MB&F’s mechanical marvels celebrate the creativity of collaboration

News • 02 Apr 2024

MB&F’s mechanical marvels celebrate the creativity of collaboration

At the MB&F Lab, created together with The Hour Glass, a unique assemblage of objects showcases a melding of art, innovation, timekeeping and beyond.

The Hour Glass has been at the forefront of offering discerning watch enthusiasts access to the world’s most innovative and boundary-pushing timekeepers for decades. This long-standing tradition was elevated in 2022 when The Hour Glass unveiled its partnership with the audacious watchmaker Maximilian Büsser to open the first-ever MB&F Lab. Nestled in the historic Raffles Hotel in Singapore, this visionary retail space encapsulates a shared commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional watchmaking, offering an immersive experience into the avant-garde world of horology.

MB&F Lab at the iconic Raffles Hotel in Singapore

Spanning a compact yet impactful 53 square meters, the MB&F Lab is designed not just as a showroom but as a portal into the expansive universe of MB&F’s mechanical artistry. It’s a space where the brand’s exceptional watches and mechanical art devices are showcased, highlighting Maximilian Büsser’s unparalleled creativity and his collaborative spirit with other luminaries in the high-end and mechanical arts sectors. This innovative gallery also spotlights the unique co-creations that have emerged from these collaborations, blending MB&F’s design philosophy with the distinct talents and visions of its partners.

Sherman Palladium

Among the pioneering co-creations featured at the MB&F Lab is Sherman, an imaginative clock developed in partnership with L’Epée 1839, the last of Switzerland’s premier high-end clockmakers. More than just a timekeeper, Sherman resembles a robot and boasts a transparent body that reveals the complex mechanics within. Its movable arms and tracks not only add a playful element but also serve as a tribute to the art of mechanical clockwork.

Medusa Green

As visitors explore further, they encounter Medusa, a captivating timekeeping instrument that mirrors the elegance and mystery of the ocean’s depths. Created with L’Epée 1839, Medusa can be suspended or placed on stands, its luminescent glass rings mimicking the glow of a jellyfish, making it a stunning piece of kinetic art as well as a functional clock. The narrative of inventive collaboration continues with the Nixie Clock, a retro-futuristic creation that pays homage to the iconic Nixie tubes. This clock blends vintage charm with modern design, exemplifying MB&F’s dedication to merging historical aesthetics with contemporary innovation.

“World Skies” by BREAKFAST, MB&F x L’Epée 1839 Co-creations Medusa, Grant, and Octopod

The journey culminates with the World Skies Kinetic Art, an interactive kinetic artwork and real-time weather data visualisation created by Brooklyn-based art collective BREAKFAST. It allows the viewer to select any city in the world to visualise cloud cover, rainfall, and wind in real-time. But when they interact with the piece, a depth sensor replaces the visualisation with a reflection of themselves. The contrast of their image changes based on the current cloud cover – similar to how the sun and clouds affect your appearance when outside. The artwork uses flip-discs (also known as flip dots), an electromagnetic mechanical medium of physically moving discs that were originally developed in the 1960s for airport signage and displays. BREAKFAST modernised the technology by re-engineering both hardware and software to substantially increase the speed at which each disc can flip and began creating unique, connected, interactive installations using the kinetic medium.

Beyond these masterpieces, the MB&F Lab serves as a cultural hub, hosting a variety of events, talks, and exhibitions that foster a dialogue between mechanical art enthusiasts and the creators themselves. This unique approach transforms the space from a simple gallery into a vibrant community of like-minded individuals passionate about the convergence of time, art, and mechanics. Interactive displays and detailed narratives provide insight into the inspiration and challenges behind each creation, deepening visitors’ connection to the artistry on display.

The MB&F Lab, curated by The Hour Glass, is more than just a retail space—it’s a destination for aficionados of haute horlogerie and those captivated by the audacious innovation of a maison like MB&F. It stands as a vibrant testament to Maximilian Büsser’s vision and his collaborative endeavours, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a world where mechanical ingenuity meets artistic wonder.

Tags: haute horlogerie maximillian büsser mb&f lab

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