The Return of the MoonMachine - MB&F Partners with Stepan Sarpaneva on a New Limited Edition 'Performance Art' Timepiece | SENATUS

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The Return of the MoonMachine - MB&F Partners with Stepan Sarpaneva on a New Limited Edition 'Performance Art' Timepiece

14 May 2018

Text by Kien Lee | Photos by GreenPlasticSoldier

For those who are watch connoisseurs and keenly following the development of the horological masterpieces produced by MB&F, you'll recall a collaboration between the indie brand and watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva on the first MoonMachine - based off the framework of the HM3 - back in 2012.

In 2018, the two have come together once again to re-master (to put it loosely, artistically) the HM8, into the new limited edition MoonMachine 2 - The world's first projected moonphase display.

The HM8 was the first MB&F creation to combine two unique design features across the Horological Machine offerings of the company: the battle-axe rotor, and the heads-up time display first seen in HM5. Never before were these two icons that have identified an MB&F creation appeared together in a timepiece before. What appealed about the HM8 was its stripped-down case construction, akin to the legendary "Can-Am" racing car for which it is nicknamed.

MoonMachine 2 uses the same lateral display mechanism, accomplished via an optical prism, which refracts the hours and minutes, and now additionally, moon discs in their flat positions to appear as if they are perpendicular to the body of the timepiece. The prism is cut to magnify the hours and minutes by 20 percent for greater readability, except for the moonphase display, which could risk distortion in the case of magnification.

Compared to the HM8, the MoonMachine 2 is 0.5mm thicker, to accommodate the additional moon disc, and includes a pusher on the side for quick adjustment of the moonphase display.

Another design modification includes the battle-axe rotor transformed into an open-worked radial web of titanium, inspired from Stepan Sarpaneva's renowned body of work. The sapphire crystal pane atop the "engine" has also been complemented with a similar radial pattern, drawing focus to sheen at different angles, emanating from the moving brushed-titanium rotor underneath. Atop, a Korona-framed gold plaque indicates this collaboration.

Sarpaneva's iconic moon with its piercing eyes and pointed features based on the watchmaker's own face, makes three appearances on the MoonMachine 2. Two of these moons of4.5mm in diameter and 0.35mm in thickness, are mounted on the moon disc, taking turns in a cycle under a Korona ring — another Sarpaneva design hallmark — to indicate the phase of the moon. The third measuring 8.5mm wide and 0.45mm thick seen on the winding rotor.

MoonMachine2 is available in three limited editions – a full titanium case with a white gold moon against a light-blue sky, a black titanium case with a white gold moon against a dark-blue sky as well as a red gold and titanium case with a red gold moon against an anthracite sky. Each is limited to 12 pieces.

This is certainly not the first collaboration MB&F has embarked on... In fact, its partnerships are at the core of MB&F's founding philosophy and to its credit, the basis for its success: Founder Maximilian Büsser, tapping on "friends" (the "F" in MB&F) - creators from within watchmaking and without - to create these fantastic timepieces and works of art.

As Max explains it aptly. "We would never have done MoonMachine 2 on our own, and Stepan would never have done it on his own. But that's what I love about Performance Art pieces — the chance to expand the MB&F universe in unexpected ways."

And that is exactly why nobody else does what MB&F does, and why its creations are so special.

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