MB&F was established in 2005 by Maximilian Büsser. In 2007, MB&F unveiled its first Horological Machine, HM1 and in 2015; MB&F celebrated its 10th anniversary.
MB&F is not a watch brand, it is an artistic and micro-engineering concept laboratory in which changing collectives of independent horological professionals are assembled each year to design and craft radical Horological Machines. Respecting tradition without being shackled by it enables the team to act as a catalyst in fusing traditional high quality watchmaking with cutting-edge technology and avant-garde three-dimensional sculpture.
After 15 years managing prestigious watch brands, Maximilian Büsser resigned from his Managing Director position at Harry Winston in 2005 to create MB&F – Maximilian Büsser & Friends. MB&F is an artistic and micro-engineering laboratory dedicated to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches by bringing together talented horological professionals that Büsser both respects and enjoys working with.
In 2007, MB&F unveiled its first Horological Machine, HM1. HM1’s sculptured, three-dimensional case and beautifully finished engine (movement) set the standard for the idiosyncratic Horological Machines that have followed: HM2, HM3, HM4, HM5, HM6, HM7, HM8 and HMX – all Machines that tell the time, rather than Machines to tell the time.
In 2011, MB&F launched its round-cased Legacy Machine collection. These more classical pieces – classical for MB&F, that is – pay tribute to nineteenth-century watchmaking excellence by reinterpreting complications from the great horological innovators of yesteryear to create contemporary objets d’art. LM1 and LM2 were followed by LM101, the first MB&F Machine to feature a movement developed entirely in-house. The year 2015 saw the launch of Legacy Machine Perpetual featuring a fully integrated perpetual calendar. LM SE was launched in 2017. MB&F generally alternates between launching contemporary, resolutely unconventional Horological Machines and historically inspired Legacy Machines.
As well as Horological and Legacy Machines, MB&F has created space-age MusicMachines (1, 2 and 3) in collaboration with music box specialist Reuge; and with L’Epée 1839, unusual clocks in the form of a space station (Starfleet Machine), a rocket (Destination Moon), a spider (Arachnophobia), an octopus (Octopod) and three robot clocks (Melchior, Sherman, and Balthazar). In 2016, MB&F and Carand’Ache created a mechanical rocket-pen called Astrograph.
And there have been distinguished accolades reminding us of the innovative nature of MB&F’s journey so far. To name a few, there have been no less than 4 Grand Prix awards from the famous Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève: in 2016, LM Perpetual won the Grand Prix for Best Calendar Watch; in 2012, Legacy Machine No.1 was awarded the Public Prize (voted for by horology fans) and the Best Men’s Watch Prize (voted for by the professional jury). In 2010, MB&F won Best Concept and Design Watch for the HM4 Thunderbolt. In 2015 MB&F received a Red Dot: Best of the Best award – the top prize at the international Red Dot Awards – for the HM6 Space Pirate.
2005: After decades conforming to the rules of corporate watchmaking, Maximilian Büsser breaks the chains and starts a rebellion called MB&F.
2006: While developing his first Machine, Max travels around the world to convince his future retail partners to join him in his adventure.
2007: MB&F unveils its first Horological Machine, HM1.
2008: Horological Machine No2 revolutionises the world of haute horlogerie with its distinctive shape and modular construction.
2009: Launch of the iconic HM3 series with the Horological Machine n°3 ‘Sidewinder’ and ‘Starcruiser’.
2010: Winner of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), the HM4 Thunderbolt is MB&F’s most radical piece to date. Both launched in 2010 and derived from the HM3: the HM3 ‘Frog’, and the JLWRYMACHINE created with jewellery house Boucheron.
2011: Legacy Machine N°1 marks the beginning of a new line: the Legacy Machines are a tribute to 19th century watchmaking. The same year, opening of the first MB&F M.A.D.Gallery in Geneva, where both horological machines and Mechanical Art Devices reign supreme.
2012: Launch of Horological Machine N°5, inspired by iconic 70’s supercars – back “On the Road Again”, 40 years later.
2013: The second Legacy Machine (LM2) comes to life. The HM3 is re-engineered as the HM3 ‘MegaWind. Also in 2013, first co-creation between MB&F and music box manufacturer REUGE: MusicMachine 1 starts a trilogy of music boxes with spaceship-like designs.
2014: Two new Machines: HM6 Space Pirate and Legacy Machine 101, which includes MB&F’s first in-house conceived calibre. Opening of a second M.A.D.Gallery in Taipei, Taiwan.
2015: MB&F celebrates 10 years by launching anniversary pieces: HMX, the ‘Melchior’ table clock created with L’Epée 1839 and MusicMachine 3. MB&F and watchmaker Stephen McDonnell reinvent the perpetual calendar complication with the LM Perpetual.
2016: MB&F is invited to join the prestigious SIHH watch fair in Geneva. Melchior’s little brother is born: ‘Sherman’ is presented at SIHH. Balthazar joins the robot-clock line-up a few months later. In Dubai, a third MB&F M.A.D.Gallery opens its doors in January.Carand’Ache and MB&F present the Astrograph pen, and HM8 Can-Am is launched in October.
2017: MB&F plunges into the water at the SIHH with Horological Machine n°7 Aquapod. The Legacy Machine Split Escapement is launched in October.
2018: MB&F begins the year with the unveiling of the second Performance Art piece in partnership with Stepan Sarpaneva: MOONMACHINE 2
Biography – Maximilian Büsser
Maximilian Büsser was born in Milan, Italy, before moving at an early age to Lausanne, Switzerland where he spent his youth. Growing up in a multi-cultural environment and family – his father was a Swiss diplomat who met his mother, an Indian national, in Mumbai – led Büsser to develop a cross-cultural, broad-based approach to life and to business.
In July 2005, at the age of 38, Büsser created the world’s first horological concept brand: MB&F (Maximilian Büsser & Friends), in which he is now partnered with Serge Kriknoff. Büsser’s dream with MB&F is to have his own brand dedicated to developing radical horological concepts by working in small, hyper-creative groups composed of people he enjoys working with.
Entrepreneurship is Maximilian Büsser’s forte. In 1998, when only 31, he was appointed Managing Director of Harry Winston Rare Timepieces in Geneva. During his seven years there Büsser developed the company into a fully-fledged and well-respected haute horlogerie brand by developing the strategy, products, marketing and worldwide distribution, whilst integrating design, R&D and manufacturing in house. The results were a 900% increase in turnover and the positioning of Harry Winston as one of the leaders in this very competitive segment.
Maximilian Büsser’s love for high-end horology was nurtured by his first employer, Jaeger-LeCoultre. During his seven years in the senior management team during the 1990s, JLC strongly increased its profile and multiplied its turnover tenfold. Büsser’s responsibilities at Jaeger-LeCoultre ranged from Product Management & Development to Sales & Marketing for Europe.
Büsser graduated in 1991 with a Masters in Microtechnology Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne.
Rue Verdaine 11, CH-1204 Genève
Official website: https://www.mbandf.com/en