Monochrome Watches
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Just Because

The M.A.D. EDITION 1, The Accessible Watch By Max Büsser That You’d Want to Buy… But Can’t!

The quintessential community watch surfacing on social media, but not available to the public? What gives, Max?!?!

| By Robin Nooy | 5 min read |

Talk about making a “thank you, dear friends” kind of statement! Offering your superb creativity in a watch that is FAR less costly than everything else you do, and only making it available to suppliers to your brand, and Tribe Members (officially registered collectors). That is what MB&F’s founder Max Büsser just did, and it has been creating quite the buzz! So, what gives, Max? Are you going to leave us out here, in the dark like that? Or is there something more to expect from this obviously very cool, yet accessible M.A.D EDITION watch? 

In essence, the clue is in the name of the brand; Max Büsser & Friends. The “& Friends” part is very important to the MB&F team, as well as Max himself, the founder of the company. In all the years we’ve worked with MB&F one thing stands out, and that is the close friendship he builds with people that are important to him. Friendships without which he would not be able to do what he does best. And that offers out-of-this-world haute horlogerie with extravagant creativity.

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And low and behold, earlier this week we stumbled upon a new project that is causing a storm on social media. First spotted on Instagram, thanks to collector @Watchinery, we were amazed by the images we saw. It is very much in the style of Max Büsser, yet very different in execution. Somewhere between the classical style of the Legacy Machines and the wildly creative and unpredictable Horological Machines, this was something that none of us at MONOCHROME saw coming. Still, the M.A.D.1 from a new project named M.A.D. EDITION (a reference to Max Büsser’s other project, the M.A.D.Galleries, for Mechanical Art Devices) is real and out there.

Naturally, we had to reach out, only to be quite disappointed and very intrigued at the same time. MB&F’s team was quick to break the bad news to us; no, this watch will not be for sale. It is purely intended as a “thank you” piece offered to friends of the brand, i.e. suppliers and Tribe members (collectors) of MB&F, who’ve helped shape it in all its 16 years of existence.

But what are we actually talking about? The watch is called the M.A.D. 1 and is dedicated to all the years of service provided by suppliers and the relationship with collectors of MB&F watches. But with a serious twist! Where MB&F watches normally cost north of 50k euros, the M.A.D. 1 is priced at just CHF 1,900 excluding VAT. That alone just blew us away, because what we have here looks so much more than a sub-2k watch.

In typical Büsser style, the M.A.D. 1 is extravagant, creative and offers a unique display of the time. It is a nod to several other pieces by MB&F, as it features a movement flipped upside down like in the HM3 and HM8. There’s also a lateral timing indication, another element MB&F has played around with in the past, as (somewhat) evidenced by the HM7 Aquapod and the HM3 FrogX. To keep things relatively (or extremely) affordable compared to the Horological or Legacy Machines, the movement is produced by Miyota. Quite unexpected, but it opens up the M.A.D. 1 to a whole new audience. That is, if it were for sale, which it isn’t.

On top of the inverted movement sits a triple-bladed winding rotor, reminiscent of the battle-axe rotor in various MB&F watches. It is decorated with a stripe of Super LumiNova on each blade, another nod to past pieces by the brand (in collaboration with Mr Glow himself; James Thompson, a.k.a. Black Badger). The rotor is done in titanium and tungsten by the way… Time is indicated by two aluminium cylinders, blue for the hours and grey for the minutes. The cylinders are engraved and filled with Super LumiNova. 

All is set in an unusual, evocative 42mm steel case. This features a domed sapphire on top to reveal the spinning triple-blade rotor and a mineral crystal around the case to allow a full view of the hour and minute cylinders. You can see the mounting of the hour and minute cylinders from the bottom. All is set in a cradle-like construction to be worn on the wrist, with a light grey leather strap with blue stitching, on a folding buckle.  

By now it’s pretty obvious we are more than a little curious to discover more about this piece. But, chances are slim we will ever see one live. That is, if Max Büsser remains firm in his decision to offer this to the brand’s inner circle only. Apparently, the teams at MB&F have been bombarded by requests, which we can fully understand. We, however, are kind of limping on two thoughts. On one hand, we applaud Büsser and his teams for taking this daring path and think they should stick to it. On the other, just build and sell the damn thing already! 

Naturally, this article is dedicated to the fun in watchmaking in general, and MB&F specifically. We thank you, MB&F and all others who help shape this community and make watchmaking a little bit better each and every day. 

We cannot emphasize enough the fact that this is not a commercially available watch. There’s a small chance this will change in the near future as we’ve learned from people at MB&F, yet nothing is gauranteed. But for now, there’s no need to ask us, MB&F or anyone else for that matter if you can have one.

16 responses

  1. Look, I get it. They want to do something nice for their loyal customers. Good on them. However, for those that love MB&F but can’t or won’t pay $50k+ for one of their core pieces, this would be a perfect entry point to the brand. I would happily pay the asking price for this piece…I’d even pay twice the asking price. Hopefully MB&F will reconsider selling these (or a new, more accessible piece) to the public in the future.

  2. Hey Max! Good on your and the MB&F team for recognizing your supporters and suppliers over the years with this cool piece. Excellent thought. Still, why not continue forward and open this up to ALL of us who admire and cherish your brand!! Build up your future client base……Cheers Steve

  3. I think this is an opportunity lost. I try to get young people interested in horology and they always say the cool watches are too expensive. This is something that is relatively inexpensive and different. Why would you limit this to people who can afford a regular MB&F model? Open the tent and bring more people in. They could buy this and if their income improves they may purchase a MB&F. Again opportunity lost.

  4. i have to say i don’t get it… so they make an accessible piece for people who are MB&F collectors, a piece priced for probably less than these people pay plane tickets in a week. hell, they probably have watch straps more expensive. they’ve been gifted more expensive wines, most likely.

    and, compared to the other MB&Fs, this looks almost “pedestrian”. i mean, for MB&F collectors, a Sub is probably “a daily beater”, so even presenting this as such seems a bit ludicrous

    and yet, for us, mere mortals, this here would’ve been a dream come true. hell, if they scaled it enough, they could’ve probably priced it even lower. even a 10000 run for let’s say 1750usd/chf would’ve sold out in 5 minutes

    i just don’t get it. M.A.D., indeed

  5. The Swiss watch is more about who you know, I brought up to look on this kind of behaviour as corrupting and so, to avoid it . Rolex taught us to distrust and by extension to dislike each other a little more. Good job. Now the whole watch culture has moved down one MORE peg.

  6. I agree with practically all the previous comments here, but I should note one thing…Miyota 821A movements are not really accurate and I know from having a couple of entry level watches with this movement, they don’t handle sudden small shocks or movements very well. I don’t know if that is because of the indirect drive system on Miyota 800 series because the 900 and 9000 series movements don’t have these issues.

    As Mike P intimated above, I would happily pay a bit more for this stunner, but my caveat would be that I’d want a better movement. Of course, if MB&F regulates the movements and modifies the Miyota 821A in the M.A.D. 1 then all bets are off, LOL. I’d buy it immediately.

    Maybe the Edition 2 will be released to the public (highly doubtful but one can dream!).

  7. The one watch many of us would want to buy and could probably buy but are not allowed. How bonkers is that. I understand being true to the friends but this is an opportunity missed.

  8. A hideous watch with a basic Miyota movement that costs CHF2000 that I can’t have? I will just have to learn to live with that I suppose.

  9. Totally get where all of you are coming from… but never in life forget to be grateful toward those who allowed your dreams to come true. Without MB&F there would be no M.A.D.1 and therefore nothing to be frustrated about. Let us first be kind to those who helped us and then it makes sense to open to more…

  10. Hi Max, thanks to you and all your friends for the fabulous horological art that you create. I appreciate what you all do, and love that you’ve found such a special way to celebrate what your friends have helped you achieve.
    As always I’ll have to marvel from afar, but like all great works of art, be thankful for the chance to marvel!

  11. Hi Max, I am a fan of your time Maschine and if I was a millionaire, I will definitely have one of your time Maschine but of course now I can not afford it. I am serving for the United Nations for the last 32 years and will be retiring soon. Before my departure to the 3d word, I wish to have one of your time maschine Mad Edition which I can afford. Ofcourse I am not over ambitious, but I can dream and talk to my engineer son about your time maschine.. may be he can afford one. Thank you.

  12. Let’s make an affordable watch that remains exclusive to ppl that are already exclusive and can afford exclusive watches. Not impressed by the gesture. Hopefully at some point they will open something like this to the public. I admire the creativity but “and friends” doesn’t include the common folk. Rich play with the rich.

  13. @Rick – there was an entirely fair draft, with anyone able to enter… the only thing needed was an email address. Don’t know what’s more fair than this to allocate watches. Remember that the brand isn’t able to produce tons of them. And with a certain level of production, they decided to make a draft for anyone interested.

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