Dear Friends,

Writing these newsletters is a bit like therapy – a rare occasion in the mad rush of everyday business, to sit down and actually think about some of the recent and upcoming events which keep our little team busy. Thanks for providing this rare occasion, and for patiently reading my therapeutic prose :)

Believe it or not, one third of the year has just zipped by… Over the past months, the watchmaking world revolved around the annual fairs in Geneva and Basel: in very concrete terms for MB&F, about 400 intense but very constructive and gratifying meetings. And from an economic standpoint, if the orders of our retail partners are any indication of the luxury sector’s health, I’m happy to say that 2012 looks promising indeed.

Read on to get the latest regarding our recently-introduced HM4 ‘RT’, a new ‘Performance Art’ piece to be launched shortly, and more.

Baselworld was the perfect occasion to launch a new addition to the HM4 fleet. After the original HM4 ‘Thunderbolt’ in 2010, followed by the WW2-inspired ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and ‘Double Trouble’ rivet-studded editions of 2011, this year marks the arrival of the ‘RT’ limited edition: 18 pieces crafted in 18k red gold and titanium.

There’s a behind-the-scenes story about this new piece, which most people don’t know: we had always wanted to make a red gold version of HM4, but beyond some of the technical aspects, one of the most difficult challenges was the financing of the cases. Why? Because each of our HM4 cases is carved from a solid block of metal… and for the red gold case, we start with an ingot of about 1,5 kg! Considering current gold prices, you’ll quickly figure out that the 18 cases would have represented an up-front investment of about 1,4 million dollars. And while most of that gold would of course have been recycled, the duration of the complex manufacturing process would have meant that our small Horological lab had to finance this for several months… not something we could reasonably afford.

The solution? Don’t make the 18 cases in one run, but make only two at a time! In effect, this is therefore not a production run of 18 cases – already an incredibly small amount, when you know how long it takes to set up and fine-tune the machines – but really 9 distinct production runs of just two cases each… a bit crazy, but the only way we could actually get this new series of HM4 jets off the ground!

The good news is, the entire series was sold to our retail partners during the Geneva and Basel fairs… except for number 1/18, which we’ve reserved for our M.A.D.Gallery in Geneva.

As you’ve certainly noticed, the M.A.D.Gallery has added loads of new activity and content to the life of MB&F – you should for example be receiving a M.A.D.Gallery-specific newsletter by now (if not, sign up here). It was therefore only natural to start a new Facebook page devoted to our creative platform in Geneva.

Even though there will always be many links between our core watchmaking activity and the M.A.D.Gallery, the new Facebook page focuses more on what’s going on at the Gallery: the artists and designers we represent, their mechanical creations… but also events like the recent collaboration with our retail partner GMT in Milano, during the Salone del Mobile (Milan Design Week). If you’re not a fan yet and want to be part of the action, give the page a Like.

Our MB&F page continues in parallel, stronger as ever – many thanks to our 16’000+ fans who continue to inspire us with their constant interaction!

Every so often, we like to have some additional fun with what we call ‘Performance Art’: in a nutshell, we ask an external creator to reinterpret one of our Machines. You may remember the HM2.2 ‘Blackbox’ by Alain Silberstein, the ‘JWLRYMACHINE’ by Boucheron (an haute-joaillerie interpretation of our HM3), or the unique pieces we asked artists Sage Vaughn and Huang Hankang to create for the Only Watch charity auctions…

Our fifth ‘Performance Art’ piece will be unveiled on May 2nd, at 14:30 Central European Time. Stay tuned!

For just over a year now, Alan Taylor’s discerning eye has been gracing the pages of, the website of the celebrated American literary and cultural commentary magazine The Atlantic. Taylor edits ‘In Focus’, a photography blog featuring photo essays about a range of subjects, from breaking news to culture high and low.

Earlier last month, Taylor presented “A Trip across the Solar System” – a cosmic selection of photographs gleaned from all the ‘eyes in the sky’ that currently look over our galaxy: NASA’s robotic probes, European Space Agency data-gathering devices, spacecraft in orbit and astronauts working on the International Space Station.

Check out the best of these amazing pictures in our weekly blog, A Parallel World.

I leave in a few days for another round-the-world trip. As always, I look forward to seeing the many Friends who collectively compose the ‘F’ in MB&F – customers, retail partners, media, fans… and who make this adventure worthwhile.

As we’ve said from the beginning, “what’s the pleasure of an adventure, if you can’t share it with friends?”

With my thanks and very best regards,

Maximilian Büsser
Owner and Creative Director