james thompson sheds light on two MB&F timepieces with solid block lumens
james thompson sheds light on two MB&F timepieces with solid block lumens james thompson sheds light on two MB&F timepieces with solid block lumens
apr 05, 2016

james thompson sheds light on two MB&F timepieces with solid block lumens

MB&F black badger editions james thompson designboom
james thompson sheds light on two MB&F timepieces with solid block lumens
all images courtesy of MB&F




for its limited edition ‘performance art’ pieces, watch manufacturer MB&F invited designer james thompson (aka black badger) to re-interpret two of its machines: the ‘HMX’ – launched in 2015 on the occasion of MB&F’s 10th anniversary; and ‘starfleet machine’ – the company’s first table clock. presented during baselworld 2016, the resulting timepieces are the ‘HMX black badger’ and the ‘starfleet machine black badger; each of which are characterized by luminiscent material. this is thompson’s expertise and what he does best – milling and sculpting three-dimensional objects from solid light, incorporating them into the MB&F watch designs. thus, the black badger editions are not only extremely efficient at storing and releasing light, being in solid form means that there is more of it, so that they shine brighter for longer periods of time.

MB&F black badger editions james thompson designboom
MB&F ‘HMX black badger’ designed by james thompson




for the ‘HMX black badger’, thompson redesigned the ‘rocker cover’ of the original HMX engine, making it visible under the design’s supercar-like sapphire crystal cover milled from his solid blocks of brightly coloured, high-efficient lume. the long-lasting glow emitted comes in three different colors – ‘radar green’, ‘phantom blue’ and ‘purple reign’. each one radiates the HMX clockwork compartment in a subtle bath of light. during the day, it may seem like a standard HMX, but by night the display lights up.

MB&F black badger editions james thompson designboom
the ‘HMX’ comes in three different colors: radar green, phantom blue and purple reign




the HMX engine combines mechanical and optical engineering, displaying bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes protected vertically. magnified by a unique prism system rendered in sapphire crystal, it is protected by the titanium and stainless steel of the design’s 44 component aerodynamic case made from grade 5 titanium and stainless steel; accompanied by a calfskin strap and titanium tang buckles.


the ‘HMX black badger’ is available in a limited edition of 18 pieces per colour.

MB&F black badger editions james thompson designboom
the lumes are carved of solid blocks for lasting luminosity

MBF black badger editions
from basic to illuminated

MBF black badger editions
engraved details of the limited edition ‘HMX black badger’

MBF black badger editions
MB&F ‘starfleet machine black badger’ designed by james thompson




for the ‘starfleet machine black badger’, thompson looks back in history to MB&F’s first collaboration with table clock specialists l’epée 1839. in his version, thompson adds his exclusive lume lighting under the external ring running around the starfleet machine movement, to the inside of the shapship’s ‘landing legs’, as well as the indication domes and hands. while it may look like a model spaceship, the ‘starfleet machine black badger’ is actually a high precision clock with a 40 day power reserve that was created by l’epée 1839, from a design by MB&F. the timepiece comes in palladium-plated brass, and is available in radar green, phantom blue and purple reign like the ‘HMX black badger’.

MBF black badger editions
the table clock emits light around its dial and through its ‘spaceship-like landing legs




james thompson founded ‘black badger’ as a creative means of engaging with advanced composites, making high-tech rings from carbon fibre and titanium. the idea of working with solid lume came from a knife maker friend who was occasionally using the material in his knife handles because he thought ‘it looked cool’, and suggested thompson try it out in his carbon fibre rings. not convinced, thompson still ended up making a glowing ring for fun, and the concept took off. now the glowing rings are black badger’s most popular item. having been a long-time aficionado of fast cars and contemporary horology, found his collaboration with MB&F a project of like minds.

MBF black badger editions
black badger founder james thompson

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