Wednesday, February 14, 2007

MB&F : Maximilian Busser & Friends Horological Machine No.1

Even if the new company Max Büsser & Friends were a dangerous cult, I might likely find myself selling flowers and handing out booklets in the airport for them. In fact, I'm not even sure you can call it a company anyway, it's really more of a commune for wayward horological geniuses.

This, the first watch of the new brand, the 'HM1' or more specifically, Horological Machine #1' has popped the cherry of the traditional flat hands-on-dial timepiece by creating a multi-layered three-dimensional time machine. Timing has been deconstructed by separating the hours from minutes into two overlapping dials, much like a splitting egg. But Max's 'Friends' are close to splitting atoms with the level of technical intricacy. The dials feature transverse mounted floating sapphire subdials connected by a raised central flying central tourbillon and four massive mainspring barrels fueling a seven-day power reserve. The two beryllium gear trains run in parallel to reduce torque of each mainspring, improving synchronization between them. The entire watch caliber is built from scratch.

Only thirty HM1 will be built per year, limited to a total of 100 models ever made and prices exceeding $100,000 USD. According to Max himself, upcoming Horological Machines will pass the baton further with each lap. The next Machine is slated for an October release and be sure to check here for any advance looks!

Max Büsser, the man I believe is responsible for leading this new age of independent watchmaking - mostly due to his previous time-bending series of Opus watches for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces. Like Malcolm Mclaren, Max assembled the Sex Pistols of the watch world by matching some of the most unique talent to create timepieces unlike anything ever seen before. Pairing genius minds like F.P. Journe, Vianney Halter, Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei who all inconceivably blend design and micro-engineering to radical works of horological art. The HM1 was conceptualized by Büsser, designed by Eric Giroud, a former architect, and built by movement engineers Laurent Besse and Peter Speake-Marin. The known and unknown talent will be assembled and rotated from machine to machine where everyone involved is given credit for their hand (or wrist) in the project.

Much like a rock star leaving a successful band in pursuit of a solo career, Büsser left the Opus project at it's peak to begin MBandF, the first cultish independent collective where he is the charismatic spiritual leader.

Front-view (via Revolution)
Sideview of raised sapphire subdial next to central tourbillon

The HM1 rotor - Inspired by the battle-axe of the Mecha character 'Goldorak UFO Grendizer', from the 1975 Japanese Manga Max loved as a kid.

Exploded view of the movement