Resembling the design of an intergalactic vessel, MB&F introduces a third version of the Horological Machine N°6 in an all sapphire case, complete with a silvery-skinned captain: the MB&F Horological Machine N°6 Alien Nation.
The first two series of HM6, the Space Pirate and Sapphire Vision, were unmanned vehicles. This year, MB&F decided it was time to put someone in the captain’s seat. MB&F Horological Machine N°6 Alien Nation is the literal expression of this metaphor.
Its alien inhabitants are not passive passengers; they scurry around the HM6 engine, fixing the turbines in the aft, adjusting the gears, hand on throttle, scanning the space ahead. Even when frozen into micro- sculptures of white gold, they are bursting with energy (except for one particularly large fellow, loafing in a corner just out of sight of his captain).
Each of the six aliens is individually modelled and hand-sculpted in white gold by engraver Olivier Kuhn. The arms and necks of the aliens are finer than grains of sand, each alien requiring up to 34 hours to complete. Count more than a month of full-time work for the crew of six.
There will be four unique pieces of MB&F Horological Machine N°6 Alien Nation, differentiated by their accent colours: green, blue, purple and turquoise. Except for some titanium reinforcing elements, which also serve as strap attachment points, the case of Horological Machine N°6 Alien Nation is made entirely of sapphire crystal.
Horological Machine N°6 Alien Nation is formed out of 12 separate blocks of sapphire crystal, which come together to present a seamless whole. The entire process takes up to 510 hours, not including their assembly. During the incredibly difficult machining and polishing process, breakage is unfortunately frequent; in one instance, a crack appeared after more than 300 hours of work, instantly reducing months of work to zero.
Highlighting the extreme transparency and smooth curves of the Horological Machine N°6 Alien Nation case are carefully placed bands of luminous material. At the top of the luminosity scale are the AGT (Ambient Glow Technology) Ultra strips that run along the inner peripheral edge of the case middle.
Even in strong light, the different pieces of HM6 Alien Nation are distinguishable from each other. The water-resistance gaskets, visible at the case joints, are coloured to reflect the colour of the luminous material used within each piece. And at night, Horological Machine N°6 Alien Nation comes to life with an intense glow from out of this world. The result creates a sci-fi effect comparable to that of a UFO shooting across our night sky.
all images and video courtesy of MB&F