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The latest MB&F M.A.D. 1 watch, the M.A.D.1 Time to Love, is a colorful meld of technology, optimism and artistic expression.

Teaming with French artist and avant-garde designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, MB&F has infused the M.A.D.1 design with the artist’s color pallet (red, blue and yellow) as well as his trademark use of upbeat phrases and text. 

Like its three predecessors in the accessibly priced series, the M.A.D. 1 Time to Love is a 42mm titanium-cased automatic watch characterized by a dial-side rotor that spins gleefully as its wearer moves.

Hours and minutes are displayed along the side of the case with revolving hour and minute cylinders, engraved and highly visible thanks to a liberal use of SuperLumiNova. 

MB&F has taken a reliable Miyota  821A automatic movement, flipped it upside down (in a reference to MB&F’s HM3 and HM8) and added a triple-blade, titanium and tungsten rotor with unidirectional winding (which MB&F explains is essential for easy, high-speed rotation).

For this latest edition, MB&F incorporates de Castelbajac’s colors in lacquer on the three rotor blades, one of which is heavier than the others to optimize spinning. A fourth color, bright green, is seen on the piece’s case-side hour disc.

Several thoughtful quotes from the artist also provide a personal touch to the piece. These include a quote on the base of the dial (“Ce trésor rare et précieux, c’est ta vie. Le temps vole de ses ailes blanches. Tu es le gardien de ton temps”. This translates into English as: “This rare and precious treasure is your life. Time flies with its white wings. You are the guardian of your time”.

In addition, de Castelbajac’s own handwriting provides the font for the hour and minute rings, while the crown features an engraving of an angel talking to the moon, a recurring theme for the artist.

The leather strap is embroidered with the name of the watch, ‘Time to Love’, and each timepiece comes with two straps – one in black and the other in white.

As with previous M.A.D. 1 offering, MB&F will launch the new 999-piece limited edition model via an online raffle, which for this model opens today (April 3) and will be live until until April 17.

Half of the pieces will be made available for the MB&F Tribe (registered collectors of MB&F pieces) and Friends (suppliers) on a first-come, first-served basis. The rest will be available to the general public using the same raffle system as before to ensure fair distribution.

Given the strong demand of previous models, we expect this new MB&F  M.A.D.1 Time to Love to sell out quickly. 

Price: $3,600.

Artist and designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (left) with MB&F founder Maximilian Busser.

 

MB&F combines onyx with yellow gold to create the latest model in its GPHG-award-winning Legacy Machine FlyingT collection, the independent watchmaker’s series of three-dimensional watches inspired by women.

The new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx.

The new Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx follows previous models in the collection that have featured colorful stone dials such as malachite, tiger eye and lapis lazuli.  

Tilted to a 50-degree angle, the dial, here in polished onyx, is positioned to be primarily visible to the wearer. The dial sits adjacent to a dramatic flying tourbillon that beats at a leisurely 18,000 vph. Atop the tourbillon MB&F affixes a single large diamond that operates just shy of the top of the sapphire crystal dome.

On the back MB&F creates a rotor that looks like a three-dimensional red gold sun with sculpted rays.

The movement provides four days of power reserve. (See below for additional technical specifications).

You may recall that MB&F debuted the LM FlyingT in 2019 in three editions, all in white gold and set with diamonds. Two limited editions in red gold and platinum came next, both without diamonds but with guilloché dial plates. New gemstone dials have been added to the collection each year. The debut won the GPHG prize in 2019 in the Ladies Complication category.

“I wanted LM FlyingT to reflect the personality and qualities of the women of my family, particularly my mother,” MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser explains “It had to combine supreme elegance with tremendous vitality.”

Price: $133,000.

 

Specifications: MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

Movement: Three-dimensional vertical architecture, automatic winding, conceived and developed in-house by MB&F, central flying 60-second tourbillon.

Power reserve: 100 hours

Balance frequency: 2.5Hz / 18,000 vph

Three-dimensional sun winding rotor in 18k 5N+ red gold, titanium and platinum

Number of components: 280

Functions/indications:

Hours and minutes displayed on a 50° vertically titled dial with two serpentine hands.

Two crowns: winding on left and time-setting on right.

Case: 38.5mm x 20mm yellow gold, high domed sapphire crystal on top with anti-reflective coating on both sides, sapphire crystal on back.

Water resistance to 30 meters.

Strap & buckle:

Calf or alligator leather straps available with gold pin buckle matching the case.

Price: $133,000.

MB&F adds an eye-catching light blue dial color to its collection of titanium-cased Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO watches, which the independent watchmaker first launched in 2020.

The new MB&F LM Perpetual EVO Blue

When MB&F debuted the EVO, it was a zirconium-cased, sportier version of the award-winning Legacy Machine Perpetual, initially decked out in an orange, blue or a black dial plate. MB&F then added a titanium-cased version with a green dial plate to the collection in 2021.

This latest edition retires that 2021 model, replacing it with the LM Perpetual EVO Blue, which  boasts a cool icy blue CVD dial plate.

The Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO built its sporty chassis and new hues around the original GPHG-award-winning Legacy Machine Perpetual from 2015, devised for MB&F by watchmaker Stephen McDonnell.

McDonnell effectively redesigned the traditional perpetual calendar when he built the LM Perpetual with a so-called ‘mechanical processor.’ Essentially a series of superimposed disks, the component makes the default number of days in the month at 28 and then adds the extra days as required by each individual month.  

McDonnell also built in a safety feature that disconnects the pushers during the date changeover to eliminate any risk of damage to the movement when the date is changed.

With the 2020 EVO edition, MB&F added a series of technical upgrades to that watch, effectively toughening its resistance to shocks and moisture. The EVO offers a redesigned, sleeker case, ergonomic double-sprung pushers, an integrated rubber strap, Super-LumiNova, a specially developed ‘FlexRing’ shock-absorbing system, a screw-down crown and 80 meters of water resistance.

MB&F is now shipping the new LM Perpetual EVO Blue with its all-new icy blue CVD dial to its retailers. Also look for a few in the MB&F eShop. Price: $198,000. 

 

At the end of the year it’s time to note our favorite 2023 debut watches. We continue our look at a few of our favorite timekeepers of the year. 

Franck Muller: Colorado Grand 

Each limited to thirty-four examples (to celebrate the 34th anniversary of the race), these new watches of the Franck Muller Colorado Grand limited edition expertly utilize the classic 45mm Vanguard tonneau-shaped case and dial as a canvas, creating dials inspired by automotive art and the technical details of vintage cars.

Notable is the silver perlage that graces each dial of the four-watch set. Set with bold hand-painted numerals, these dials recall vintage car dashboards. Four models are available, each with a colorful rendering of the numerals, crown-protector and minute track just inside the bezel. Three debuts are in steel-cases, one in titanium and the fourth cased in rose gold. Prices: $13,000 to $24,500.

 

 

William Henry: Legacy 

The U.S.-based knifemaker’s first foray into wristwatches features dials created from meteorite, fossilized mammoth tooth and other exotic materials. A particularly nice example is this limited-edition Legacy Dinosaur model with a dial crafted from dinosaur bone; an extraordinary fossil material that ranges from 100 to 200 million years old. Initially it has a similar appearance to rock, but after the painstaking process of crafting a precision dial, the beautiful hues and patterns are revealed.

Surrounding the ancient dial is a forged Damascus case built with 300 layers of stainless-steel alloys and etched to reveal the individual patterns. Each watch in the debut collection is powered by a Sellita SW 400 automatic movement and housed in grade 5 titanium that is water resistant to 100 meters. Prices start at $3,750. 

 

Louis Vuitton: Tambour

This year, Louis Vuitton updates Tambour with new finishes and a decidedly slimmer, sculpted case. The new collection is more luxurious overall and notably highlights an all-new in-house movement and a sleek integrated steel bracelet.

Two new steel watches launch the collection’s upgrade. One is a chic monochrome model with a silver grey dial and the second one sports a deep blue dial. Both are built to highlight the new unisex 40mm by 8.3mm case, its new caliber LFT023 and the new bracelet. A rose gold model and a two-tone gold and steel edition are also now available. Price: $18,500 or $52,500 (rose gold) or $26,500 (two-tone). 

 

MB&F: Horological Machine Nº11 Architect.

This house for your wrist features four titanium ‘rooms’ radiating from a sapphire-domed central flying tourbillon. The surprising new watch recalls the designs of mid-twentieth century biomorphic-style houses, with four symmetrical parabolic ‘rooms’ emanating from a central atrium. 

Each room houses a display, with one showing the time, the next showing the watch’s power reserve, a third indicating temperature and the fourth housing the winding crown. The wearer can choose which display is in direct eyesight when wearing the watch by rotating the entire housing, which will click into place as desired. Price: $200,000.

 

 

Nomos: Rose Gold Neomatik

In a year of terrific debuts by this Glashütte-based watchmaker, this rose gold designs stood out for its unusually luxurious dressing. The Tangente Rose Gold Neomatik is a limited edition 35mm model in honor of the 175th anniversary of watchmaking in Glashütte. Limited to 175 pieces worldwide, the new watch adds a sub-seconds dial and minute markers in rose gold to the original’s galvanically white silver-plated dial. And while the first Tangente series reveled in its manual-wind minimalism, the new model is powered  by the Nomos DUW 3001, a thin automatic movement adjusted to chronometer standards. Price: $11,100.

 

 

Parmigiani Fleurier: Tonda PF Sport Chronograph 

Parmigiani Fleurier replaced its Tonda GT collection with the Tonda PF Sport Chronograph and Tonda PF Sport Automatic, both more refined than its predecessor. We like the chronograph best here, as it combines the most attractive elements of the new Tonda PF collection (the knurled bezel, clean dials and revamped bracelets) with its 42mm by 12.9mm ‘panda’-styling. 

Inside, the watchmaker fits its stunning Caliber PF070, a superb high-frequency (5Hz – 36,000 vph) manufacture movement with an integrated column wheel chronograph and a vertical clutch. The COSC-certified Chronometer offers a power reserve of sixty-five hours.

Prices: $50,200 (chronograph in rose gold), $29,000 (chronograph in steel).

We continue to highlight a few of our favorite watches from among the more than sixty watchmakers that have created timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction, which commences Sunday, November 5, in Geneva. Christie’s will auction these incredible one-of-a-kind watches to raise funds that benefit research in the battle against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

While you may have seen a few of the watches set for auction earlier this year when Only Watch announced them, we thought you’d enjoy seeing many of these impressive designs again just ahead of the event.

The watches are currently touring the globe. After concluding their U.S. visit at Christie’s in New York on September 17, the tour will visit Monaco next, followed by stops in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai and back in Geneva. See the Only Watch website for tour dates and details.

The H. Moser X MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium.

Here we highlight the H. Moser X MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium, the Only Watch entry for both MB&F and H. Moser. 

This unusual creation, named to emphasize the ‘panda,’ combines elements we’ve seen in earlier designs from both of these pioneering independent watchmakers. On top of the dial you’ll see a miniature white gold panda, which is already a signature of the Only Watch creations by MB&F.

Here the Panda is the DJ for the minute repeater visible on the fumé dial.

As MB&F founder Max Büsser explains, “Our original panda was created as an allegory for Only Watch 2011, and returned in 2021, before now making its third appearance in 2023. This time, it is an invitation to immerse yourself in the world of music and lose all touch with reality for just a few beats”.

The watch’s dial showcases the large suspended balance wheel characteristic of other MB&F watches, while the stunning aquamarine dial echoes the minimalism found throughout the H. Moser collection. 

The dial’s ‘turntables’ are fitted on the axis of the hammers and are driven by the rotation of the mechanism as it operates. The 5.35mm tall miniature took hours to create and build. The unusual balance wheel required its maker to first bend the gongs in two places to allow them to pass over the balance wheel bridge. Occupying three dimensions, the shaped gongs feature a flat coil and an upper coil, positioned one on top of the other.

Furthermore, H. Moser built the minute repeater’s sliding bolt on a Teflon runner to ensure it slides perfectly smoothly. It’s built into the main plate to save space. The case middle has been completely hollowed out in order to accommodate the movement while allowing enough space to create a soundbox. 

Estimate: CHF 300,000 to CHF 400,000