Founded by Maximilian Büsser in 2005 and focusing on three-dimensional kinetic art in his timepieces, MB&F (Maximilian Büsser and Friends) has been creating radical watches ever since the brand’s inception. Two new, innovative releases have recently been added: The HM10 Panda and LM Perpetual Palladium.
The HM10 Panda was revealed as one of 53 one-of-a-kind watches as part of the Only Watch charity auction in July (the 2021 auction will take place in Geneva on Saturday, November 6th). At the time, only illustrations by artist Lee Yuen-Rapati were released, but now the watch is ready and actual photos have been widely released. Based on Büsser’s first cuddly toy, which was a panda, and because pandas are so associated with childhood, the HM10 Bulldog has been transformed into a panda bear.
To mimic the stark white and black of a panda’s coat, the HM10 Panda features a stainless-steel case coated in black and white lacquer. The HM10 Panda also resembles the cuddly animal with its two black titanium panda ‘ears’ added atop the sapphire crystal dome and a ceramic tail crafted from grade 5 silicon nitride. The black and white theme is shown throughout each detail of the timepiece from black and white domes on the face of the watch (also called panda dials in the watchmaking world), a black and white strap that serves as the panda’s “legs” and the panda ‘teeth’ or hinged jaws which open and close and indicate the power reserve of the 301-component manual-winding HM10 engine.
Said Büsser of the watch, “I first met Luc Pettavino (founder and organizer of Only Watch) and his late son Paul in 2005. For me, Only Watch is not a marketing stunt or a feel-good operation; we are intimately linked to the story of Luc, Paul, and all the other kids who suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.”
First presented in 2015, MB&F has since presented five limited-edition models of the Legacy Machine Perpetual – platinum (25 pieces), rose gold (25), white gold with purple face (25), titanium (50), and most recently yellow gold (25). The new edition of one of MB&F’s best sellers is presented in Palladium 950, paired with an aquamarine dial (which depending on the surrounding light varies from light blue to grey to pale green). Similar to previous editions, there will only be 25 pieces of the new Palladium 950 edition and the retail price as of now is $206,000.
Although the design of the dial is a work of art, it is really the mechanics of the watch, created in collaboration with Northern Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, which makes this timepiece a rarity. It raises the perpetual calendar above the plane of the dial and uses a system (called a grand levier) for calculating the number of days in each month, as its mechanical processor has a baseline of 28 days per month and adds days as required. Each of the skeletonized subdials seems to float on the dial with no visible attachments while the new edition also inherits two new features: the more ergonomic corrector pushers first seen on the LM Perpetual EVO editions and a darker movement finish on the back, offering more contrast.