Horological Machine No. 6 looks like something you’d see strapped to the wrist of an interstellar raider. Maybe that’s why Swiss watchmaker MB&F dubbed its lunatic $230,000 watch the “Space Pirate.”
The watch, which its maker says “has been designed to operate in the hostile environment of … the space on your wrist,” is one of just two timepieces to be awarded Red Dot design awards in the competition’s current round.
The other winner of the Red Dot Award for Product Design? Apple Watch, which seems like a modest piece of jewelry next to the MN6’s alien design. Just wait till you see the spinning turbines that make the Space Pirate watch tick.
Why so sci-fi? The bizarre design watch was influenced by a spaceship from a Japanese anime drawn from ’40s science fiction magazine Captain Future.
We’ll let MB&F explain what’s going on in the mind-bending Space Pirate timepiece:
“In each of the four corners of HM6’s biomorphic case is a 360° sphere, capped top and bottom by transparent sapphire crystal domes. Up forward, two semi-spherical indications rotate vertically, displaying hours and minutes. Back aft, driven through multiplying gearing by the automatic winding rotor, twin spherical turbines spin horizontally, automatically regulating the winding system in case of excessive speed to reduce stress and wear.
The transparent central dome houses a 60-second flying tourbillon, the precision regulator of HM6’s Engine. This flying tourbillon can be protected from UV radiation, which speeds up oxidation of lubricating oils, by a retractable shield operated by a crown on the left side of the case.
While the transparent cupola on top of HM6 Space Pirate offers a tantalising glimpse into the sophisticated Engine below, the sapphire crystal display portal on the back reveals more of the 475 finely finished components making up the highly complex movement, which required over three years of development. Also visible through the display back is part of the winding mechanism and the platinum 950 winding battle-axe rotor.”
MB&F’s horological lab is known for its extravagant watches, but it’s easy to see why the Space Pirate won the prestigious German Red Dot award. It’s a truly radical design that’s almost as outrageous as the watch’s price tag.
Apple hasn’t revealed how many of its pricey limited-edition watches will be available, but MB&F says it will make only 50 Space Pirate watches. Better get on the horn now if you want one.