A unique timepiece inspired by impractical automobile designs of yore is a lot more wearable than it looks.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

A unique timepiece inspired by impractical automobile designs of yore is a lot more wearable than it looks.


Manually wound movement with 45-hour power reserve


57mm by 47mm in titanium




MB&F’s HM9 Flow is the brand’s latest Horological Machine, and it harks back to the late 1940s and the 1950s, when aerodynamics from airplane designs were beginning to influence car designs. This “transition” period was marked by curvilinear forms driven more by aesthetics than by science. HM9 pays tribute to this with its case design. The HM9 serves as a “driving watch”, with a dial that’s perpendicular to the movement, so the wearer can keep his or her hand on the steering wheel while reading the time effortlessly. Two editions are available: Road, which features a speedometer-style dial; and Air, which has an aviation-type dial.


The HM9 could almost be mistaken for a model of a concept car, given its design – MB&F has succeeded admirably in reimagining the sports cars of the 1940s as a timepiece for the wrist. With this case design, it’s easy to miss all the details that make the watch what it is. The twin balance wheels are visible through symmetrical sapphire crystals flanking the crown, for instance, while the planetary differential that averages them out can be observed through a third crystal between them. The brushed and polished surfaces also enhance the general aesthetics, with the impeccably finished movement inside rounding things up to create a complete package.


The surprising thing about this timepiece is how wearable it is. Despite its sizeable dimensions and rounded multi-part form, the HM9 is actually pretty darn comfortable on the wrist, thanks to the lugs positioned beneath the case. The use of titanium for the case helps, too, by minimising its weight. Despite the out-of-this-world aesthetics of his brand’s timepieces, CEO Maximilian Busser makes sure they are suited for the real world in other ways: Wearability is a priority – all MB&F timepieces have to fit Busser’s own, relatively slim, wrist first. Comfort aside, explaining why you have a model car on your wrist will be another matter.