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Horological jellyfish

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MB&F's "Aquapod" or HM7

MB&F's "Aquapod" in a titanium case with a green sapphire crystal bezel is the latest version of the independent brand's Horological Machine No 7, which first appeared in 2017 in a red gold case with black ceramic bezel and a titanium case with blue ceramic bezel.

Since MB&F was launched in 2005, it has rolled out time machines inspired by spaceships, airplanes and cars. With the Aquapod, or HM7 (Picture above), the independent watch brand has finally produced a timepiece modelled on something from the sea. While the HM7 is not exactly a diving watch, it's a flying tourbillon inspired by an organic jellyfish and is comfortably at home in the water - the watch is water-resistant to 150 feet deep.

Like all serious aquatic timepieces, the Aquapod has a unidirectional rotating bezel. But it's more interesting in the HM7. Its bezel is not attached to the case, but floats freely above the dial, like a life buoy. To attain the ideal tint for the bezel, a sapphire crystal is inserted inside of it. The numbers and indices are metalised under the sapphire crystal, along with a layer of green lacquer.

The three-dimensional architecture of the movement, made of 303 components and which holds 72 hours of power reserve, is similar to the "onion" pocket watches popular in the 18th century.

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Unlike the flat, horizontal versions common in timepieces today, the HM7's in-house movement is built vertically upwards, with the winding rotor, mainspring barrel, hour and minutes indicator and flying tourbillon all mounted around a central axis and rotating concentrically around it.

The HM7 generates power from its tentacle-like 3-D rotor at the bottom. The power travels to the tourbillon regulator at the top through a series of gears, which allow the power to transition from level to level in the manner of climbing stairs.

The tourbillon regulator regulates the power generated by the rotor and transforms it into the display of time. Time is shown on two rotating discs via a green pointer printed on the underside of the sapphire crystal.

The 53.8mm case is a "three-dimensional sandwich, with two hemispheres of high-domed sapphire crystal on either side of the case band". The crown on the left is to wind the movement, the one on the right is to set the time.

Like many jellyfish, the Aquapod glows in the dark. It glows not just on the hour and minute numerals but also around the inside of the movement and along the tentacle-like rotor, so that the time machine can be appreciated in the dark.

Limited to 50 pieces, the HM7 Aquapod in titanium and green bezel is priced at US$108,000.