A tête-à-tête with Maximilian Büsser

Interviews • 15 Feb 2024

A tête-à-tête with Maximilian Büsser

by Anandhi Gopinath

Almost two decades since its establishment, MB&F’s audacious spirit endures, pushing the boundaries of contemporary watchmaking and challenging convention at every turn. Founder Maximilian Büsser recently visited Singapore’s MB&F Lab—a new hybrid retail experience featuring MB&F Machines alongside a curated selection of kinetic art—to discuss his journey and the next phase in his life.

Maximilian Büsser stands out as one of the most fascinating personalities in today’s watchmaking scene, driven by a simple principle—he isn’t interested in doing things the conventional way, and he never has been. Approaching a generations-old business with this perspective could have backfired when he started out in 2005. However, as we all know, Büsser and his team successfully sold the idea of timekeepers with a twist, and MB&F’s distinct wit and personality have garnered fans worldwide.

The company is on the brink of celebrating its 20th anniversary next year, marking a new era not just for the concept laboratory he built from the ground up, but also for his own horological journey. Over the years, MB&F has grown, and its Tribe—owners of MB&F Machines—has rapidly expanded. On the creative side, Büsser recently launched the HM 11 Architect, a literal house on your wrist. Considering he only had the design of the HM 1 in the beginning, the brand has come a long way. The brand experience has also evolved to beautifully express its audacious personality, with its home in Geneva, M.A.D. House, being an absolute must-visit to truly understand the radical ideas driving the MB&F team.

Büsser’s vulnerability is endearing. As he thoughtfully reflects on his career as a visionary, designer, and entrepreneur, he discusses his personal evolution and how his changing personality has transformed him as a leader. He has mellowed, he says, which is a stark difference from the manic earnestness that he brought to the company during its early years. “I was so intense; I was all about my story, my journey, and what I needed to do in my life before I passed away,” he says. “Now I am more laid back, and I’m enjoying it. I’ve always been proud of what we did, but now I’m proud and happy.

Tags: independent watchmaking maxmilliam büsser mbf&f

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