Thursday, May 9, 2013

On the Road (and in the booth) with MB&F

I don't know if you're at all like me, but after days on end of "Haute Horology" you crave something a bit different. Just as too much rich food can cause gout, too many similarly designed watches can cause overload. Thankfully there are still people out there like MB&F!

This is the HM no. 5, also known as "On The Road Again".  While Max Büsser and Friends provide some truly spectacular press kits, the truly amazing aspects of this watch really get driven home when it's on your wrist.
So in an effort to ensure that this amazing watch gets adequately described, here are the words of the creators:

HM5 On the Road Again 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; HM5 is “On the Road Again”, but its inspiration barely left the garage.
The last decade or two have seen an exponential growth in inventions that have revolutionised our lives. Robots may not cook dinner, but they can build cars, vacuum the home and mow the lawn. Sending a man to Mars is not a question of if, but when.
But imagine the exciting anticipation of the future in the early 1970s with the arrival of supercars, hovercrafts, the supersonic Concorde, Apollo moon landings… and high-precision quartz watches. Everything seemed possible: humanoid robots, jet-packs and flying cars. In the 1970s the future wasn’t tomorrow, it was today!

Another piece of note was the HM3 Megawind.  This is another piece that is actually EVEN BETTER in person!
Here are the specs, straight from the source -


  • Available in 18k white gold/titanium or 18k red gold/titanium
  • Screwed-down crown
  • Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 47mm x 50mm x 17mm
  • Number of case components: 52


  • Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht / Agenhor; Sowind oscillator and gear train
  • Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph
  • Automatic winding rotor in 3 parts: hub in titanium with outer sections in 22K gold, fastened with 4 rivets
  • Time indications transmitted via ceramic ball bearings
  • Number of jewels: 36 (all functional)
  • Number of components: 270


  • Hours on one cone
  • Minutes on second cone


  • Sapphire cones and front and back display crystals have anti-reflective treatment on both faces


  • Black hand-stitched alligator with 18k gold and titanium custom designed folding buckle

But let's say that was dinner - and it was time for dessert!  This is the Musicmachine!  In their own words:

MusicMachine is a music box that looks and sounds out of this world. It contains all the traditional, time-honoured elements of a superlative high-end music box, but designed and configured in a totally unconventional way.
But then you would expect nothing less from a collaboration between REUGE and MB&F. REUGE, the premier manufacturer of music boxes on the planet, with nearly 150 years of expertise and experience. And MB&F, the award-winning artistic and micro-engineering laboratory acclaimed for its avant-garde, three-dimensional Horological Machines.
With its dual propellers and twin silver cylinders mounted on sleek outrigger landing gear, MusicMachine looks like a spaceship hailing from a galaxy far, far away.
Each of the cylinders on MusicMachine plays three tunes. On the left, may the Force be with you with the ‘Star Wars’ theme, the ‘Imperial March’ from ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, and the theme from ‘Star Trek’. Back on earth, the right cylinder plays Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’, Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ’John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ – all tunes synonymous with MB&F's radical, nonconformist attitude.

So once again, Maximilian Büsser and his friends have surpassed expectations!  Now don't get me wrong, I am a fan of tradition - but I am also a fan of the iconoclasts who are out there taking risks, because let's face it, life is far too short to be boring!

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