MB&F and artist Sage Vaughn made a strong statement at the 2009 Only Watch charity auction.
There is a butterfly trapped in the movement of the latest watch to emerge from MB&F. And it has no hope of escaping, because the complicated movement is wrapped in barbed wire. This emotionally charged piece, a one-of-a-kind interpretation of MB&F’s Horological Machine No.2, is signed by the American artist Sage Vaughn.
After a first meeting with Max Büsser, Sage Vaughn understood the mission at once and immediately proposed to donate his time and talent. The entire upper face of the watch is crafted in sapphire crystal, revealing the HM2’s complex engine. The hundreds of minute components are imprisoned in barbed wire and the blue butterfly struggles to escape from the same fate. The scene has all the emotional power of the first rough by Sage Vaughn – a pencil sketch of the movement criss-crossed by barbed wire drawn in red pencil.more pictures in press section
Only Watch is a biennial charity auction of unique timepieces under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco; proceeds go to medical research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
The light-hearted, innocent butterfly trapped in the barbed wire symbolizes a valiant child fighting against the disease.
California-based painter and former graffiti artist, Vaughn fought and conquered his own demon – a seven-year heroin addiction – and the pain of that struggle is felt in the emotional power of his work.
At MB&F we were literally “shocked into” creating a piece of horology for the Only Watch event, and were determined that our timepiece should convey that emotion. We wanted to express the beauty and vulnerability of childhood, and the valiant struggle of a child who may well be in a wheelchair before he is twelve.
There are no coincidences in life, and at the time, a new gallery in Geneva was given over entirely to the work of Sage Vaughn. The images of gaily-dressed children or bright birds or butterflies putting on a brave front against bleak urban backgrounds had haunted Max Büsser. He had bought one of the art works, a baseball bat adorned with a collage of butterflies, pinned down by nails… the connection to Only Watch was just a matter of time.