A Flying Panda Soars Free on an Enchanted HM4 for Only Watch 2011MB&F returns to the Only Watch charity auction with another emotionally charged piece, this time in collaboration with Chinese artist, Huang Hankang. The HM4 Only Watch featuring a miniature flying panda bear is a magical synthesis of children's dreams and cutting-edge haute horlogerie.
While we dream throughout our lives, there is one specific dream that children experience more frequently than adults: the ability to fly! It isn’t known why dreams of flight diminish from adolescence; however, it may be that adult imaginations become more constrained as they are rooted in the realities of everyday life. Children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy suffer from progressively diminished mobility leading to paralysis; however, while their bodies may be trapped, their young spirits can escape in their dreams and imaginations. HM4 Only Watch offers children a flight of fantasy, a reason to smile, and a wild ride through time and space!
This MB&F piece for Only Watch transports us to a fantasy dream world with a friendly panda piloting a unique space-age HM4 jet. While visiting an art gallery a few years ago, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser noticed a painting of a panda flying on a rocket that lifted his spirits so much that he bought it. That painting was by Paris-based Chinese artist, Huang Hankang, and for Only Watch, Huang used HM4 as his canvas to convey a childlike liberation of the spirit.
Artist Huang Hankang
When Huang was asked if he was interested in collaborating with MB&F on the Only Watch project, it only took one glance at HM4 Thunderbolt for him to realise that while this was an artistic medium he had not considered before—or even knew existed—he relished in the challenge and the cause. Huang first imagined and then painted a delightful, carefree panda bear flying free on top of HM4 and MB&F set about transforming Huang’s painting into a horological expression. Huang’s original painting accompanies the HM4 Only Watch.
As Huang relates, “I saw MB&F’s work as art, not watchmaking. It comes from unfettered imagination, just like my paintings.”
HM4 Only Watch features the dream-world scenario of a solid gold panda bear riding on top of the HM4 jet, which he controls with reins made of twisted gossamer filaments made of gold. The panda was hand-carved and then cast in 18k white gold using the “lost wax” technique. And while the HM4 Only Watch is a celebration of the fantasy of children’s dreams, there is also a feature for those obliged to ground their feet in reality from time to time: the panda and his reins have been micro-engineered to be completely detachable so that HM4 transforms from a flying machine into a Horological Machine.
For more information, please download the press release by clicking HM4 Only Watch