In 2020, Geneva-based MB&F initially debuted the tenth anniversary HM3 FrogX (Frog X) watch on aBlogtoWatch right here. It recalled the launch of the unique MB&F HM3 Frog again in 2010 (which was an excellent yr for MB&F watches) with a brand new limited-edition set of simply 30 watches (10 items every throughout three totally different colorways) that redid the HM3 Frog watch with a largely sapphire crystal case. I lately acquired an opportunity to go hands-on with one in all these unique treats within the type of the purple-accented MB&F HM3 Frog X watch.
The Horological Machine No. 3 was the third main watch launch from MB&F that initially got here out in 2008. In 2010, I did a evaluation of the MB&F HM3 watch right here. The HM3 got here in a number of kinds and was one of many first collection of watches that MB&F produced in any actual quantity. Max Busser on the time additionally identified that collectors felt the HM3 was the primary watch the place MB&F actually begin to hit a stride and join with very high-end luxurious watch fanatics who wished one thing historically produced however extremely avant-garde in type.
When HM3 Frog was launched in 2010, two years after the unique debut of the HM3, the brand new type of time indicating domes was right here to remain. The extra cone-shaped turning hour and minute indicator drums used within the authentic HM3 Sidewinder and Starcruiser have been changed by rounded domes in black with white markers. Arrows printed on the sapphire crystal domes over the indications have been how the person would know the place to learn the time. Given the resemblance of the domes to amphibian eyes, this new era of HM3 watch was referred to as the HM3 Frog, and it stays to today one of the vital profitable MB&F watches ever. The corporate ceased manufacturing on the HM3 some years again to give attention to different fashions, however in 2020, the 30-piece limited-edition set sought out to do one thing I feel MB&F actually wished to do a decade in the past, which was create an HM3 Frog case out of sapphire crystal. You may recall the 2011 MB&F HM2 Sapphire Imaginative and prescient right here, which gives a flat-top piece minimize out of sapphire crystal because the final items of the Horological Machine No. 2. Later, in 2016, MB&F launched the Horological Machine No. 6 Sapphire Imaginative and prescient watch (aBlogtoWatch hands-on right here) that lastly began to supply bigger items of sapphire crystal case materials rendered in difficult, curved shapes. Now, the “sapphire imaginative and prescient therapy” (with out that title) has been given to the HM3 Frog for that very restricted FrogX. How does the MB&F HM3 Frog measure up, now 12 years after its preliminary debut?
Let’s first focus on the technical specs of this watch. Except for the brand new largely sapphire crystal case development and hip colours, the MB&F HM3 FrogX could be very very similar to the unique. The automated motion relies on a Girard-Perregaux working practice and operates at 4Hz with about two days of energy reserve. Constructed across the base Girard-Perregaux motion is a system developed for MB&F by additionally Geneva-based Agenhor, which makes use of the 2 spinning aluminum domes to indicator the hours and minutes individually. Earlier variations of the motion indicated the date as effectively, however right here with the Frog, we merely have a big view of the “battleax-style” computerized rotor in 22k-gold (right here toned purple) close to the turning “eye” domes on the highest aspect of the watch.
The watch itself is reasonably snug on the wrist regardless of its unusual form and dimensions. The case is 47mm-wide, 50mm lug-to-lug, and 18mm-thick. Along with the largely sapphire crystal case, the watch makes use of what I imagine are titanium screws, together with colourful gaskets (right here in an identical purple colour), that are vital for water resistance but in addition supply an aesthetic ingredient to the general composition. To finish the purple theme, the watch comes on a really enticing purple-colored customized alligator strap. The late musician Prince (um… the late musician previously generally known as Prince) most likely would have been very eager to match this watch with some purple velour.
Different variations of the MB&F HM3 Frog X embody a mannequin in blue with an identical blue strap, in addition to a mannequin with a white strap and turquoise-color computerized rotor accents and case gasket. There may be one remaining “secret” element that these watches have within the type of a particular engraving on the crown. This idea has been largely used on jewellery, however MB&F discovered a approach of placing it right into a watch within the type of a small engraving on the crown. Most different MB&F crowns have the model’s battleax emblem in reduction. Right here, nonetheless, there’s a “secret” (which means it’s arduous to see with the bare eye) engraving of the battleax emblem that solely seems when mirrored off the crown after it’s hit with direct gentle. In essence, if the sunshine is bounced on the floor of the crown the place the key engraving is, the form of the brand displays in your wrist or no matter different floor is round with the picture. The idea is enjoyable, easy, and requires a visible demonstration for most individuals to know. Even MB&F doesn’t have an official picture of this impact and I didn’t have the time to arrange a images shot that permits you to see it. Simply belief me that the “secret emblem reflection Easter egg” is a part of the HM3 FrogX idea.
Costs have modified reasonably remarkably within the final decade or so. Though the unique MB&F HM3 Frog was an costly watch at round $80,000 USD, the 2020 MB&F FrogX prices almost double that. Certainly, the sapphire crystal case and inflation account for a giant a part of that, however it’s also fascinating from an analytical perspective to trace how the costs of even related luxurious watches change over time. It nonetheless gives an unimaginable (and enjoyable) sporting expertise, with not a lot else on the market prefer it available on the market. Value for every of the 30 limited-edition (throughout three colours) MB&F HM3 FrogX (Frog X) watches is $152,000 USD. Study extra on the MB&F watches web site right here.