MB&F - Horological Machine No3 ReBel N°18/18
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
MB&F - Horological Machine No3 ReBel N°18/18

Horological Machine No3 ReBel N°18/18

MB&F | 88'000 € Tax inc.

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

Let's Rock !

Horological Machine No3 ReBel James Dean was a Hollywood Rebel Without a Cause; Billy Idol had a Rebel Yell; Star Wars had its Rebel Alliance; and now MB&F pokes the establishment firmly in its conservatively-focused eye with the HM3 ReBel. Whereas James Dean was the epitome of movie star bad boy, MB&F is the wild child of haute horlogerie; the lone biker in a black leather jacket when everyone else is wearing grey suits and driving Volvos. And unlike Dean, the HM3 ReBel knows exactly what its cause is: horological anarchy! ReBel: R for right (hand), B for Black (case). The black-coated ReBel is a distinctive, rock 'n roll mirror-image of the HM3 designed to be worn on the right wrist, as a few individualists out there are wont to do. And like all true rebels, nothing on the HM3 ReBel is quite as it first appears, especially when you take a closer look behind its nonchalantly cool façade. Under the ReBel's open black leather jacket - or to be more precise, its black PVD-treated white gold case - charcoal-coloured movement plates and bridges form a darkened backdrop to the resplendent flash of the 22K rotor as it speeds by. Despite its anarchistic appearance and unorthodox right-wrist architecture, the HM3 ReBel has a serious side. This dynamic, three-dimensional sculpture is a highly technical wristwatch as well as a statement of attitude. The ReBel's twin cones ergonomically indicate the hours and minutes, with the hour cone capped by a day/night indicator. The top caps of the truncated cones are brazed (not glued) to ensure maximum water-resistance and the red “hands” of the hour and minute indicators are cut by laser to obtain the incredibly high precision/minimum mass ratio the design necessitates. White gold clover-head screws on top of the black case resemble rivets in an upmarket biker's leather jacket, while the large, legible numbers of the over-sized date wheel around the rotor enable the date to be read off easily against a neat, engraved triangle on the case. The rotor and oscillating balance on top provide a clue that the ReBel's movement, featuring no less than 36 functional jewels and 304 components, is actually inverted. Turning the Machine over reveals the technical secret behind the powerful and superbly hand-finished engine: two large-diameter, high-tech ceramic bearings racing inside bright blue cages efficiently transmitting power up to the time indication cones and date wheel. We think James Dean would have worn one; Billy Idol would have sang about it; and the Rebel Alliance would have fought for it. HM3 ReBel is a limited edition of 18 pieces in black PVD-treated white gold, blackened movement and 22K gold rotor. 

Technical specifications

Technical Specifications :

HM3 ReBel is a limited edition of 18 pieces Movement

Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor

Movement :
  • Powered by Girard-Perregaux base Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph
  • 22K gold battle-axe shaped ‘mystery’ automatic winding rotor Hour and minutes information transmitted via ceramic ball bearings to laser-cut hands
  • Number of jewels: 36 (all functional)
  • Number of components: 304 Functions
  • Hour and day/night indicator on one cone Minutes on second cone Date around the movement
Case:
  • Black PVD coated 18K white gold case
  • Screwed-down crown 
  • Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 47mm x 50mm x 16mm
  • Number of case components: 57 Sapphire crystals
  • Cones and both display backs with anti-reflective treatment on both faces.
Strap :
  • Strap & Buckle: Black hand-stitched alligator with 18K white gold and titanium custom designed deployment buckle.
Edition :
  • limited edition of 18 pieces 
 

Who's who

“Amazing. Maximilian Büsser is definitely an amazing person.” If you ask Laurent Picciotto to go over the main points of his history with the big man at MB&F, you’ll initially be met by a long silence and a pensive look. Where to begin? What about the first meeting, when “Max” was on a work placement at Jaeger-LeCoultre? When he was head of Harry Winston Watchmakers? When he transitioned to become a designer, bringing together the greatest watchmaking talent at MB&F? These are all stages in Max Büsser’s career; yet the person who passed through them has been so different in each role that it can sometimes be difficult to see the continuity. Be that as it may, the link between the two men was indeed first forged in Paris, twenty years ago. Laurent Picciotto had opened Chronopassion three years previously, laying the foundations for a brand that was to become a benchmark, but which at that time was pretty much a complete unknown beyond a tiny number of top watchmaking connoisseurs. Meanwhile the young Maximilian Büsser had just graduated from the Lausanne Federal Polytechnic School and joined Jaeger-LeCoultre. Büsser was enamoured with watchmaking mechanics. When he was in Paris, he went to see Chronopassion in rue Saint Honoré. “He stayed over three hours,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “He was enthusiastic and inquisitive. He asked thousands of questions – he was an unusual young man and already knew a lot more about watchmaking culture than he was letting on.” Max Büsser worked in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Marketing department for seven years. He left in 1991 to move to Harry Winston. The 5th Avenue jewellers in New York City had already made some inroads into the watchmaking world, but without any major breakthroughs. The first timepieces dated back to 1989, but had failed to find much success. Output remained tiny, as the young Max Büsser sowed the seeds of high-class watchmaking at the jewellers. He was soon promoted to the position of Managing Director of the Rare Timepieces department. That was when the paths of the two men crossed again. “I was out for a walk in Geneva,” says Laurent Picciotto, “when a man in a car stopped next to me. He was no longer the young apprentice from Jaeger, but the CEO of Harry Winston Watchmakers. I didn’t recognise him – he’d completely changed, even physically! He really had taken on the stature of CEO. It was amazing.” The two men then saw each other every year during the course of Harry Winston business. The watchmaking part of the brand, driven by Max Büsser, gradually took shape, “but I was interested only in the Opuses,” says Laurent Picciotto with a smile. A friendship developed and when Max Büsser left Harry Winston in July 2005, a new chapter in it began. “Max told me about his new project, MB&F, standing for Maximilian Büsser & Friends. I said just three words to him: ‘I’ll follow you.’ He was a little surprised, as he didn’t have any immediate plans to establish the brand in France and he hadn’t even got the slightest prototype anywhere near ready!” Picciotto’s instinct was right, though. The first Horological Machine, HM1, came into being two years later in 2007. “This timepiece is difficult to apprehend – you need to put it on your wrist and wait a good quarter of an hour before being able make up your mind,” remembers Laurent Picciotto.

The next part of the adventure is better known: four HMs and an LM, standing for Legacy Machine, a piece that pays tribute to watchmaking inventors. It is more aesthetically accessible but no less technically complicated for all that. Each MB&F item is the fruit of the greatest talents in top watchmaking, in terms of both watchmaking technology itself and design: Jean-François Mojon, Kari Voutilainen, Peter Speake-Marin, Laurent Besse, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, Eric Giroud, and so on. “At the end of the day, MB&F timepieces really do need to be adopted by their owners. Max adds a touch of humour, born out of his uninhibited approach to watchmaking. It’s definitely a brand that brings a breath of fresh air to the watchmaking landscape, shaking it up to just the right degree,” concludes Laurent Picciotto.

Journalist : Olivier Müller

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