What could possibly bring together the 152-year-old House of Boucheron, that most venerable of France’s high-jewellery Houses, and MB&F, the young, cutting-edge Swiss creative laboratory whose Horological Machines first invaded our planet only five years ago?
The answer is the JWLRYMACHINE, an astonishing haute-joaillerie version of our Horological Machine N°3 (HM3).
With the HM3 as unsettling as ever, the House of Boucheron is poised to create its own seductive shock waves with the JWLRYMACHINE, an haute-joaillerie version of Horological Machine N°3. In a spectacular flight of fancy, the House’s peerless artisans have conceived the watch as a splendid three-dimensional jewelled owl, presented either in 18k white gold, with amethyst, diamonds and blue and violet sapphires, or in 18k red gold, with pink tourmaline, rose quartz, diamonds and pink sapphires.
The owl’s eyes are large glowing cabochons, set over the twin cones, and its sparkling wings, wrapped protectively around the precious HM3 engine, are entirely pavé-set with brilliant-cut stones. Its feathered breast is sculpted and engraved from a single block of amethyst or rose quartz. The glowing eyes, sparkling wings and softly gleaming breast create a carefully choreographed play of light. But most mesmerising of all: beneath the owl’s breast, its heart appears to be beating. The visual illusion is created by the faintly perceived swings of MB&F’s solid-gold battle-axe-shaped rotor beneath the translucent stone.
This effect typifies the hint of secretiveness that Boucheron’s artisans instil into some of their best-loved jewels; as does the fact that the uninitiated will need to search for the time indications on the sides of the cones among the owl’s sparkling plumage.
True to the original HM3, the JWLRYMACHINE is not for the faint hearted. It is an imposing piece, made all the more so by its sheer beauty. The extreme refinement that radiates from the proportions, the choice of stones and the quality of craftsmanship makes this creation “very Boucheron”.
The catalyst: Horological Machine N°3
The original HM3, in gold and titanium, sent tremors through the fine-watchmaking world when it was launched in 2009. It pushes the technical and aesthetic limits of horological architecture and design further than even the most open-minded observers could have imagined.
The viewer’s mind has to adjust to the fact that its kinetically energetic engine is displayed on the top of the watch, where the battle-axe-shaped rotor – an iconic MB&F symbol – and the oscillating balance are clearly visible. But the eye is also assailed by the twin cones that rise majestically from the three-dimensional sculpted case. It is hard to believe that this dynamic sculpture also tells the time.
And yet this is a highly technical wristwatch and a feat of micro engineering. MB&F’s engineers and watchmakers have to machine, hand finish and assemble the 305 parts of the HM3 engine working to tolerances of a micron – one thousandth of a millimetre. The 22-karat rose gold “mystery” rotor appears to defy the laws of physics, in being visually symmetrical instead of more obviously off-centred. This was achieved by machining the underside of one arm to a razor-thin edge, thus reducing its mass. Two high-tech ceramic ball bearings visible on the back of the case drive the time indications on the top and sides of the twin cones: one cone presenting the hours and day/night indicator, the other the minutes. An oversized date wheel around the rotor, actually larger in diameter than the movement itself, frames the engine.
MB&F’s iconoclastic Horological Machines were never conceived with diamonds in mind. However, Maximilian Büsser had been nurturing the idea of working with the House of Boucheron for years. I was impressed by their immense savoir-faire, he says, and by their creative passion. They are resolutely avant-garde, and each of their jewels is a virtuoso performance. So in a way, although their creations are sensuous and feminine, and ours are not, we speak the same language. And they love to surprise. I knew that they could take one of our Horological Machines and transform it into an incredible feat of three-dimensional «haute joaillerie».
The idea accelerated when Maximilian Büsser made the acquaintance of Jean-Christophe Bédos, CEO of Boucheron. According to Mr Bédos, “MB&F showed an appreciation of the excellence that Boucheron embodies. A collaboration between our two Houses was certain to lead to an exceptionally creative concept, with a sparkling result and even a sense of humorous audacity.”
18K White Gold
18K Red Gold
Your watch is equipped with an automatic movement and a screwed-down crown. If it has stopped, turn the crown anticlockwise to slide the crown out and wind the crown a few turns (clockwise).
« Out » position : turn the crown anticlockwise and slide it fully out.
Turn the crown to correct time.
To adjust the date, gently position the supplied tool in the corrector hole, which is located on the right-hand side of the case.
Warning: to avoid damaging the date gear train, do not adjust the date between 8.00 p.m. and 3.00 a.m.