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MB&F’s HM8 Mark 2 Reinvents Their Automotive Inspired Jumping Hours Wristwatch

MB F HM8 Mark 2

MB&F are no strangers to insane horology. The LM collection, such as the Legacy Machine Perpetual, is at least recognisable as conventional watchmaking even if it pushes it to the extreme. In contrast, the HM (aka Horology Machine) range takes the boundaries of watchmaking and shatters them with exotic complications, unusual displays and jaw-dropping shapes. The latest addition to this range is the MB&F HM8 Mark 2.

Obviously, as this is the Mark 2, it’s worth remembering what the original HM8 watch from 2016 was like. The core features of it were a jumping hours system that uses a prism system to show the time with a vertical display even though the time discs were flat and horizontal. It was designed to be reminiscent of a retro speedometer and have a strong automobile connection. However, while the display worked like a charm, the overall styling of the watch was questionable. In theory it was styled after Can-Am race cars but very little of that inspiration was easily recognisable.

MB F HM8 Mark 2
MB F HM8 Mark 2

That brings us to the HM8 Mark 2, which is essentially MB&F taking a second stab at the concept. Mechanically it’s the same as its predecessor with almost all of the changes being aesthetic in order to give it the cool, car-inspired design that it always deserved. The biggest improvement is the case, which is now based on the Porsche 918 Spyder and Zagato Double Bubble.

It measures 47 x 41.5 x 19mm with a sweeping shape that clearly references the Porsche. And then the sapphire crystal itself has that double bubble shape arching up towards the time display at the side, looking fantastic. In fact, producing a crystal of this shape was an incredibly difficult feat of engineering with a far greater chance of failure compared to a standard domed crystal.

MB F HM8 Mark 2

The case consists of two main parts. At its core is a titanium chassis providing a water resistant, lightweight and durable centre protecting the movement. Over the top of that is the sweeping bodywork made from CarbonMacrolon, a composite material developed for MB&F consisting of a polymer injected with carbon nanotubes.

MB F HM8 Mark 2

It’s an incredibly versatile material that can be finished and coloured in numerous ways while being tough and eight times lighter than steel. MB&F have used this versatility to great effect by using a matte finish on top with polished side and by offering the HM8 Mark 2 in two colourways. The first version has a white case paired with a green-blue rotor that’s visible through the sapphire top while the second has a racing green case and a red gold rotor. That racing green edition is limited to 33 pieces.

MB F HM8 Mark 2

While it uses the same movement as the original HM8, that was seven years ago so it’s still useful to go over it here. It’s actually based on a Girard-Perregaux movement with an in-house MB&F jumping hours and trailing minutes mechanism. The mechanism operates using sapphire prisms to change the angle at which the display is viewed to create the vertical layout. This requires the time discs to be mirrored as the prism flips it back to the correct orientation. The movement has a 42-hour power reserve that’s kept topped up by the ultra-thin, double axe rotor.

MB F HM8 Mark 2 White
MB F HM8 Mark 2 Green

Pricewise, both the racing green limited edition and non-limited white edition are CHF 73,000 (approx. £64,000). In my personal opinion, the HM8 Mark 2 is leaps and bounds better than the original. The updated, sweeping lines of the case alone make it more attractive and the piece just feels cohesive in a way that the original didn’t. There’s an intangible quality that makes it feel like a watch that’s actually inspired by vintage cars as it was always meant to be.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: MB&F HM8 Mark 2
  • Case/dial: 47 x 41.5 x 19 mm titanium case with green or white CarbonMacrolon®
  • Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
  • Movement: Three-dimensional horological engine, composed of a jumping hour and trailing minutes module developed in-house by MB&F, powered by a Girard-Perregaux base movement, automatic, 30 jewels, 247 parts
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 42h
  • Functions: Bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes, displayed by dual reflective sapphire crystal prisms with integrated magnifying lens
  • Strap: White (green model) or green (white model) calfskin
  • Price/availability: CHF 73,000 (approx. £64,000), green edition limited to 33 pieces

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