After years of following someone else's rules in the world of fine watch-making, Maximilian Büsser has set out on his own. Employed by both Jaeger-LeCoultre and Harry Winston he has proven to the world his ability to head a respected haute horlogerie brand. In 2005 Büsser resigned from Harry Winston and set out on his own to form MB&F, an artistic and micro-engineering concept laboratory. Working with some of the most talented independent horological professionals, MB&F is pushing the limits of horology.

The latest creation is the MB&F Horological Machine N°4 Thunderbolt, a incredibly unique timepiece inspired by Büsser's childhood passion for aircrafts. The case is an obvious homage to aviation, the two streamlined jet-turbine-styled pods resting on a horizontal section housing the engine. The titanium case measures 54mm wide x 52mm long x 24mm high and has been milled from solid blocks of high-tech Grade 5 titanium. The intense process involves hundreds of hours of machining before polishing, masking and finally satin-finishing of the surfaces.

The left bullet shaped pod is reminiscent of a fuel gauge and displays the power reserve feature, indicated by a skeletonised hand. The right pod displays hours and minutes with bold, arrow-tipped Super-LumiNova filled hands. The watch is protected by five separate sapphire crystals - 2 for the dials, 1 for the central case section and 2 for the display panels on the top and bottom. Though it seems like a silly statement for a watch, being somewhat of a concept piece, the timepiece was not developed specifically to tell the time, but despite this fact the Thunderbolt still completes the task in a unique and effective way with its highly legible dials perpendicular to the wearer's wrist, a perfect position for a pilot's or driver's watch.

The HM4 is powered by a manual winding engine that was entirely designed and developed by MB&F, a task that took over three years of intensive work to acomplish. Made up of 311 individual components with 50 jewels. Each piece was developed for the Thunderbolt, no off-the-shelf mechanisms or parts were used at all due to the extreme nature of its architecture. The movement allows for hours, minutes and power reserve indicator.

The watch is completed by a black hand-stitched calfskin strap with a titanium/white gold custom designed deployment buckle attached to articulated lugs.

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