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MB&F’s Transparent New 3-D Watch Glows in the Dark and Projects a Hidden Message

The HM3 FrogX is the essence of experimental watchmaking.

MB&F Frog X Collection Courtesy of MB&F

The Geneva-based watch brand MB&F is often described as “avant-garde.” And not for nothing. Its experimental timepieces are unusual, to say the least.

Consider the HM3 Frog, which debuted in 2010. Inspired by the brand’s first—and reportedly best-loved—mascot, the three-dimensional wristwatch featured two rotating globular “eyes,” to display the hours and minutes; a wide “mouth” revealing the brand’s signature battle-axe rotor; and a “skin” of titanium, red gold or zirconium.

Now, the brand is out with a 10th-anniversary edition, the HM3 FrogX, that’s even wackier than the original. For one thing, the case, made of sapphire crystal, is entirely transparent. The hours and minutes are displayed via two thin domes milled out of aluminum that rotate beneath markers designed to evoke amphibian pupils. And the whole display glows in the dark thanks to its dramatic Super-LumiNova accents.

MB&F Frog X Purple

MB&F Frog X Purple SuperLuminova Accents  Laurent Xavier Moulin

The HM3 FrogX movement was conceived by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht of Agenhor, the Geneva-based movement maker, and built on a Girard-Perregaux base. For the winding crown, MB&F teamed with another Swiss firm, Rayform, which has developed a technology that creates light-shaping surfaces able to redirect light rays into specific images. At the right angle, the crown projects a hidden message: an image of the battle-axe rotor.

MB&F Frog X Blue

MB&F Frog X Blue  Laurent Xavier Moulin

“There is something incredibly weird and at the same time enticing to rework a product that was created 10 years back,” MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser wrote on Instagram. “Ten years of getting out of my comfort zone, of fun, of craziness separate the original from this anniversary piece. Growing up without really growing up and moving the creative goalposts way further. So what has changed? A full sapphire case, a ‘mega’ three-part rotor, a lot of lume and the light reflection secret signature created by the young Rayform team.”

MB&F Frog X Blue

MB&F Frog X Blue  Courtesy of MB&F

The HM3 FrogX is available in three limited editions of 10 pieces each, with matching rotor, gasket and Super-LumiNova in purple, blue or turquoise. It retails for $152,000.

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