MAX B USSER & F R I E NDS
Before he started Max Busser & Friends, Maximillian Busser had already had one leg in the independent watchmaking scene. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for Busser, the industry at large might not have come to appreciate independent watchmaking at all. In the early 2000s, he was the marketing director for Harry Winston’s timepieces division. Apart from taking care of the core business—bejewelled women’s quartz watches—Busser spearheaded the Opus project.
The Opus project was an annual series of ultra-limited highconcept mechanical men’s watches funded by Harry Winston and produced by an independent watchmaker. Here, Busser had worked with established as well as emerging indies such as Francois Paul Journe, Antoine Preziuso, Vianney Halter, Christophe Claret, Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei of Urwerk, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey of Greubel Forsey, and more.
With the Opus project, he successfully turned around Harry Winston’s flailing watch business, but in 2005, left the American jeweller to pursue his own ambitions. After decades conforming to the rules of corporate watchmaking, Busser finally made the move to start something he could truly call his own.
But Busser wasn’t about to take all the credit, which was why he named the company Max Busser & Friends, or MB&F. Truth be told, he couldn’t even if he wanted to because he wasn’t a watchmaker. He knows the ins and outs of the watch industry, he knows how to sell and market a brand, but he couldn’t create a timepiece—at least not at the level he envisions. This was how the ‘friends’ part of the company was so central to its identity. From the outset, Busser insisted that every individual who had a part to play in the making of an MB&F watch was properly credited because his watches are a collaboration among the best in the business.
He released Horological Machine No. 1 in 2007. An aweinspiring reinterpretation of what a wristwatch can and should look like, the HM1 was as innovative as it was completely original. Every other year, Busser releases the next new creation and till date, he has made a total of nine Horological Machines along with three Legacy Machines. The Legacy Machine is Busser’s unique take on ‘classical watchmaking’.
What’s most fascinating about the MB&F Horological Machines 1 through 9 is that even though each one looks completely different from the others, there is a continuous red thread that keeps them closely connected. That red thread is Busser’s DNA. What’s even curiouser though is that no matter how you scrutinise the existing Horological Machines, you will never be able to anticipate what the next one will be. Actually, not even Busser himself can tell you that because who knows when and from whence the idea will strike?
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