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November 5, 2009updated Feb 07, 2013

MB&F Unveils Horological Machine No2.2

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Watch brand MB&F, short for Maximilian Büsser & Friends, is opening up the “Friends” concept to a whole new level by inviting celebrated designers/artists/architects to redesign or work on an existing Horological Machine. This series was started with the emotionally-strong “Only Watch” HM2 piece unique developed with California artist Sage Vaughn.

The latest version of Horological Machine No2 features a case created by French artist watch designer Alain Silberstein, who is widely known for his bold use of color and pattern. One might have expected the adventurous Maximilian Büsser to push that tendency to the limit, but the two have come up with what they affectionately call the “black box.” The new model, Horological Machine No2.2, will be issued in a limited edition of eight watches.

The new case by Alain Silberstein houses the same groundbreaking “engine” as Horological Machine No2, introduced in 2008 and featuring the world’s first mechanical movement combining an instantaneous jumping hour, concentric retrograde minutes, retrograde date, bi-hemisphere moon phase and automatic winding. However, gone is the science-fiction look of the original. Silberstein says that he wanted Horological Machine No2.2 to combine the pure geometry of the Bauhaus with the user-friendliness of the miniature box cameras of the 1940s.

The rectangular case is carved out of a solid block of titanium, resting on the original substructure. This multi-layered construction gives the watch its powerful, richly engineered profile. The simplicity of the case itself is deceptive: Alain Silberstein works with the light, like a diamond-cutter, to achieve a play of matte and polished surfaces when the watch is worn.

The titanium case is treated with an exclusive PVD coating incorporating silicium, resulting in a soft touch and particularly intense black color. The vibrant red numerals, markers and hands are coated in Superluminova for easy night reading. All the characters on the twin displays were designed by Alain Silberstein. Even the moon’s expressive face was inspired by a treasured cartoon from the Art Nouveau period.

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