Robb Design Portfolio: Flight Time

Maximilian Büsser & Friends’ Horological Machine No4 Thunderbolt (HM4) is unusual but not unexpected: Outlandish designs are precisely what propelled Büsser’s 5-year-old brand (www.mbandf.com) to prominence in the first place. The company’s 43-year-old Swiss founder, who draws inspiration for his timepieces from childhood memories, based the shape of the HM4 on the twin jet engines of the A-10 Thunderbolt II—a U.S. fighter jet that he once assembled as a model airplane. Engine-shaped cowlings contain the watch’s time display and power-reserve gauge at one end and winding and setting stems at the other. Beveled gears transfer energy to the cowlings from the power barrels and escapement on the watch’s horizontal plane. Assembling the first examples of this intricate timepiece, which is available in an initial limited edition of about 20 (a total of 100 will be made available over three years), has proved to be incredibly difficult—particularly the milling of the curved sapphire glass and unibody titanium lower case. This unique, and perhaps unexpected, challenge may explain why the HM4, which debuted in July for $158,000, will go up in price next year.

The new timepiece has a fluid-based linear timekeeping display…
The new watch has multiple systems to ensure that its movement receives consistent power…
Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation...
The watchmaker puts its skill in guilloche and damaskeening on full display…
The two back-to-back auctions will offer hundreds of unique designs…
The new variation sports a dial crafted from a meteorite...
Photo by Didier Gourdon
The new watch has a tourbillon hidden by an automaton…
The watch’s case is a mere 8.24 mm thick…
Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
Jeweler Cartier innovative work combined Roman, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese elements with...
On assuming his new position, Lambert lost little time in the development of new watches...