The archives of MB&F’s horological machines are full of iconic designs with big personalities, and the HM3 is among the biggest. Called the ‘Frog’ for its two hemispherical ‘eyes’ that display the hours and the minutes, along with a broad grinning ‘mouth’ which provides enough room for the rotor, it’s easy to see the resemblance.
The original HM3 debuted in 2009 when Max Büsser and his friends had been just four years in on their journey. The key ‘friends’ involved in the development of this masterpiece was none other than renowned watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, who had the challenging (but ultimately rewarding) role of turning the creative vision of Büsser and designer Eric Giroud into reality. In 2010, the HM3 took a zoomorphic twist, with the first iteration of the HM3 ‘Frog’.
Ten years on, and numerous interpretations later, the HM3 Frog is as classic as it is cute, and to mark the occasion MB&F have ventured once more into the amphibian world to bring us the limited-edition Frog X. A total of 30 Frog Xs will find their way into the wild, in three colorways (blue, purple and turquoise), each with 10 pieces.
The case of the Frog X is hewn from one of the most challenging materials in MB&F’s folio: sapphire. The entire case, including the high domes which display the paper-thin aluminum time display domes have been made from sapphire. This is a challenging task given not only the materials exceptional hardness, but also the fact that it must be cut and polished to ensure optimum legibility.
The distinctive colors are evidenced not only on the fine alligator strap (except the turquoise, which ships on white leather), but also the weighted tips of the iconic battle-axe shaped rotor and the gaskets
Speaking of battle-axes, there’s one other interesting touch on this watch. The winding crown, which is positioned at 12 (or would be if this was an ordinary watch) appears, at first glance to be devoid of MB&F’s iconic rotor silhouette shape. But, under the right circumstances, the insignia appears.
MB&F has worked with a light-sculpting company called RayForm to micro-form the metal surface of the crown, allowing incidental refractions of light to reveal the hidden signature. Is this science, or is it magic? With MB&F it’s likely both.
With its smart design, dazzling architecture and friendly face it’s easy to see why the HM3 Frog has been such a popular piece from MB&F, and the Frog X is a practical way to celebrate the little guy turning 10.
Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht / Agenhor, powered by a Girard-Perregaux base. Frequency of 4Hz, hours and minutes displayed on aluminum domes.
Sapphire crystal, 59 components, dimensions of 48.3 mm x 52.7 mm x 17.5mm
Hand-stitched alligator strap with titanium custom-designed folding buckle
CHF 138,000 + VAT (USD 152,000 / EUR 128,000 + tax)