Swiss watch manufacturer MB&F partnered with the independent Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva to create the MB&F MoonMachine 2 that incorporates the world’s first projected moonphase display. The new timepiece is housed in the stripped-down case construction of Horological Machine Nº8. The case of MoonMachine 2 is 0.5mm thicker than that of HM8, to accommodate the additional moon disc, and has a pusher on the side for quick adjustment of the moonphase display.
The battle-axe rotor of HM8 has been transformed into an openworked radial web of titanium, echoing the design vocabulary of Stepan Sarpaneva’s best-known work. The sapphire crystal pane framing the top of the MoonMachine 2 engine has been metallised in a similar pattern and draws focus to the variable sheen of the brushed titanium rotor as it rotates.
There are three instances of the recognisable Sarpaneva moon in MoonMachine 2, its eyes and pointed features based on Stepan Sarpaneva’s own face. Two moons are mounted on the moon disc, taking it in turns to cycle under a Korona ring — another Sarpaneva design hallmark — to indicate the phase of the moon. The third is mounted on the winding rotor. Each moon is made of gold and finished by hand, which is incredibly challenging at their size. The two small moons on the moon disc measure 4.5mm in diameter and 0.35mm in thickness, while the rotor moon is 8.5mm wide and 0.45mm thick. The hand-finishing process is extremely delicate and the failure rate is very high, meaning that each completed moon will be the result of multiple work sequences.
MoonMachine 2 is available in three limited editions of 12: in full titanium with white gold moons and a light-blue sky; in blackened titanium with white gold moons and a dark-blue sky; in red gold and titanium with red gold moons and an anthracite sky.
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