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Horological Machine N°9

Flow

Overview

In the late 1940s and 50s, aerodynamic principles were just beginning to take root in product design. Curvilinear forms became more prominent, carrying the immediate promise of power and speed – but designers were guided more by their aesthetic sense than by any scientific precepts.

Inspired by the dynamic profiles of automotive and aviation mid-century design, HM9 Flow treads the path opened by the HM4 Thunderbolt and HM6 Space Pirate, with a geometrically complex combination of sapphire crystal, titanium and gold case elements. But HM9 goes beyond its predecessors, redefining what was thought to be possible in case design.

Reminiscent of a jet engine, the highly complex case encloses an equally complex in-house movement. Twin balance wheels beat independently on each flank of the Machine, while the central body reveals the gearbox of the HM9 engine: a planetary differential that averages the output of both balances to provide one stable reading of the time.

SAPPHIRE VISION EDITIONS

Two years after the initial HM9 ‘Air’ and ‘Road’ editions conquered land and sky, HM9-SV takes us to the depths of the ocean. Before you is an exploratory vessel from Atlantis, featuring a curved and bubbled outer hull of sapphire crystal and precious metal. Fitted together in three parts, the case is sealed with a proprietary combination of patented three-dimensional gasket and high-tech compound bonding process.

Fully revealed through the crystal-clear case, the HM9 engine. The SV editions are distinguished by propellers, co-axial beneath each of the balances: twin turbines that spin freely as an element of pure visual interest, waiting for someone to begin this new underwater exploration.

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the machine

Case

  • Grade 5 titanium: ‘Air’ edition with aviation-style dial and NAC-finish movement / ‘Road’ edition with speedometer dial and red gold-finished movement
  • 18k 5N+ red gold: ‘Air’ edition with aviation-style dial and NAC-finish movement / ‘Road’ edition with speedometer dial and rhodium-plated movement
  • SV editions in sapphire crystal: 18k 5N+ red gold frame with a black or blue movement; and 18k white gold frame with red gold plated or purple movement
  • Dimensions: 57 x 47 x 23 mm
  • Components: 43 (titanium), 49 (red gold), 52 (SV editions)
  • Water resistance: 3ATM (30m); assembled in three segments with patented three-dimensional gasket

Engine

  • Manual-winding in-house movement
  • Two fully independent balance wheels with planetary differential
  • Hours and minutes on vertical dial display
  • SV editions: Dual spherical propellers under the balance wheels
  • Frequency: 2.5Hz / 18,000bph
  • 301 components / 52 jewels / 45h power reserve

Sapphire crystals

  • Five sapphire crystals treated with anti-reflective coating
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Complex ‘aerodynamic’ case

Complex ‘aerodynamic’ case

Reminiscent of a jet engine, the HM9 case is a geometrically complex combination of milled sapphire crystal and grade 5 titanium, red gold or white gold. The extreme curves and acute angles required new manufacturing standards and techniques.

Twin balance wheels

Twin balance wheels

Fully independent twin balance wheels feed two sets of chronometric data to a central planetary differential for an averaged reading. They are individually impulsed and spatially separated to ensure that they beat at their own independent cadences.

Patented 3D-gasket

Patented 3D-gasket

The wide-to-narrow alternating arrangement of the three primary volumes of the HM9 case required dividing the case along two axes and devising an unprecedented 3D-gasket for water resistance; a patented innovation, completely novel in its execution throughout the watchmaking industry.

inspiration

inspiration

Horological Machine N°9 ‘Flow’ is inspired by the dynamic profiles of mid-century design.

In the post-war years of the late 1940s and 1950s, aerodynamic principles were just beginning to take root in the field of automotive design. The boxy, carriage-like shapes of previous decades were melting into something more streamlined. At the same time, curvilinear forms became more prominent, carrying the immediate promise of power and speed. The sophisticated computer modelling and wind-tunnel technology we have today were far-off dreams at that time – designers were guided more by their aesthetic sense than by any scientific precepts.

The result was some of the most beautiful man-made objects ever created, epitomised by automobiles like the Mercedes-Benz W196 and 1948 Buick Streamliner. Other industries followed, notably that of aviation, producing aircraft such as the sleek-bodied, snub-nosed De Havilland Venom that patrolled Swiss airspace for 30 years.