Alain Silberstein springs a surprise with his case for Horological Machine No.2
It takes a lot to surprise followers of MB&F, but the HM2.2, with a case created by French watch designer Alain Silberstein, may well do it. Alain Silberstein is widely known for his bold use of colour and pattern – and one might have expected the adventurous MB&F 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 says that it reminds him of the miniature box cameras of the 1940s.
In terms of design, the Silberstein case retains the twin porthole dials and powerful profile of the original Horological Machine No.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.more pictures in press section
Alain Silberstein has hidden an inscription on the side of the case, his motto: “Le vrai bonheur est d’avoir sa passion pour métier” (“True happiness is having one’s passion for a profession”).
Whilst the twin porthole dials are still the focal point, the watch’s personality has changed completely. HM2.2 combines the pure geometry of the Bauhaus with the user-friendliness of the miniature box cameras of the 1940s.
A famous French watch designer based in Besancon, Alain trained as an interior architect and designer, but quickly turned his talents to high-end watch design. His masterly handling of geometry and colour translated into collections that sparkled with inventiveness and wit.
With the HM3 as unsettling as ever, the House of Boucheron created its own seductive shock waves with the JwlryMachine, an haute-joaillerie version of Horological Machine No.3. In a spectacular flight of fancy, the House’s peerless artisans conceived the watch as a splendid three-dimensional jewelled owl in 18k gold, combined with amethyst, diamonds, pink tourmaline, rose quartz and pink, blue and violet sapphires.
The owl’s eyes are large glowing cabochons and its sparkling wings, wrapped protectively around the precious HM3 engine, are entirely pavé-set with diamonds and semi-precious stones. Its feathered breast is sculpted and engraved from a single block of amethyst or rose quartz.