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April 24, 2013

Reuge and MB&F Unite to Create Space Age Sound

By Chris Boyle

By David Neth


Reuge by MB&F MusicMachine

Premier music box manufacturer, Reuge, and award-winning watchmaker, MB&F, have joined forces to launch a music box that looks and sounds out of this world.

While containing all the traditional elements of a high-end music box, MusicMachine is designed in a completely unconventional way, with dual propellers and twin silver cylinders mounted on smooth outrigger landing gear calling to mind the architecture of space ship.

MB&F Founder and Creative Director, Maximilian Büsser, handpicked each of the tunes played by the music box. Each cylinder plays three tunes, with the left side playing the Star Wars theme, the “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back, and the theme from Star Trek and the right side playing Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”, Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”, and John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Each of the tunes aligns with MB&F’s nonconformist attitude and were inspired by Büsser’s youth.

“Like many kids, saving the world was my full time job when I was a boy,” says Büsser. “For MusicMachine, I delved into my childhood dreams and fantasies inspired by heroes such as Luke Skywalker and Captain James T. Kirk.”

Reuge was challenged with respecting the mechanical symmetry of MB&F’s design, which meant breaking a few music box rules. MusicMachine is constructed of two independent movements: a winding propeller with a mainspring barrel (reminiscent of a piston under the propeller) and a horizontal cylinder with pins that create the three melodies and a vertical comb with individual hand-tuned teeth that sound each note.

As the music plays, the speed of the cylinder unwinding is determined by an air regulator in the form of a circular fan outside each propeller-topped, piston-shaped mainspring barrel.

The original concept for the music box called for perfect symmetry, which meant Reuge needed to configure the two movements as mirror images of one another, resulting in a completely inverted design of the movement components and architecture.

What Reuge and MB&F came up with is a visual and acoustic masterpiece that even Büsser, a sci-fi fan, finds hard to believe. “Reuge is the Jedi master of music boxes,” he said. “It is incredible how Reuge has been able to turn our design into reality. And that’s not even mentioning how good it sounds!”

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Reuge CEO Kurt Kupper added, “MB&F came to us with this radical concept and we have shown that, when it comes to high-end music boxes, Reuge will make dreams come true.”

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