Boucheron’s peerless artisans have conceived the HM3 as a splendid three-dimensional jewelled owl, presented either in 18k white gold, with amethyst, diamonds and blue and violet sapphires, or in 18k red gold, with pink tourmaline, rose quartz, diamonds and pink sapphires.
The owl’s eyes are large glowing cabochons, set over the twin cones, and its sparkling wings, wrapped protectively around the precious HM3 engine, are entirely pavé-set with brilliant-cut stones. Its feathered breast is sculpted and engraved from a single block of amethyst or rose quartz. Most mesmerising of all: beneath the owl’s breast, its heart appears to be beating. The visual illusion is created by the faintly perceived swings of MB&F’s solid-gold battle-axe-shaped rotor beneath the translucent stone.
The original MB&F Horological Machine No3 (HM3), in gold and titanium, sent tremors through the fine-watchmaking world when it was launched in 2009. Its kinetically energetic engine is displayed on the top of the watch, where the swinging battle-axe-shaped rotor – an iconic MB&F symbol – and the fast-oscillating balance are clearly visible. The time indications parade around twin cones rising majestically from the three-dimensional sculpted case, driven by two oversized ceramic ball bearings. This combination of futuristic performance art and highly technical wristwatch is a feat of micro engineering. MB&F’s engineers and watchmakers machine, hand-finish and assemble the 305 parts of the HM3 engine to tolerances of a micron.