MB&F - Destination Moon
MB&F - Destination Moon

Destination Moon

MB&F | 22'800 € Tax inc.

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Space isn't empty, it's filled by imagination!

Reality sucks! In the 1960s, science fiction had us flying through the air on hoverboards and our imaginations soared, but we ended up with non-hovering boards with wheels on solid ground. Science fiction promised us 3D TV and engineers delivered, but we took one look, felt queasy and out they went. Science fiction filled our imaginations with elegant ovoid-shaped rockets that would fly us to the moon and beyond. Again engineers delivered, but the rockets, although eminently practical, ended up being straight, uninspiring cylinders.

 

Some things are best left to the imagination and MB&F's Destination Moon does just that. It delivers just enough engineering for an eight-day clock looking like an exciting science fiction rocket from the 1960s, but with plentiful empty space allowing our imaginations to fill in the details.

 

Conceived by MB&F and built by L’Epée 1839, Switzerland's premier clock maker, Destination Moon is the quintessential torpedo-shaped rocket of childhood dreams. But look more closely and you will see that its minimalistic form is evocative rather than definitive.

 

Hours and minutes are displayed on large diameter stainless steel discs with stamped numerals. While the legibility of the time display is not in question, focusing on the time rather than the spectacular, vertically-structured, open movement is likely to require deep concentration.

 

Developed specifically for Destination Moon, the architecture of L’Epée’s eight-day movement follows the basic design of a real spaceship. Power in a rocket comes from its base; the power for Destination Moon comes from the oversized winding crown in its base. The management and control systems of a rocket are above the power source; the same holds true for Destination Moon, which has a vertical regulator controlling precision below the time display, as well as a time-setting knob at the top of the movement. That eye-catching regulator with its animated balance is protected from cosmic radiation (and curious fingers) by a small panel of virtually invisible mineral glass.

 

In a further tip of the hat to childhood toys and fantasies, the horizontal circular plates in Destination Moon's movement are perforated like Meccano components. Despite its ethereal openwork construction, at four kilograms (nine pounds) Destination Moon is no lightweight: its solid landing pods ensure that it will not easily be knocked off course (or knocked over).

 

And then there's Neil: a smile-inducing, space-suited figurine forged in solid silver and stainless steel, magnetically attached to the ladder connecting the crown to the movement. Neil is the astronaut flying Destination Moon to exotic worlds, but more importantly, Neil imparts a childlike sense of wonder by putting man into the machine.

 

 

Destination Moon is available in 4 limited editions of 50 pieces each in black, green, and blue PVD, plus palladium (silver).

 

Technical specifications

Destination Moon: technical specifications

 

 

Destination Moon is available in 4 limited editions of 50 pieces each in black, green, and blue PVD, plus palladium (silver).

 

 

Displays

 

Hour and minute indications stamped on rotating stainless steel discs

 

 

Rocket

 

Dimensions: 41.4 cm (height) x 23.3 cm (diameter)

Weight: 4.0 kg

Frame: satin-finished stainless steel

Landing pods: palladium-plated brass, with PVD coating for the blue, green and black editions

Total components (including movement): 237

 

 

Neil (astronaut figurine)

 

Solid polished silver with stainless steel helmet; attached magnetically to boarding ladder.

 

 

Movement

 

Designed and manufactured in-house by L’Epée 1839

Multi-stage vertical architecture

Balance frequency: 2.5 Hz / 18,000 bph

Power reserve: 8 days from single barrel

Movement components: 164

Jewels: 17

Incabloc shock protection system protected by mineral glass

Materials: palladium-plated brass, stainless steel and nickel-plated stainless steel

Movement finishing: polishing, bead-blasting and satin finishing

Winding: manual winding by rotating the propulsion wheel at the base of the rocket

Setting: time-setting knob at the top of the movement, above the indication rings

 

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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