by Kyle Stults on December 04, 2012
Inspired in part by an obscure 1970s watch known as the Amida Digitrend, MB&F today unveiled its fifth “horological machine”. Introducing the piece, MB&F says the HM5 (Horological Machine 5) “may appear relatively simple, but it’s complicated: the hour and minute displays look straightforward, but they are bi-directional jumping hours with indications inversed, reflected 90° to the vertical and magnified 20%; HM5 has a futuristic case design, but it’s from the 1970s; HM5 has a mechanical movement, but it was inspired by an era when quartz was King; the rear louvres on supercars block light, but on HM5 they let it in; HM5 has exhaust pipes, but they drain water.”
As shown below, the HM5 is direct homage to the daring and rebellious Amida Digitrend which refused to accept the quartz revolution of the 1970s. Though unlike the steel case and the acrylic prism of the Amida Digitrend, MB&F Chief Max Busser has brought the watch into the 21st century with modern day high tech materials and precision mechanics. Rear window lourvres of 70s supercars also played a key role in the HM5 design.
Price: 54000 CHF (about $58k at current f/x), limited to just 66 pieces.
Full run down with lots of pics, below
Outta this world…
First look at a splendid new release from the boundary-pushing watchmakers at MB&F (“Maximillian Busser & Friends”). This is the MB&F MOONMACHINE, by Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva. Before launching his own brand Sarpaneva Watches in 2003, Stepan Sarpaneva worked with some of the most prestigious Swiss brands including Piaget & Parmigiani where he worked alongside Kari Voutilainen, Vianney Halter and Christophe Claret. The MOONMACHINE is the first of the MB&F “Performance Art” done in collaboration with a watchmaker – and the first to endow a Horological Machine with a new complication (moonphase). According to MB&F, the HM3 Frog design was chosen as the MOONMACHINE platform because the large movement opening in the dial side provides space for the watchmaker to play – and the bulbous indication domes of the Frog are reminiscent of how science fiction buffs have long imagined habitable domes on the Moon. I think that the MB&F HM2 “Alain Silberstein” is still my favorite, but this is a very inspiring piece, kudos to MB&F on an excellent outcome! If you are interested, the MB&F Moonmachine price is $98,000 US.
MB&F HM3 MOONMACHINE
limited edition 18 pieces in each of 3 case metals (see below for more pics)
Maximillian Busser (left), “Sarpanea Moon”, Stepan Sarpaneva (right)
MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser explains how MOONMACHINE began: “Stepan and I were chatting and he said, ‘You know what, Max? You need a moon in one of your Machines’. I thought about it and then replied, “You know what, Stepan? I think you are right, we do need a moon.’ The rest, as they say, is history.”
MB&F HM3 MOONMACHINE (Video)
To create MOONMACHINE, Stepan has reconfigured the HM3 Frog by 90° and added his iconic “moon-face” moon-phase indicator complication set amidst a multi-layered panorama of northern stars.
Black Titanium Case
Based on Stepan’s own face, the phase of the moon is displayed through a signature Korona-shaped aperture, while the mystery winding rotor takes the form of a 22k gold disc with laser-pierced stars forming constellations visible in the northern sky.
Red Gold Case
Full details and more looks at http://www.mbandf.com/machines/performance-art/moonmachine/
My friend Lukasz Doskocz who runs Chronos24 Blog recently had the opportunity to interview Maximillian Busser. It is an easy read and full of insights…please click through and check it out.
MB&F Founder Maximillian Busser
by Kyle Stults on October 12, 2011
I watched this fantastic video last night which gives you the complete rundown on the new MB&F Legacy Machine 1. It really doesn’t get any better than hearing it directly from the mouth of Maximillian Busser himself! Gaaaaawsh what an awesome watch! I am so excited for the future of MB&F’s new Legacy Machine collection!
MB&F Legacy Machine 1 (LM1) Overview by Maximillian Busser (Video)
By now you’ve seen it — shortly after midnight, many many hours before its “official” unveiling–I was the first blogger to post pictures of the new MB&F Legacy Machine (LM-1) (at the time I referred to it as the HM-5). Now just a quick follow-up, as here is an excellent video of the watch, shot by Steve Hallock (MB&F North America)…
MB&F Legacy Machine (LM-1)
Before it is *official*, you see it here first watch fans! update: My first call was “HM-5″ (they had me setup good expecting this), but now we know that the first in a new line of “legacy” watches has arrived — behold the new MB&F LM-1 “Legacy Machine”! The rather “traditional” looking MB&F Legacy Machine (44mm round case–oh yea!!) features a gracefully suspended and slow oscillating (18,000 bph) balance wheel front and center on the dial (see 17-second video below) — the handiwork and creativity of Maximillian Busser’s Watch Jedi “Friends” Kari Voutilainen and Jean-François Mojon, it turns out (more on these guys below). As well there is a “world first” vertical power reserve (near 6 o’clock), and dual independent time dials. The dial has great symmetry, right down to the placement of the dual crowns. The MB&F Legacy Machine price is $92,000. What a sweet, sweet watch!!!!!
Without further ado, here’s the first *unofficial* look at the new MB&F Legacy Machine (full specs at bottom)…
MB&F “Legacy Machine” (LM-1)
note the beautiful symmetry!!!
Legacy Machine No.1 was conceived when Maximilian Büsser started fantasizing: “What would have happened if I had been born in 1867 instead of 1967? In the early 1900s the first wristwatches appear and I would want to create three-dimensional machines for the wrist, but there are no Grendizers, Star Wars or fighter jets for my inspiration. But I do have pocket watches, the Eiffel Tower and Jules Verne, so what might my 1911 machine look like? It has to be round and it has to be three-dimensional: Legacy Machine No.1 was my answer.”
movement design: Jean-François Mojon
movement finishing: Kari Voutilainen
Both are horological masters in their own right, widely known and appreciated amongst elite watch collectors. Voutilainen is known for his handmade pieces such as the Observatoire, among other masterpieces. Mojon is creator of the Harry Winston Opus X, among many other remarkable timepieces. This is the first watch to bear Voutilainen’s name, other than his own. Mojon has also signed the caliber of the LM1:
front/back of the rose gold model:
So there you have it — the first look at the
fifth “horological machine” first “legacy machine” from Maximillian Busser and Friends.
Three-dimensional horological movement developed 100% for MB&F by Chronode and created by Jean-François Mojon and Kari Voutilainen
Manual winding with single mainspring barrel
Power reserve: 45 hours
Balance wheel: Bespoke 14mm balance wheel with four traditional regulating screws floating above the movement and dials
Balance spring: traditional Breguet curve terminating in mobile stud holde
Balance frequency: 18,000bph/2.5Hz
Number of components: 279
Number of jewels: 23
Chatons: gold chatons with polished countersinks
Fine finishing: superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style; internal bevel angles highlighting hand craft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings
Hours and minutes; completely independent dual time zones displayed on two dials; unique vertical power reserve
Left crown at 8 o’clock for setting time of left dial; right crown at 4 o’clock for setting time of right dial and winding
Available in 18k red gold or 18k white gold
Dimensions: 44mm wide x 16mm high
Number of components: 65
High domed sapphire crystal on top with anti-reflective coating on both sides; sapphire crystal on back with anti-reflective coating on single side
Strap & Buckle:
Black or brown hand-stitched alligator strap with gold tang buckle to match case
MB&F Horological Machines Timeline
by Kyle Stults on June 01, 2011
Flying Panda Bear…
MB&F returns to the ONLY WATCH charity auction in 2011 with another emotionally charged piece – this time in collaboration with a remarkable Chinese artist: Huang Hankang. The MB&F piece for Only Watch 2011 features a miniature flying panda bear “riding” the cosmic HM-4 Thunderbolt watch “a magical synthesis of children’s dreams and cutting-edge haute horlogerie”. As with most MB&F pieces, words can not describe this piece — you just gotta see it. So here it is:
MB&F HM-4 Panda ONLY WATCH 2011
solid gold panda bear with reins made of twisted gossamer filaments made of gold — riding on top of HM4 jet
the entire panda bear module is detachable
MB&F describes this unique piece of performance art as follows:
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
Wondering how MB&F chief Maximillian Büsser made the connect with Huang Hankang to collaborate on this project? Turns out that it was while visiting an art gallery a few years ago that 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.
Huang Hankang “Mission of Peace”
MB&F Collaborator – Chinese Artist Huang Hankang
About Huang Kanang
Born in 1977 in Suzhou, China, Huang Hankang began painting when he was just seven years old. After earning an art degree, he moved to Paris to further his artistic education, learn more about the world outside of China and experience a different culture. His talent was internationally recognised in 2007 with an exhibition in New York and subsequent exhibitions in Europe.
Huang usually paints with watercolours, utilising their nuanced delicacy and light colours to code powerful yet often sublime messages. Huang’s paintings ask the viewer intriguing questions rather than make cut-and-dry statements. These paintings often feature juxtapositions of animals in unusual situations or positions – a panda bear flying a horological spaceship is certainly a consistent expression of his philosophy.
Huang uses art as a method of communication to spread his message to a broader public. The Only Watch project with MB&F provided an unusual horological canvas on which to “paint” his message; however, he jumped at the opportunity upon discovering that MB&F’s Horological Machines are closer to art than to watchmaking and are as much products of Maximilian Büsser’s fertile imagination as Huang’s paintings are to his own imagination.
Rock N’ Roll…
This is the new MB&F Rebel. Part of MB&F’s HM3 (Horological Machine No. 3) design, the watch was done in partnership/kinship with Laurent Picciotto (Chronopassion, Paris). The HM3 ReBel is a limited edition of 18 pieces in black PVD-treated white gold, blackened movement and 22K gold rotor. That’s “ReBel” as in R for right (hand), B for Black (case). According to MB&F, “The black PVD-coated ReBel is a distinctive, rock ‘n roll mirror-image of the HM3 designed to be worn on the right wrist, as a few individualists out there want to do.” Indeed.
MB&F Rebel Watch
limited edition of 18 pieces
black PVD-treated white gold case, charcoal-coloured movement plates and bridges, 3-D horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor (Girard-Perregaux base), 22K gold battle-axe shaped ‘mystery’, sapphire crystal cones and both display backs with anti-reflective treatment on both faces. Comes on a black hand-stitched alligator with 18K white gold and titanium custom designed deployment buckle.
He’s kinda cute…and gaudy, too…
An owl? Yes, an owl. How clever. My second reaction (you just read my first) to the new MB&F JWLRYMACHINE was — and still is — that it is “too much”. Actually, let’s not beat around the bush here — the JWLRYMACHINE is no ‘horological machine’, it is a ‘hoity-toity thing’. I wish MB&F would not have gone there, but they did. Obviously following the lead of Boucheron, for whom gaudiness is all-too familiar territory. More succinctly, I’m not a fan.
In an up-front acknowledgment of the controversial nature of JWLRYMACHINE, MB&F Chief Maximillian Büsser said that “You may love it or hate it, but the level of craftsmanship is just mind-boggling.” OK, Maximillian, I’ll give you the ‘craftsmanship’ bit. But as for the rest, I wonder if you can help me understand the WHY (which I know you take as much pride in as the HOW). And, recognizing that when you set out to create MB&F your goal was very simple (to please yourself without caring about any commercial or marketing considerations), I am quite curious as to just how does the JWLRYMACHINE please you? And what do you think it says about MB&F? I wait patiently and hope humbly for your reply.
The new MB&F JWLRYMACHINE (made-to-order, ~$200,000)
Outta this world…
The new MB&F Horlogical Machine No. 4 aka Thunderbolt is totally out of this world. Made of a sapphire and titanium case that measures 54mm wide x 52mm long x 24mm high. I absolutely love the profile view of the machine and how it mounts to the strap. Price is $158,000 and total production will be 25-35 pieces per year. I’ll let Maximillian Busser (he’s the “MB” in “MB&F”) himself describe the rest of the watch and its inspiration for you — read on for details and pics.
Watch the MB&F HM4 Thunderbolt Video:
MB&F Horological Machine No4 is here! For the last three years I could not talk about this amazing piece of machinery, and it is truly a great day that I can finally share with all!
After the 311 part Engine which was unveiled in March during Basel, here is probably the most complex case in the history of horology to protect and magnify it.
Titanium and Sapphire – 150 hours of machining and polishing just for the central Sapphire case (that is close to four weeks of machining for one piece !), over 60 hours of machining and finishing for the titanium case back, etc, etc… In our twenty years of horology, this is the greatest challenge Serge Kriknoff and I have been up to.
The MB&F HM4 Thunderbolt as worn by Maximillian Busser himself:
So what is the Thunderbolt ? A tribute to Aviation…
Why ? Because from the age of 8 to 12-13 I spent every free minute crafting model airplanes… They were everywhere in my room. Hanging from the ceilings, accumulating on the shelves, in the cupboards. I would spend hours assembling, modifying, painting anything which had two wings. HM4 is a very personal interpretation of what would happen if you crossed a piece of ultra high end horology with the world of aeronautics.
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