Geneva based horological concept laboratory unveils MOONMACHINE 2, the brand’s second collaboration renowned master watch maker Stepan Sarpaneva.
With this timepiece, MB&F introduces the concept of projected moon-phase display as a horological complication. Actually, the moon gives off no light of its own. It only reflects light from the sun. In effect, moonlight is sunlight, projected onto Earth via the moon and the MB&F MoonMachine 2 brings us the world’s first projected moon-phase display. MOONMACHINE 2 is based on a specially configured HM8; the projector moon complication was imagined, designed and created by Stepan Sarpaneva. It is available in three limited editions of 12 pieces each.
MoonMachine 2 comes housed in the case of Horological Machine Nº8, the first MB&F creation to possess two design icons of the Horological Machine collection: the battle-axe rotor, and the heads-up time display first seen in Horological Machine Nº5. The stripped-down case construction of HM8 emphasised the illusory nature of the projected hours and minutes, and MoonMachine 2 uses the same mechanism to highlight the visual impact of a moon disc appearing in a space too small to fully contain it.
The projection is accomplished via an optical prism, which refracts the hours, minutes and moon discs in their flat positions to appear as if they are perpendicular to the engine. The prism is cut to magnify the hours and minutes by 20 percent for greater readability, but not for the moonphase display, which is at risk of distortion if magnified. The case of MoonMachine 2 is 0.5mm thicker than that of HM8, to accommodate the additional moon disc, and has a pusher on the side for quick adjustment of the moonphase display.
The battle-axe rotor of HM8 has been transformed into an open-worked radial web of titanium, echoing the design vocabulary of Stepan Sarpaneva’s best-known work. The sapphire crystal pane framing the top of the MoonMachine 2 engine has been metallised in a similar pattern and draws focus to the variable sheen of the brushed titanium rotor as it rotates.
There are three instances of the immediately recognisable Sarpaneva moon in MoonMachine 2, its piercing eyes and pointed features based on Stepan Sarpaneva’s own face. Two of the Sarpaneva moons are mounted on the moon disc, taking it in turns to cycle under a Korona ring — another Sarpaneva design hallmark — to indicate the phase of the moon. The third is mounted on the winding rotor.
Each moon is made of gold and finished by hand, which is incredibly challenging at their size. The two small moons on the moon disc measure 4.5mm in diameter and 0.35mm in thickness, while the rotor moon is 8.5mm wide and 0.45mm thick. The hand-finishing process is extremely delicate and the failure rate is very high, meaning that each completed moon will be the result of multiple work sequences.
A Korona-framed gold plaque commemorating the collaboration between Stepan Sarpaneva and MB&F is affixed on the sapphire crystal pane, adjacent to the crown.
MoonMachine 2 is available in three limited editions of 12 — one in full titanium with white gold moons and a light-blue sky, one in blackened titanium with white gold moons and a dark-blue sky, and one in red gold and titanium with red gold moons and an anthracite sky.
Three-dimensional engine conceived and developed by MB&F from a Girard-Perregaux base calibre, with moonphase complication by Stepan Sarpaneva
Automatic PVD coated titanium rotor with Sarpaneva gold moon
Power reserve: 42 hours
Balance frequency: 28,800bph / 4Hz
Number of components: 293
Number of jewels: 30
Bi-directional jumping hours, trailing minutes and moon phase displayed by one optical prism that reflects vertically. The hour and minutes segments are magnified by 20%.
The dual moons rotate under a Korona ring and are corrected by a pusher.
Three limited editions of 12 pieces each:
– Natural titanium case, white gold moon faces, light-blue sky;
– Black titanium case, white gold moon faces, dark-blue sky;
– Red gold and titanium case, red gold moon faces, anthracite sky.
Dimensions: 49 mm x 51.5 mm x 19.5 mm
Number of components: 59 components
Water resistance: 30 m / 90′ / 3 atm
All sapphire crystals – front, back, top, bottom – treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces. Top plate with special metallisation.
Strap & buckle
– Titanium version: Light Blue hand-stitched Black alligator strap with titanium folding buckle.
– Black Titanium version: Dark Blue hand-stitched Black alligator strap with titanium folding buckle.
– Red Gold version: Grey hand-stitched Black alligator strap with red gold and titanium folding buckle.