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The Only Watch by MB&F

23 September 2009

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MB&F and artist Sage Vaughn ready to make a strong statement at Only Watch.

There is a butterfly trapped in the movement of the latest watch to emerge from MB&F (Maximilian Büsser & Friends). And it has no hope of escaping, because the complicated movement is wrapped in barbed wire. This emotionally charged piece, a one-of-a-kind interpretation of MB&F’s Horological Machine No2, is signed by the American artist Sage Vaughn. It will be auctioned at Only Watch, the charity auction to benefit research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to be held in Monaco on 24 September 2009 under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II.

The disease is a genetic disorder affecting boys. It causes a progressive weakening of the muscles that becomes fatal as the child gets older. The Monegasque Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (AMM) is a leading force in the drive to find a cure.

Motivation and inspiration
Maximilian Büsser said that he and his team were “shocked into” participating and were determined to work with Sage Vaughn. His paintings of gaily dressed children or bright birds or butterflies against bleak urban backgrounds had the tension between affirmation of life and a sense of desperation that they were seeking. This young artist, whose solo shows have won widespread critical acclaim, has fought and conquered his own demon – a seven-year heroin addiction – and the pain of that struggle is felt in the emotional power of his work. He immediately agreed to contribute his time and talent.

The result is a unique interpretation of MB&F’s Horological Machine No2, the watch launched as a limited series in 2008. The entire upper face of the watch – the rectangular case and the projecting portholes – is crafted in sapphire crystal, revealing the HM2’s complex engine. The hundreds of minute components display the meticulous hand finish that is MB&F’s hallmark. But they are imprisoned in barbed wire. A blue butterfly struggles to escape from the same fate, but its wings are clipped. The barbed wire is handcrafted in blackened gold and the butterfly in blued gold, but the scene has all the emotional impact of the first rough by the artist.

Childhood and horology
Childhood holds a special importance for Maximilian Büsser. For all their sophistication, the lovingly crafted time machines that he dreams up and creates with his Friends have their roots in his earliest years.

The case of the HM2 is the most complex case in watchmaking history. But it was inspired by the meccano sets that he played with as a child. The movement is the world’s first mechanical movement to combine instantaneous jumping hours, concentric retrograde minutes, a retrograde date, a bi-hemisphere moon phase and automatic winding. But its 22-karat gold automatic rotor owes its iconic sickle shape to the battleaxe wielded by his childhood comic hero, Grendizer. It is the tension between that imaginary world and high-end horology at its purest that gives MB&F’s machines their vitality.

Maximilian Büsser left his position at the head of Harry Winston Timepieces to form MB&F in 2005. His company is dedicated solely to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches in collaboration with talented professionals. Or, as he says: “Letting my guts speak instead of my head”. That is a spirit shared by the all the independent craftsmen, engineers and watchmakers who collaborate on his projects.


An Update from MB&F (dated September 30th 2009)
Dear Friends,

On Thursday September 24th evening, after a pretty Homeric but swift battle between a Hong Kong and a Thai collector on the Net, and an American collector on the phone, our HM2 piece unique created with artist Sage Vaughn went for 85'240 USD at the Monaco Only Watch auction! It's new home is now Hong Kong!

To read more, go to: //www.mbandf.com/_newsletters/33/newsletter.php


SENATUS is a proud partner of MB&F and invites you to view the other pieces in the MB&F collection, as well as explore its website and Facebook pages as well

Related Articles
Horological Machine No.2 (Sapphire Vision) by MB&F
Horological Machine No.3 by MB&F
Black Box: Horological Machine No2.2 by MB&F
The Only Watch by MB&F


For more information, go to //www.mbandf.com
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