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Review of MB&F HM3 Megawind Final Edition Light in Darkness: Live pictures and hands on review

by Peter Chong on February 25, 2015

Max Bussier and his team of merry folks at MB&F have consistently come up with impressive products. The entire Horological Machines series as well as the Legacy Machines series are all absolutely astounding pieces of engineering mixed in with a healthy doze of creative design and story telling. The brand imagery is powerful as well as very clear and distinct. Nobody will ever mistake for a MB&F watch on the wrist for anything else. The Final Edition for the HM3 Megawind is no exception.

 

The MB&F Megawind Final Edition.

The MB&F Megawind Final Edition. The black PVD adds a certain dark character to the watch. Coupled with the blackened rotor, it looks menacing, somewhat. Threatening even. But nonetheless extremely beautiful.

 

The HM3, started life with two variants way back in 2008: the Sidewinder and Starcruiser. The series has sprouted multiple variants (mutants? Like the ReBel, JWLRYMACHINE, Frog, MoonMachine, and Megawind) and have been hugely successful. MB&F literature calls it the most successful HM to date. 2015 is now the time for the series to wind up. And MB&F introduces the HM3 Final Edition: Light in Darkness.

 

Megawind rotor. To create this effect, the movement is turned upside down to expose the rotor on the dial side. The Megawind rotor is a stylized battle-axe shape which has become iconic with MB&F.  The rotor is called mysterious, referring to the fact that the rotor appears to be symmetrically balanced, but yet for it to rotate and harness the gravitational energy to wind the watch, it needed to have an off centered weight. This is achieved by machining the under-side of one of the blades to be razor thin, reducing its mass.

Megawind rotor. To create this effect, the movement is turned upside down to expose the rotor on the dial side. The Megawind rotor is a stylized battle-axe shape which has become iconic with MB&F.
The rotor is called mysterious, referring to the fact that the rotor appears to be symmetrically balanced, but yet for it to rotate and harness the gravitational energy to wind the watch, it needed to have an off centered weight. This is achieved by machining the under-side of one of the blades to be razor thin, reducing its mass.

 

The case is a black PVD treated 18k gold with a blackened 22k gold and titanium rotor. The time indicators, both hours and minutes now have Super-LumiNova coating. This is a first for the HM3, and previously thought impossible to implement as the lume has to be hand painted on the curved, trunkated cones of the HM3. White paint is hand painted into the numeral shapes of an indication cone projected flat. A silicon stamp is pressed on this flat surface to pick up the white paint and the operator carefully applies this stamp to transfer the paint to the 3D cone. The white paint is a template, but also acts as a base for the Super-LumiNova to reflect. The lume is then applied by hand as a second layer over this white base. The Super-LumiNova used is the highest performance type available today: GL C3 Grade A. Not only is it the brightest, but also the purest luminiscent bright green hue.

 

The HM3 Megawind movement. Visible from the case back are the two large ceramic bearings occupying most of the space. These bearings are very large diameter (15mm) to ensure minimal friction. And to ensure that the movement is not overly thick, is mounted flying...that is, it is only supported at the base as shown in the photograph.

The HM3 Megawind movement. Visible from the case back are the two large ceramic bearings occupying most of the space. These bearings are very large diameter (15mm) to ensure minimal friction. And to ensure that the movement is not overly thick, is mounted flying…that is, it is only supported at the base as shown in the photograph.

 

The watch remains largely the same, safe for the spectacular display of black and white just described. The Megawind is still powered by the Jean-Marc Wiederrecht designed movement. The rotor and regulator is placed dial side, so that the rotor can be seen rotating from the front of the watch. The movement uses two rotating domes, machined from solid blocks of aluminium to tell the time.

 

The lume: The trunkated cone of the hour dial is shown here, with the bright green glow of the Super LumiNova.

The lume: The trunkated cone of the hour dial is shown here, with the bright green glow of the Super LumiNova.

 

The case is, as with all MB&F creations extremely complicated, over 50 separate components, and is nicely finished. The anglage on the rotor crystal display flashes with a burst of light as one moves the watch strapped on the wrist. Much of the case is purpose designed for the HM3, including small details like the head of the screws, which are bespoke made with a clover head design.

 

MB&F HM3 Megawind Final Edition

MB&F HM3 Megawind Final Edition. The essence of the Eric Giroud design is evident in the watch as it is worn on the wrist. The brief must have sounded like a nightmare to design, yet the final version, as realized has a certain purity of line and balance symmetry that speaks volumes of the collaborative genius of both Max Busser and Eric Giroud.

 

The HM3 Megawind Final Edition is limited to 25 pieces.

 

Specifications:

HM3 MEGAWIND Final Edition – Technical Specifications

Engine:

Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht / Agenhor; based on a Sowind oscillator and gear train

Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph

Automatic winding rotor in 3 parts: hub and arms in blackened titanium with outer sections in blackened 22k gold, fastened with 4 rivets

Time indications transmitted via ceramic ball bearings

Number of jewels: 36 (all functional)

Number of components: 270

Functions:

Hours in C3 Super-LumiNova on one cone

Minutes in C3 Super-LumiNova on second cone

Case:

Black PVD-treated 18k white gold and titanium

Limited edition of 25 pieces, all numbered “1 in 25”

Screwed-down crown

Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 47mm x 50mm x 17mm

Number of case components: 52

Sapphire crystals:

Sapphire cones and front and back display crystals have anti-reflective treatment on both faces

Strap & Buckle:

Black hand-stitched alligator with 18k gold and titanium custom designed folding buckle.

 

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