It’s as if the wingtip tanks and cockpits of a postwar jet merged with the dashboard of a chrome-laden cruising car from the ’50s and landed on your wrist, where it morphed into a watch.
It’s not hard to trace the design origins of the MB&F HM9 Flow. Swiss creator Max Büsser, a self-proclaimed social outcast as a child, grew up immersed in sci-fi comic books, TV shows and movies, providing a fertile inspiration for fantastical watches. He dubs them “Horological Machines”—mechanical sculptures that also happen to tell time.
Büsser credits the roots of his latest creation to aerodynamic design of the late ’40s and early ’50s, specifically 1954’s Mercedes-Benz W196, 1948’s Buick Streamliner and the snub-nosed De Havilland Venom aircraft that patrolled Swiss airspace in the postwar era. It was a time when aerodynamic appearance might trump verification by wind-tunnel analysis. “Those cars or planes looked fast even when they were not moving,” Büsser says.
Even those with the $182,000 to afford it may have to stand in line to strap that speedy look on the forearm. MB&F is producing but 66 pieces (33 in each of two versions). The Air has a dark movement beneath its domed crystals and the time is read on an aviator-style dial. The Road (pictured) features a rose-gold-plated movement and speedometer-style dial. Furthering the aerospace motif, both are housed in a massive, sculpted titanium case.