For the 2011 Only Watch charity auction, under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, MB&F created an emotionally charged piece in collaboration with Chinese artist, Huang Hankang.
Based on the radical Horological Machine No.4, the HM4 Only Watch features a miniature flying panda bear piloting the machine: a magical synthesis of the fantasy of children’s dreams and cutting-edge haute horlogerie.more pictures in press section
Only Watch is a biennial charity auction of unique timepieces under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. All proceeds go to medical research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
The panda was hand-carved and then cast in 18k white gold using the “lost wax” technique. His reins have been micro-engineered to be completely detachable.
The HM4 Only Watch was accompanied by the original watercolour that artist Huang Hankang painted to express his message with MB&F's HM4.
Born in 1977 in Suzhou, China, Huang Hankang began painting when he was just seven years old. After earning an art degree, he moved to Paris to further his artistic education, learn more about the world outside of China and experience a different culture. His talent was internationally recognised in 2007 with an exhibition in New York and subsequent exhibitions in Europe.
Huang usually paints with watercolours, utilising their nuanced delicacy and light colours to code powerful yet often sublime messages. Huang’s paintings ask the viewer intriguing questions rather than make cut-and-dry statements. These paintings often feature juxtapositions of animals in unusual situations or positions—a panda bear flying a horological spaceship is certainly a consistent expression of his philosophy.
This MB&F piece for Only Watch transports us to a fantasy dream world with a friendly panda piloting a unique space-age HM4 jet.
While we dream throughout our lives, there is one specific dream that children experience more frequently than adults: the ability to fly! It isn’t known why dreams of flight diminish from adolescence; however, it may be that adult imaginations become more constrained as they are rooted in the realities of everyday life. Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy suffer from progressively diminished mobility leading to paralysis; however, while their bodies may be trapped, their young spirits can escape in their dreams and imaginations. HM4 Only Watch offers children a flight of fantasy, a reason to smile, and a wild ride through time and space.