A Time Machine: MB&F HM4 Thunderbolt

Posted on July 10, 2010


Traditionally, time serves a useful purpose- When to hit the pub, when to hit the gym, when to pick up your date. Then it takes a whole other type of person to create a wristwatch where time telling is secondary.

Maximilian Busser and Friends have created a horological machine- HM4 Thunderbolt. Two indicators, hours and minutes and power reserve, the HM4 Thunderbolt is not your traditional wristwatch, it’s a micro engineered beast of a time telling machine.

Sleek and aerodynamic, the Thunderbolt’s aviation roots are apparent. Aviation might conjure images of planes but to us, it’s closer to fighter jets and rocket packs. Engineering alchemy of titanium and sapphire, the Thunderbolt is a product of 3 years development and over 300 components. Horizontally configured dual mainspring barrels drive two vertical gear trains, transferring power to the twin pods indicating hours/minutes and power reserve.

The objective of the HM4 Thunderbolt isn’t time telling, it’s appreciation of the horological arts, and the sapphire case section and display panels top and bottom allow full access to the flawless fine finishing of HM4’s intricate and vibrant micro-mechanics.

Technical Specs

Engine: Conceptualised and developed by MB&F with Laurent Besse and Beranger Reynard of Les Artisans Horlogers. All 311 components were developed specifically for the Thunderbolt due to its unique build.

Two mainspring barrels connected in parallel provide 72 hours of energy, and they transfer their power to the dual jet-turbine-like indication pods (one displaying the hours and minutes, the other the power reserve) via vertical gear trains.

Balance frequency: 21,600bph/3Hz
Number of jewels: 50


  • Grade 5 titanium and sapphire
  • Dimensions: 54mm wide x 52mm long x 24mm high
  • Number of components: 65
  • Articulation of lugs: 3°

Jonathan Ho is Editor for Augustman.com and maintains a column while covering the watch beat for the print magazine. August Man and Augustman.com is property of CR Media Pte Ltd. You can visit http://www.augustman.com for stylish men’s fashion, luxury brand and high end watch reviews, travel stories, social commentary, trendspotting and motoring.

Posted in: watches