Category Archives: MB&F


Busser and Baumgartner create C3H5N3O9 Redefines the Watch World Yet Again…


The Wacky and Wonderful World of Busser and Baumgartner: C3H5N3O9 Redefines the Watch World Yet Again

Maximilian Busser is the type of guy who really doesn’t care what people think about him. That’s a huge statement to make. Most of us attempt to do an elaborate tango in the social and work arena because we’re trying to gain friends and good will. Busser just won’t do the dance. And this is a good thing, especially in the often times-constrained world of watches. If Busser were to tippy-toe around, we wouldn’t have the quirky and playful creations from his company MB&F like the HM3 JWLRYMACHINE and the Legacy Machine 1.

The MB&F HM3 Frog Goes to the Moon with Sarpaneva

We all know the crazy groundbreaking designs of MB&F, like the Legacy Machine 1,  HM4 Thunderbolt, the HM3 Rebel Yell and the HM3 Purple Frog. Every so often MB&F brings in another artiste to interpret one of the Machines. They’ve worked with Boucheron for the awesome JWLRYMACHINE, which was a wise choice. Now they’ve decided to take a decidedly Finnish approach by giving Stepan Sarpaneva a crack at the HM3 frog and came up with the MOONMACHINE.

Sarpaneva is no slouch in the talent department. He can find his way around a movement with the best of them. Consider that he worked alongside Kari Voutilainen, Vianney Halter and Christophe Claret, watchmakers known for their talent in high complications such as Claret’s 21 Blackjack.

Sarpaneva is known for his moody moon, the northern stars and constellations and the distinctive Korona case, characteristic elements in all his watches. All appear in the MOONMACHINE.

Here the hand-finished moons indicate the moonphase through a Korona-shaped opening. The swing of the winding rotor comprised of steel and 22K gold represents the star-filled sky, accomplished by a laser piercing, which allows light to reflect through the movement. Continue reading

In a Watch World Far, Far Away: Futuristic Watches

From Time Machine and Brave New World to Star Wars, Blade Runner and The Matrix, we are fascinated by the future. Usually, these worlds are portrayed as post-apocalyptic nightmares where the human species is undone by their own doing. An everyman, our hero or heroine, bucks against the evil system in power to save humanity.  Win some, lose some.

In these universes, technology plays a big role. All matter of machines and gadgets, including computers, weapons and automobiles have surpassed our current state-of-the-art. This alternate reality represents progress or regression, depending upon your point of view. But that’s another matter altogether. Within all these scenarios notice that we still cling to the concept of time. Can’t get away from the pesky idea. The ticking bomb always makes its appearance somewhere. Continue reading

MB&F Surpises with their New Legacy Machine No.1

On the heels of the fantastical MB&F Thunderbolt for Only Watch with a panda at the reigns of the magnificent flying machine, MB&F introduces the Legacy Machine No.1. Machines 1-4 took an avant-garde approach to watchmaking, rendering very 21st century shapes not seen in traditional watchmaking. With the Legacy Machine No.1, MB&F presents the first round watch in the collection. Maximillian Busser, the wizard behind MB&F, usually dips into his childhood to find inspiration for his watches. In this case he did a thought experiment, imagining what he might create if he had been born in 1867, a period of watchmaking he admires.

Instead of Star Wars and fighter jets for reference, Busser looked to the Eiffel Tower, Jules Verne and the best in pocket watches. Requirements, in addition to the classical references, were that the watch had to be round and three-dimensional. Voila! You have the Legacy Machine No. 1. And yet you have a machine that is quintessentially MB&F.

A domed shape crystal swoops over the dial, allowing a view from several angles. It’s like looking upon a snow globe to see the all the activity going on inside. Zenith built a similar visual celebration with the Christophe Columbe, where a dome protruding from both sides encases the regulating system to ensure a horizontal position, the best to ensure accurate timekeeping.

The heartbeat of the Legacy Machine No.1 movement, a generously sized balance wheel with Breguet overcoil oscillating at a leisurely 18,000bph, suspends from twin arches, giving the effect that it’s floating in midair, while a unique vertical power reserve, which is a world first, provides a visual counterpoint to the supports of the arches.

If you hadn’t already noticed, this is a GMT watch. While most GMT’s can’t be set independently, only moved in increments of an hour or half hour, MB&F overcame this problem with two dials that can be set separately from one other so that time can be exact in two locations. Though not the first watch to do this (Parmigiani has the Tonda Hemispheres), it’s a wonderful complication for travelers.

Busser enlisted two masters for their expertise in creating the Legacy Machine No 1. For movement design, Jean-Francois Mojon applied his visionary mind to imagine the concept. Mojon is one of the men responsible for the recently released Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia, the most complex watch released by IWC, as well as Opus 10. If you don’t already know, it was Busser who initiated the Opus series at Harry Winston before launching his own company.

While Mojon overlooked the caliber, Kari Voutilainen was responsible for the aesthetics, which were completed in the traditional manner. Considered one of the modern masters of finishing, all done by hand, Voutilainen decorated the movement with Geneva waves and beveled the bridges with internal angles, the most difficult to execute. In addition, he chose to surround the jewels with gold chatons, a feature found in high-end pocket watches and also considered a German tradition. Lange & Sohne uses gold chatons in all their movements.

MB&F always comes up with surprising entries into the horology world. This time they apply their progressive approach to a more traditional model. MB&F certainly press the boundaries and are widely admired for their audacity, but some might find them a bit out of their comfort zone in terms of style. With the Legacy Machine No.1 MB&F caters to those who prefer a more traditional presentation to their wrist wear. It’s hard to follow a piece such as the HM4 Thunderbolt. MB&F did it with grand style.

Price: $92,000.


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