Start Your Engines: MB&F's Can-Am inspired HM8

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MB&F’s new HM8 (Horological Machine N°8) rises from the turbo-charged ashes of the Can-Am, a discontinued "anything goes" car racing series that would have celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. Class restrictions in the Canadian-American Challenge Cup, Can-Am for short, were minimal and allowed for unlimited engine sizes, turbocharging, supercharging, and basically unrestricted aerodynamics. This all led to the development of pioneering technology in many fields, and extremely powerful engines.

The HM8 Can-Am features a curvaceous yet angular case, with dual optical prisms vertically displaying bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes, while MB&F’s distinctive battle-axe winding rotor is visible on top. But the real star of the HM8 is its Can-Am inspired polished "roll bars" majestically sweeping from the front of the Machine down to the beguiling tapered back. Incongruously for a fully mechanical racing machine, the visual effect is electric. Those roll bars are milled from solid blocks of grade 5 titanium and then meticulously hand-polished.

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The HM8's engine, in all its glory, sits in full view under a nearly invisible sapphire crystal engine cover. The open centre of the blued-gold battle-axe rotor enables appreciation of the circular wave finish on the movement, while the hour and minute indication discs are visible in the corners. Turning timepiece over reveals another automotive tip of the hat: like most car engines which have an “oil sump” located underneath, the HM8 has dual oil sumps under its own engine.

The watch is powered by an in-house developed bi-directional jumping hour and trailing minute indication module, on a Girard-Perregaux base movement with a 42-hour power reserve. The movement is inverted to put the winding rotor on top and modified to drive the prism indicator module. The power reserve is 42 hours.

The HM8 Can-Am launches in two versions: 18K white gold/titanium and 18K red gold/titanium.

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