In the late 1940s and 1950s, aerodynamic principles were just beginning to take root in automotive 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 first opened by the HM4 Thunderbolt and HM6 Space Pirate, utilising a geometrically complex combination of milled sapphire crystal and titanium or red 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 manual winding movement, developed fully in-house. 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.more pictures in press section
Reminiscent of a jet engine, the HM9 case is a geometrically complex combination of milled sapphire crystal and grade 5 titanium or red gold. The extreme curves and acute angles required new manufacturing standards and techniques.
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.
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.
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.