The World’s First MB&F Lab Opens at the Iconic Raffles Hotel in Singapore
The Hour Glass and MB&F present the first MB&F Lab in Singapore. Located on the first level of Raffles Arcade inside Raffles Hotel, it offers a new hybrid retail experience showcasing MB&F Machines alongside a curated selection of kinetic art pieces in an intimate setting.
MB&F and The Hour Glass is proud to announce the opening of the first MB&F Lab inside Raffles Arcade, part of the iconic Raffles Hotel in Singapore. This is the first MB&F Lab concept in the region and marks an exciting new chapter for MB&F and The Hour Glass. The opening of the first MB&F Lab is also a testament to the maturity of watch collectors and connoisseurs in Singapore.
“Singapore, even though a small country, has garnered the largest community of MB&F collectors in the world. This is as much due to the sophistication and passion for artisanal watches from the Singaporean public as to the incredible energy The Hour Glass has put into educating collectors about high-end independent watchmaking.” Max Büsser, Founder and Creative Director of MB&F.
This new 53 square metre boutique on the first level of Raffles Arcade is one of the first MB&F Labs to open in the world. The MB&F Lab presents a new hybrid retail experience, similar to the M.A.D Gallery, in a more intimate setting.
An Iconic Location Inside Raffles Singapore
Mention Singapore and an icon that comes to mind is the Raffles Hotel. This landmark hotel has witnessed the history of Singapore for generations. While the location of the new MB&F Lab inside the Raffles Arcade may seem unexpected, it was actually a carefully considered choice. The arcade showcases a myriad of international and local brands, to collectively create a one-of-a-kind retail experience that goes beyond traditional brick and mortar shopping. The MB&F Lab will offer a novel retail experience, where inventive horological creations sit alongside ingenious pieces of mechanical art.
“A strong tree needs strong roots, and the Raffles very elegantly reminds us of that. It is a landmark not only for Singapore but for the whole world. I am therefore so happy that it will showcase the very first MB&F LAB, a concept which will see the opening of five more locations around the world over the next twelve months.” Max Büsser, Founder and Creative Director of MB&F.
A New Hybrid Retail Concept
MB&F created the first M.A.D.Gallery in 2011 in Geneva as a platform to showcase MB&F Machines and Co-creations with carefully-curated kinetic and mechanical art pieces by various artists from around the world. Last year, in collaboration with Swiss-based agency Voltige Design & Architecture, MB&F redefined the interior design and architectural identity that is now used for the new MB&F Lab, which are more intimate spaces than full-fledged M.A.D Galleries.
Discover the latest MB&F horological creations, including the Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO and the ground-breaking LM Sequential EVO, as well as MB&F Co-Creations including the ORB clock created with L’Epée 1839 and the MusicMachine 1 Reloaded with Reuge. There is opportunity to peruse specially-curated works of art, such as the KB2 Lebru x Alain Silberstein clock, and Frank Buchwald’s Nixie Machine III.
A Bespoke Visual Marker
Distinct to this new architectural identity is a new bespoke visual marker: a giant blue reflective lens that is the focal point of the space. Evocative and eye catching against the white background, the lens inverts the world in its reflection. “We came up with the idea of a central element, a sort of giant lens that would turn the world upside down with its reflections that move as you walk past,” Tyl Vergriete, co-founder of Voltige, explains. “It stands alone, but does not steal the attention from the other creations in the space.”
Manufacturing the lens was an incredibly challenging process, carried out by a French ceramics company that has been in operation for over 170 years. Tyl continues: “Working with different artisans was also an important part of the project as MB&F wanted this element of craftsmanship to be present throughout, just like it is with their watches.”
Distinctive Domed Glass Display Cases
Breaking away from conventional showcases of square glass boxes on four legs, the domed showcases at the MB&F Lab create something unexpected, echoing MB&F creations. The domes are completed with a cast aluminium tripod-like stand and a blue ceramic disc, that matches the giant lens, recalling MB&F’s love for all things space-age.
Fabrication of the glass domes of the showcases was a challenge. Reminiscent of the aesthetics of old science-fiction movies, the domed showcases mirror the domed sapphire crystals of MB&F Machines.
Custom Designed Furniture
The third key element of the new design is the furniture, which Max Büsser explains as “something I would like to have in my own home”. The result is an homage to the quality and know-how of furniture craftsmen of the 1950s and 60s. The main piece is a large table that has been modified by skilled carpenters so that it can display watches in recessed showcases embedded in the wooden surface, allowing MB&F creations to take centre stage.
MB&F and The Hour Glass
The relationship between Max Büsser and The Hour Glass dates back well before Max Büsser founded his own company in 2005. The Hour Glass is proud to be a partner of MB&F since the very beginning. The opening of the first MB&F Lab in Singapore marks a new milestone in this long-term partnership.
“I have been working with The Hour Glass for soon 24 years. It has not only been a pleasure but a real privilege to be partnering with the Tay family and their fantastic teams. The opening of the MB&F LAB in Singapore is one more great step in our amazing journey.” Max Büsser, Founder and Creative Director of MB&F.
“I first met Max in Singapore in 1999 and it is one of those rare relationships in my life where what started as a professional partnership has, over the past two decades, transformed into one of a lifelong friendship. I value Max because he is one of the few visionaries in the universe of contemporary horology and – of more significance to me – is both reliable and consistent in his approach to his brand and business.” Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass.
The Hour Glass is the Exclusive Retailer of MB&F in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
MB&F LAB SINGAPORE
328 North Bridge Road, #01-19, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Singapore 188719
Tel: 6550 2688
Monday to Saturday: 11.00am to 8.00pm
Sunday & Public Holiday: 11.00am to 6.00pm