Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Courtesy Red Dot
The MB&F HM6 Space Pirate has won over the 38-member jury of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015. From 4,928 participants, MB&F’s HM6 Space Pirate has stood out and been awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best for top quality and innovative design.
In 2015, only 1.6 % of all entries in the competition have won this sought-after award. This means that the horological machine N°6 (HM6) ‘Space Pirate’ by MB&F is one of the forerunners in international design.
In each of the four corners of HM6's biomorphic case is a 360° sphere, capped top and bottom by transparent sapphire crystal domes. Up forward, two semi-spherical indications rotate vertically (90° to the Engine), respectively displaying hours and minutes in large, highly legible numerals. Back aft, driven through multiplying gearing by the automatic winding rotor, twin spherical turbines spin horizontally, automatically regulating the winding system in case of excessive speed to reduce stress and wear.
The central dome houses a 60-second flying tourbillon, the precision regulator of HM6's Engine. The flying tourbillon is functional − the fact that it looks sensational is a bonus. There is no room at the top of the domed crystal for an upper support bridge and a flying tourbillon requires no upper bridge. A case of function following form. But, a transparent dome on a spacecraft – even a spacecraft of the wrist – offers the control cockpit little protection from the sun's destructive thermonuclear radiation. So Space Pirate has a retractable, semi-spherical, titanium protective shield. When closed, the cover blocks harmful rays (especially UV light) from prematurely oxidising the Engine's lubrication oils.
A crown at 9 o'clock opens and closes the cover in – and like – the blink of an eye. While the transparent cupola on top of HM6 Space Pirate offers a tantalising glimpse into the sophisticated Engine below, the sapphire crystal display portal on the back reveals more of the 475 finely finished components making up the highly complex movement, which required over three years of development.
Also visible through the display back is part of the winding mechanism and the high-grade platinum 950 winding battle-axe rotor. Horological Machine N°6 ‘Space Pirate’ is a limited edition of 50 pieces in Ti-6Al-4V titanium. There will only be 100 HM6 movements made in total. While it’s gentle curves and bulging "eyes" may give it the appearance of a friendly extra-terrestrial life form, the strength of its exoskeleton is formidable thanks to the aeronautic grade Ti-6Al-4V titanium case, a metal stable at over 400°C. A titanium brace runs longitudely around the central circumference of the hull, reinforcing the structure and supporting the lugs. With its lightweight titanium case and spherical corners, HM6 comfortably hugs wrists of all sizes.
The Red Dot: Best of the Best is awarded for innovative design and is the highest individual award in the Red Dot Award: Product Design. Only the outstanding products in a category receive this award. In 2015, only 81 products from 31 categories were given the sought-after seal of quality. The internationally respected product competition will culminate in the Red Dot Gala in Essen on 29 June 2015.