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History

Founded in 2005, MB&F is the world’s first-ever horological concept laboratory, dedicated to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches by bringing together talented horological professionals. With almost 20 calibres forming the base of its Horological Machines and Legacy Machines, MB&F continues to follow Founder and Creative Director Maximilian Büsser’s vision of creating three-dimensional kinetic art. After 15 years managing prestigious watch brands, Maximilian Büsser resigned from his Managing Director position at Harry Winston to create MB&F – Maximilian Büsser & Friends

In 2007 MB&F unveiled its first Horological Machine, HM1; a sculptured, three-dimensional case and beautifully finished engine which set the standard for the Horological Machines that have followed – 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 pay tribute to nineteenth-century watchmaking excellence by reinterpreting complications from the great watchmakers of yesteryear to create contemporary objets d'art.

As the F stands for Friends, it was only natural for MB&F to develop collaborations with renowned artists, watchmakers, designers and manufacturers. This brought two new categories: Performance Art and Co-Creations. Performance Art pieces are MB&F machines revisited by external creative talent. Co-Creations are not wristwatches but other types of machines, engineered and crafted by Swiss manufactures from MB&F ideas and designs.

To give these machines an appropriate platform, Büsser came up with the idea of an art gallery, where they would be shown alongside other forms of mechanical art. This led to the opening of the first MB&F M.A.D.Gallery (Mechanical Art Devices) in Geneva, followed by Galleries in Taipei, Dubai and Hong Kong.



Key dates

After conforming to the rules of conventional watchmaking for more than a decade, Maximilian Büsser began the MB&F rebellion with one goal: deconstruct high-end watchmaking into kinetic, three-dimensional sculptures or Machines. MB&F is the first-ever artistic and micro-engineering concept laboratory dedicated to designing and crafting small series of radical watches.

Launch of Horological Machine N°2 with its distinctive shape and modular construction. HM2 became the first automatic movement to provide instantaneous jumping hours, concentric retrograde minutes, retrograde date and bi-hemisphere moon phases.

Horological Machine N°4 Thunderbolt - MB&F’s most radical piece to date - won the Design Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). Several limited editions would follow.

Introduction of MusicMachine 1, the first Co-Creation. Manufactured by REUGE, it began a trilogy of music boxes with a spaceship-like design.

Legacy Machine 101 was the first Machine with a movement entirely developed by MB&F. It accentuates the most essential part of a wristwatch: the balance wheel which regulates precision and symbolises the passage of time. 

A series of launches celebrated MB&F's tenth anniversary: Horological Machine X; Legacy Machine Perpetual, a reinvention of the perpetual calendar complication with Stephen McDonnel; Arachnophobia with l’Epée 1839, the first Co-Creation from the animal world, and Melchior, the robot that gives the time, soon to be joined by Sherman, Balthazar and Grant.

MB&F joined Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva and, from 2016 to 2019, exhibited in the Carré des Horlogers. That same year, Legacy Machine Perpetual won the Calendar Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève.

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