulysse Nardin or the Tudor? Well the truth would be no, it's not. The Ferrari/Hublot too is also indelibly stamped with its thoroughbred racing DNA, and so in terms of sport, the HM7 Aquapod is left wanting. But what it is is magnificent, and even if its 'in the field' sporting usability is debatable, there could be enough of it for the HM7 to emerge as the winner.
The Watch Press prediction
No. While I do believe that it is the one watch which is the most universally desirable of the six, the notion of a sport watch to me conjures the image of something that will be hard wearing, durable and practical, and as much as I would be delighted to be wrong here, the trend over the past three years has seen uncomplicated 'tool' watches do well here, with two divers in 2016 and 2015 Eberhard and Tudor), and a chronograph (Zenith El Primero) in 2014.
BUCKLE: Folding clasp
MOVEMENT: Self winding mechanical. Power reserve: 72 h, 18'000 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Tourbillon
SIZE: ø 53.8 mm
THICKNESS: 21.3 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 50 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: Est. c. CHF 98'000