Wednesday, October 14, 2015

HOT NEWS ON MB&F WATCHES THAT ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE! ALL 80 HMX LIMITED EDITION WATCHES SOLD WITHIN 3 WEEKS

KEE@FSWMAG.COM

Dear Friends,
It feels a bit strange to write to you about a timepiece which is no longer available: all 80 pieces of the HMX limited editions, our 10th Anniversary Horological Machines, were sold out within just a few weeks. But since HMX represents an important milestone for us, I decided to go ahead and finalise this newsletter after all – from your feedback, I know that for at least some of you, these newsletters are the best way to keep you informed. So here goes!

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This was technically our seventh Horological Machine, but we called it “X”; on one hand because it holds a special position among our sequence of numbered Machines… but also “X” like the Roman numeral for 10.
If there is one word which has marked our 10 years, it’s probably “Independence”. Our independence gives us great creative freedom, but there are strings attached: I spent the last few months explaining to clients, journalists and other partners that this last decade was a totally unpredictable and often very challenging adventure – anything but a smooth and easy ride. On at least three or four occasions, our Horological Lab was at serious risk. But as they say, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.



If MB&F followed our industry’s conventions, we would have celebrated our birthday with a super-complicated, super-expensive timepiece. But as you know, we’re not big fans of conventions… So HMX was exactly the opposite: we conceived a true MB&F Horological Machine, but at an unprecedented price, sacrificing our own margins along the way. Our way of expressing our gratitude to a fantastic group of Friends: the collectors who have always supported us.
As you may know, as a young man I aspired to be a car designer, so like HM5, this anniversary piece just had to be a tribute to sports cars. If HM5 echoed the bold designs of Bertone, HMX was crafted with finer, more elegant lines in mind – those of coachbuilders like Carrozzeria Touring, champions of the “Superleggera” approach.

HMX is of course a true driver’s watch. Inside the Grade 5 titanium and stainless steel case, two optically-engineered sapphire crystal prisms reflect vertically and magnify the bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes. The automatic movement is powered by a special anniversary rotor engraved with the phrase that has become our mantra: “A creative adult is a child who survived”.

And now for my favourite feature: if you look closely at the movement, you’ll notice what seem to be two oil caps on valve rocker covers. Those chrome caps are not decoration, but real: the watchmaker will need to delicately unscrew them during servicing, to add oil and lubricate the jewels below.
Check out the short film to see HMX in action. You’ll also find more details on our website. But please don’t ask me to find an HMX for you… mission impossible!

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In general, luxury watches lose a lot of their value during their first years; like automobiles, you need to wait decades to reach “vintage” status and observe – in some rare cases – an increase in value. Auctions are even trickier for young, independent brands like MB&F; contemporary horology has too few followers to make up a solid community ready to buy at auction, and most pre-owned timepieces are therefore sold at much lower prices than retail (think 50% off).
Some time ago I was asked by a journalist, which criteria influenced the value of watches sold at auction. I am not an expert, but answered by making a parallel: if you look at vintage automobiles, it seems to me that high prices result from a combination of three factors, namely scarcity, quality of craftsmanship… and truly game-changing designs. Those ground-breaking cars were not the result of design by committee, but the fruit of fiercely independent designers and engineers.
Having said all that… We were recently shocked not just once but twice, by the auction results of one of our most extreme timepieces ever: HM4. First on June 3rd, a “Razzle Dazzle” limited edition was sold at Christie’s for HKD 1,840,000 (about CHF 230,000) – that’s a whopping 20% over the retail price of a brand-new piece when it was launched in 2011! And then again, on October 6th, a unique HM4 in yellow gold reached an even higher HKD 1,875,000 at Sotheby’s


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To continue the good news, I was very pleased to see our small Horological Lab recently in the pages of some major international media: in Forbes for example, who published a wonderfully-written piece by Jonathon Keats. If you missed the printed version, you can still read the article online – and understand why I responded, back in 2005, to a generous new contract from Harry Winston by… quitting and starting MB&F.
MB&F was also featured in the International New York Times, thanks to Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop. Her excellent interview will give you some insight into why I am intent on keeping MB&F “small and nimble” – read the online version here.


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Ever dreamed of a house on the beach? Or up in the mountains? How about both? A French architecture firm, Multipod Studios, has created PopUp House, a cheap, quick and easy way to give people a home anywhere they want.


PopUp House is – literally – built around a simple idea: ease and speed of construction, thanks to pre-fabricated insulated frames. The firm has rethought the traditional process of building a house and invented “parallelopoids”, rectangular blocks that easily interlock to form the frame of each housing unit.


Multipod Studio also believes that a house should be affordable and approachable, so they decided to use recyclable elements - expanded polystyrene and Lamibois – along with solar power panels. Energy is conserved and used smartly within the living space.
A Pop-Up House build requires just three items: a pair of good arms, a little intuition and an electric drill. And if a drill is lacking, there is also a glue-on version of Pop-Up House available. Four people can put one together in four days.
Have a look at the amazing video of the construction process, along with more information on our blog, A Parallel World.


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I look forward to seeing and hearing from you. Between my team and myself we are present at various fairs in Taipei, Dubai, Mumbai and Mexico this month – and also in London for Salon QP in November. As always, if our paths don’t cross, the other option is our @mbandf social media accounts. One way or another, please do stay in touch!
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Very best regards,
Maximilian B├╝sser
Owner & Creative Director
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