Full Review of the Spectacular MB&F HM8 Mark 2
Watch & Bullion17 June 2023 | 4 min read
Table of Contents
MB&F and automobiles share an intimate relationship that began in 2012 with the HM5. This bond was further strengthened through subsequent models such as the HMX and HM8. All these models are recognized for their unique speedometer-like display, a hallmark feature paying homage to the ambitious design aesthetics of the 1970s. After a decade, MB&F is ready to unwrap the silk and reveal the HM8 Mark 2, the most advanced model to date.
Back To The Roots
To understand MB&F’s deep ties with automobiles, we must take a trip down memory lane to 1985. MB&F’s founder Maximilian Büsser was a child dreaming about becoming a car designer. His passion for the automobile was so intense that his sketches from ages 4 to 18 were filled with nothing but cars.
Büsser’s dreams came close to reality when he discovered the famous ArtCenter College of Design from Pasadena was opening a campus close to his home. However, the steep tuition fees posed a barrier. His passion for cars led him down an unexpected path – the watchmaking industry. This allowed him to bring his childhood dream to life by combining car designs into timepieces.
A Design Reborn
The inspiration for these models came from a quirky watch by Amida called the Amida Digitrend. Like Amida’s watch, MB&F used a sapphire prism that displayed the hours and minutes vertically, even though they were horizontally oriented on top of the movement.
Furthering this concept, MB&F wanted the numerals to appear digital or electronic. They achieved this by applying Super-LumiNova® underneath a sapphire disc, giving the luminescence a flat appearance.
Each of the MB&F models, starting with the HM5, incorporated elements of car designs. HM8, fondly known as ‘Can-Am’, drew inspiration from cars in the Canadian American Racing Championship. The latest HM8 Mark 2’s body takes cues from the iconic Porsche 918 Spyder. At the same time, the double bubble sapphire crystal resembles that of the Zagato.
Constructed Like a Car
The architecture of these watches also draws from automobile designs. The HM5 and HM8 Mark 2 are designed with an independent water-resistant chassis, onto which the body panels are fitted. The newly introduced HM8 Mark 2 comes in either white or British racing green CarbonMacrolon®.
CarbonMacrolon®, a composite material designed specifically for MB&F, is a polymer matrix infused with carbon nanotubes. This material offers greater tensile strength and stiffness compared to traditional carbon fibre. It’s rugged, colourable, and lightweight, making it versatile and intriguing from a technical and design standpoint.
A Peek Under The Hood
Inside the HM8 Mark 2, the hidden titanium chassis and CarbonMacrolon® body panels pose a manufacturing challenge. Creating the double-curved sapphire crystal used in HM8 Mark 2 was another mammoth task.
The rotor that powers the movement is another complex component, with one of the 22-carat gold blades only two-tenths of a millimetre thick—this required stamping rather than machining.
The HM8 Mark 2 also boasts a novel crown with a “double de-clutch” system. This feature saves space and adds extra security to the system, a significant advantage for a sports watch.
The HM8 Mark 2 takes everything loved in MB&F’s automotive series over the past decade. He presents it in a more technical, legible, and wearable form. It embodies the notion that there is always time to follow your dreams.
The HM8 Mark 2 is available in titanium and green CarbonMacrolon® (limited to 33 pieces) or white CarbonMacrolon®. The timepiece features an automatic winding 22K gold rotor and a power reserve of 42 hours. The case, made from Grade 5 titanium and CarbonMacrolon®, measures 47 x 41.5 x 19 mm and has a water resistance of 30m. Hours and minutes are displayed through dual reflective sapphire crystal prisms with an integrated magnifying lens. The watch comes with a calfskin strap – white for the British green model, green for the white model, and a titanium tang buckle.
All images for this watch have been provided under the copywright of MB&F