Forged by a giant impact


MoonMachine by Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva is the first of the MB&F Performance Art pieces reinterpreted by a watchmaker – and the first to endow a Horological Machine with a new complication.

To create MoonMachine, Stepan reconfigured the HM3 Frog by turning it 90° and adding his iconic moon-face/moon-phase indicator. He also transformed the winding rotor into a scintillating firmament of laser-pierced northern stars, forming constellations visible in the northern sky.

more pictures in press section

the machine


  • Available in three limited editions of 18 pieces each: natural titanium case with white gold moon faces and light blue sky, black titanium case with white gold moon faces and dark blue sky, and red gold case with red gold moon faces and anthracite sky.
  • Indication domes configured perpendicular to wrist.


  • Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor; powered by a Sowind base, modified by Stepan Sarpaneva
  • DLC coated and star-pieced steel and 22k gold automatic winding rotor
  • Hour and minutes information transmitted via ceramic ball bearings to rotating domes.
  • 319 components / 36 jewels

Functions / indications

  • Hour on one dome (aluminium dome rotating in 12 hours)
  • Minutes on second dome (aluminium dome rotating in 60 minutes)
  • Moon phase displayed by dual moons rotating under a Korona ring
download manual
Moon faces

Moon faces

While a man’s face formed by craters on the Moon’s surface is the result of over-active imaginations, Sarpaneva has based MoonMachine’s moon faces on his own. It doesn’t get much more personal than that!

Winding rotor

Winding rotor

The turning star-filled night sky of the rotor not only brings metaphoric life, but also literally provides life as it generates the power for both the functioning of the moon complication and the movement.

Sapphire domes

Sapphire domes

The crafting of the sapphire crystal domes is incredibly demanding: the sapphire has to be shaped and polished perfectly, since any slight imperfection would introduce a disconcerting magnification effect.


inspiration Moonshine - Sarpaneva

HM3 Frog was chosen as the MoonMachine platform because the large movement opening in the dial side provides space for the watchmaker to play – and the bulbous indication domes of the Frog are reminiscent of how science fiction buffs have long imagined habitable domes on the Moon.

Based on Stepan’s own face, the phase of the moon is displayed through a signature Korona-shaped aperture, while the mystery winding rotor takes the form of a steel and 22k gold disc with laser-pierced of northern stars. In Stepan’s own words: “The visible movement of the original HM3 Frog added a technical aspect that provided a serious counterpoint to the playfulness of the bulging frog-eyed indications. In covering the movement, the moon phase and sky hides this and makes the timepiece more poetic. With MoonMachine, the HM3 Frog is transformed into a fairy tale.”


Maximilian Büsser and Stepan Sarpaneva

He first graduated from the Finnish School of Watchmaking and then moved to Switzerland to further his studies at WOSTEP. In 1994, he began work for several prestigious watch companies including Piaget, Parmigiani, Vianney Halter and Christophe Claret. During those 10 years in Switzerland, Sarpaneva specialised in the crafting of complicated timepieces.

Perfectionism, enthusiasm and an infinite passion for watchmaking inspired Sarpaneva to create watches of his own. In 2003 he founded his own company in Helsinki, Finland where he individually handcrafts each watch at the workshop.

Stepan’s three signature themes are all celestial: his very distinctive moon face; the northern stars and constellations; and the crenellated form of his Korona case – the korona/corona is the plasma atmosphere of the Sun. His incredible sense of design and sense of detail give his work – and everything he surrounds himself with – a very powerful coherence.