Simply black: Alain Silberstein surprised with his case for Horological Machine N°2.2 "Black Box"
It takes a lot to surprise followers of MB&F, but the Horological Machine N°2 presented in November 2009 in collaboration with French artist/watch designer Alain Silberstein, did just that. Alain Silberstein is widely known for his bold use of colour and pattern – and one might have expected Maximilian Büsser to push that tendency to the limit. But no, the two came up with what they affectionately called the “black box”, all Bauhaus purity and restraint. It is crafted like a jewel, but Silberstein said that it reminded him of the miniature box cameras of the 1940s.
The model’s official name is Horological Machine N°2.2.
The Silberstein designed case retains the twin porthole dials and powerful profile of the original Horological Machine N°2 with its flying-buttress lugs, but otherwise, it has been entirely rethought and rebuilt. The science-fiction shock of the original has given way to something lighter and more whimsical, with a personality all its own.
Presented in November 2009, Horological Machine N°2.2 "Black Box" is a limited edition of 8 pieces and is sold out.
The brief to Alain Silberstein was typical of MB&F’s creative approach. Explaining the project, Maximilian Büsser says, “I simply gave Alain the watch and said: “Enjoy yourself! And he caught me completely off balance. He produced a black box, where I was expecting something very colourful!” This makes Alain Silberstein chuckle.
In more ways than one, Alain Silberstein has left his mark on Horological Machine N°2.2. A tiny, almost invisible inscription on the side of the case, reads: “Le vrai bonheur est d’avoir sa passion pour métier” (“True happiness is having one’s passion for a profession”). That is his motto, and he found his soul mates in MB&F. As he says: “The whole point was the pleasure of working together."