MB&F stands for Max Busser and friends and was founded by Max Busser in 2005. The brand’s concept is to create horological machines that combine traditional watchmaking of the highest craftsmanship with futuristic, fiercely unconventional designs that challenge the way we see the wristwatch. The brand showcases its timepieces through retail stores worldwide and in four M.A.D. (Mechanical Art Devices) galleries, that also feature the work of other mechanical artists chosen by MB&F.
As a child, Max Busser wanted to design cars, but the schooling was too expensive, so he opted for attending an engineering school instead. In his 5th year of microtechnology, he wrote his thesis on watches. He did his research and spoke to many watch brands about why people would buy high-end watches. The C.E.O. of Jaeger-LeCoultre, Henry-John Belmont, ended up offering him a job. Years later, Max left and became the C.E.O. of Harry Winston Watches. The Harry Winston Opus project, wherein every year the brand works with a different independent watchmaker to create a limited-edition Opus timepiece, was his brainchild.
The start of MB&F
Max Busser funded the development of his business by pre-selling watches based on a drawing, two years before the first watches would be available. He traveled around the world to convince his future retail partners to join him in his new adventure. Max unveiled his first timepiece or Horological Machine as MB&F referred to them in 2007. The HM1 set the standard for all the Horological Machines that have followed.
The M.A.D. Galleries
In 2011 Max Busser opened the first M.A.D. Gallery (M.A.D. stands for Mechanical Art Devices) in Geneva, Switzerland. The idea was to give all of his horological machines an appropriate platform by placing them in an art gallery alongside various mechanical art forms created by other artists, rather than in a traditional retail store. Today there are 4 M.A.D. Galleries around the world – Geneva, Taipei, Dubai, and Hong Kong. If you are in the area, it is definitely worth a visit!
Performance art is when Max Busser invites an outside talent to revisit one of his existing timepieces. Co-creations are other types of machines, engineered and crafted by unique Swiss Manufactures from MB&F ideas and designs. Many of these Co-creations, such as the fascinating clocks created with L’Epée 1839, tell the time while collaborations with Reuge and Caran d’Ache, generated other forms of mechanical art.
MB&F have won the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève prize five times- in 2019, the award for Best Ladies Complication went to the LM FlyingT, in 2016, L.M. Perpetual won the Grand Prix for Best Calendar Watch, in 2012, Legacy Machine No.1 won both the Public Prize and the Best Men’s Watch Prize. In 2010, MB&F won Best Concept and Design Watch for the HM4 Thunderbolt and, in 2015, the Red Dot: Best of the Best award – the top prize at the international Red Dot Awards – for the HM6 Space Pirate.