Have you seen the movie Hugo? The movie is about a boy living in the Parisian train station Gare du Nord, who is intrigued by mechanics, and who finds out more about his family. Seeing all those mechanics, like the huge gears of the station clock, was something that made me thing about the beauty of mechanical art.
As a watch lover I am also very much intrigued by the beauty of mechanical art, usually when it fits in a metal casing that can be strapped around my wrist. Especially brands like MB&F, Vianney Halter and for instance Hautlence (and others of course) really triggered the passion for mechanical art. And now Max Busser has brought it all together in a gallery. The M.A.D. Gallery displays the mechanical art timepieces of MB&F and mechanical art from artist from around the globe.
The clock in the movie Hugo plays a central role, because Hugo has to keep it running; a responsibility he inherited from his uncle who simply disappeared one day and left the young boy alone in the vaults of the Parisian train station. The huge gears and surrounding machinery are not only very nice to see and meander about, they are also a very real reference to times long gone by.
These reminders of the turn of the century (19th century to 20th century) are also visible in for instance the MB&F Legacy Machine 1. It somehow not only reminds of this era, but also of Jules Verne’s stories of 20,000 leagues under the sea and even art made by Hans Geiger.
The Machine Lights from Frank Buchwald, which are available from the M.A.D. Gallery and my favorite “objet d’art” in this gallery (besides Max Busser’s magnificent timepieces) are also a great example of this mix of art and mechanics. Here we don’t find any “form follows function” adagio, no, this is art mixed in an excessive way with function.
There are of course many more examples of mechanical art on display at the M.A.D. Gallery and if you have the chance to visit it, by all means treat yourself on a visit. If Geneva is not close to your home or not in your travel schedule any time soon, than make sure to watch the movie Hugo and have a look at the website of the M.A.D. Gallery.
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor of Monochrome Watches.