I made this
MB&F Horological Machine No. 6 Space Pirate
Max Busser makes art, not watches
“THIS IS KINETIC ART THAT GIVES TIME,IT’S NOT YOUR TYPICAL WATCH SO IT DOESN’T SIT BETWEEN YOUR TYPICAL DIGITAL OR ANALOG WATCHES. THIS SHOULD PROBABLY BE SOLD IN AN ART GALLERY”
The HM6 Space Pirate has been four years in the making, and it goes back to my childhood, as all my horological machines do.
I was inspired by one of the cartoons I used to watch as a kid, called Captain Future. He had this spaceship called the Cyberlab, and it had two spheres and a cylinder in the middle. And I thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if we had two of those sets of spheres?”.
Four years of intense technological challenges later (because watchmaking had to meet micro engineering), we managed to come up with this absolutely insane movement. It’s made of titanium, it’s in an ultralight cage even though it’s got 550 components, and it’s even got conical gears (gears at 90-degrees instead of flat against one another). This is only the second time in the history of watchmaking that conical gears are being used.
This is kinetic art that gives time; it’s not your typical watch so it doesn’t sit between your typical digital or analog watches. This should probably be sold in an art gallery. One of the many things that differentiates art from design is the creative process – the artist is extremely selfish and doesn’t give a damn if you like it or not, and that’s how it is with my watches.
From the age of four, I’ve wanted to be a car designer, so up till my teenage years, I used to design cars all the time. This translated into my professional life, and when I first started out I was creating products to please more people, to sell more stuff, and to make more money.
And half of these products I created, I didn’t like.
So I thought, if I wanted to be proud of myself, I’ve got to create what I believe in and that was when MB&F was born. We’re unlike other watch brands because we deconstruct traditional watch making, and reconstruct it into 3D kinetic art which gives you the time – but that’s not the point. We’re all about creating these incredible art pieces.
Smartwatches may take over the world one day, but not in the format they exist in now. It’s like when the iPhone came out everybody went “what the hell is that?” and now, we’ve all got something like it. For me at least, the future of the smartwatch is health and logistics-related.
But I’ll never, ever, ever integrate that aspect into my work because I’m a mechanical artist, and anything that’s to do with electronics has absolutely no place at all in what I do. After all, there’s no practical point to what I do, so why would I put something practical in it?
People buy mechanical watches not to tell the time but for status. So the real question is, if people will be wearing two watches – one to tell them their fitness level or sleep patterns and such on one wrist, and a work of art on the other. That’s what I hope will happen.
More importantly, what I do can be repaired in 100 years. You can’t do that with digital devices – you can only chuck it away. Smart watches will be disposable rubbish just after a few years, unlike our work.
Classic function, but futuristic form