its raised, central 60-second tourbillon movement, the release of the Horological Machine No. 2 by MB&F was highly anticipated. Not surprisingly, Maximilian Busser’s approach to horological movement and his way of expressing time is so unconventional, that his watches are among the most buzzed about each year prior to their release. In his perpetual quest for playful, innovative design, will Busser have the capacity to surprise us year after year with a new piece of horological art?

The design of the Horological Machine No. 2 definitely achieved to surprise all watch aficionados, leaving no one indifferent. Although it might not look like it, at first sight, the Horological Machine No. 2 is a very straightforward watch that gives an impression of perfect balance. The oversized rectangular-shaped base of the watch case is divided into two areas of interest with two completely separate round dials positioned on top of the rectangular plate. On the left, you have a retrograde date and dual moon phase indicator, while on the right you have a jump-hour disk and retrograde minutes. The two sub-dials balance each other out and none is more important than the other. Even more than the Horological Machine No. 1, the Horological Machine No. 2 stares back at you with two bulging eyes. Almost as if it were inviting us to look straight into it, as we would look into binoculars hoping to discover something invisible at first sight.

But in reality, the inspiration behind this rectangular watch design with two superimposed round dials is to be found in the design of the space platforms of 20th-century science fiction novels. Max Busser simply enjoys bringing his childhood dreams to life and therefore places design and art on top of traditional horological codes. This has always been his signature and will remain as his legacy. Maximilian Busser is a horological dreamer, but he has also demonstrated over the years that he is a master at squaring the circle.

The movement of the Horological Machine No. 2 offers instantaneous jumping hours, concentric retrograde minutes, retrograde date, bi-hemisphere moon-phase and automatic winding. Quite an impressive programme, divided into two bolted portholes that balance each other out. In a way, the Horological Machine No. 2 is an illustration of the many different ways in which the passage of time can be observed. The slow evolution of the moon phase is a rather poetical movement. The jumping hours mechanism illustrates how quickly time passes. And the retrograde date and retrograde minutes is a reminder of the perpetual repetition of time.

The three-dimensional horological engine is made out of 349 components and was designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht (Agenhor). It is powered by a Sowind base and features a 22k gold ‘battle-axe’ automatic winding rotor that can be observed through the sapphire case back of the watch.

The Horological Machine No. 2 is available is many different case variations. First of all, we have some 18k gold editions with the first option in white gold and titanium and the second option in red gold and titanium. Then, Maximilian Busser also proposes more modern declinations with two ceramic editions: a ceramic and red gold option, and a ceramic and titanium option. Finally, and probably the most complex variation of the Horological Machine No. 2 is the Sapphire Vision editions. The sapphire crystal of the ‘SV’ editions push the limits of case design even further, requiring 55 hours of milling, drilling and polishing to create a single case. HM2-Black SV is an 18-piece limited edition in sapphire & black PVD coated titanium. Whereas HM2-Red SV is also an 18-piece limited edition in sapphire but this time with 18k red gold.

In 2009, MB&F called on French watch designer Alain Silberstein to create a very first piece of ‘Performance Art’; the result was the HM2.2 ‘Black Box’. Alain Silberstein is widely known for his bold use of colour and pattern as well as his unique flair for the unconventional. The Silberstein touch lies in the use of his signature three bright colours and shapes: red, blue and yellow; triangle, rectangle and circle. One could have therefore expected an extremely colourful case for the Horological Machine No. 2.2. But to the contrary, Silberstein and Busser took everybody by surprise and created a ‘Black Box’ in titanium with silicium PVD coating. On the side of the Silberstein watch case is engraved a hidden message: “True happiness is having one’s passion for a profession”. The brief Maximilian Busser had given to Alain Silberstein was simple: “Enjoy yourself!”. Silberstein took his word and obviously did.

White gold and titanium
59 mm x 38 mm x 13 mm
Three-dimensional caliber conceived by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht
Jumping Hours, Retrograde Minutes, Retrograde Date, Bi-Hemisphere Moon Phase
Black alligator

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A rectangular horological machine

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