MB&F - « Bad Sherman »
MB&F - « Bad Sherman »

« Bad Sherman »

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Have you met Bad Sherman yet? According to Watch Anish, "He’s the guy who always knows a guy. Whether you’re in Tijuana dive bars or Tokyo high rises, he can make things happen. Which is probably why him and Anish get on so well..."

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MB&F + L’Epée 1839 + WatchAnish


The little robot with a big superpower

MB&F + L’Epée 1839 

It gives us great pleasure to introduce Sherman. He's quite a cute little robot, but to be frank, Sherman doesn't do very much. He doesn't do very much at all.

Sherman doesn't walk, talk, weld cars, or roam Mars. He doesn't try to kill Sarah Connor, help Luke Skywalker, warn Will Robinson, vacuum the floor, star in feature-length films, or enforce the law.

In fact, Sherman really only does two things, but he does both extremely well.

Sherman tells the time. And Sherman makes people smile, which is probably the world's most useful and (emotionally) valuable complication. That's a superpower!

Conceived and developed by MB&F and engineered and crafted by L’Epée 1839 – Switzerland's only specialised high-end clock manufacture – Sherman is the result of Maximilian Büsser’s on-going quest to revisit his childhood, during which he hankered for a robot friend.

Sherman's mechanics are based on a L'Epée 1839 in-line eight-day movement, which ensures that the friendly tank-treaded table clock can display the correct time on his chest for more than a week before requiring rewinding.

But Sherman is not simply a clock inside a robot, but an integral and holistic robot-clock. The mainspring barrel bridge extends down to support his tracks, movement spacers act as shoulders for the arms, and his eyes are bolt heads supporting the regulator. The movement plates and bridges of the clock also make up the skeleton and body of the robot.

The transparent blown mineral glass dome on Sherman's head reveals his mechanical brain, which is actually the regulator controlling the precision of the robot's time. It’s mesmerising to watch the little guy "think".

Sherman's arms can be manipulated into nearly any configuration, and his hands can be used to hold items like a pen or his winding key.

And while Sherman doesn't walk, his rubber caterpillar tracks are fully functional and, with a little help from a friend, he can roll over the rugged terrain of a typical office desk.

But as cool as Sherman's robotic and horological accomplishments are, they pale in comparison with his emotional superpower of spreading happiness wherever he goes.

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, man’s best friend was his robot,” says Büsser. “As a ten-year-old fan of Star Wars, I knew that Luke Skywalker could never have prevailed had it not been for droids like R2-D2 – a loyal, resourceful, and brave robot who was always saving his friends. As an only child, I imagined having my own robot companion and Sherman (like Melchior before him) makes that childhood fantasy a reality.”

Technical specifications

Bad Sherman: Technical Specifications


Sherman is launched in limited editions of 200 palladium (plated) pieces, 200 gilded pieces (gold-plated) and 50 diamond-set gilded pieces.



Hours and minutes displayed on Sherman's chest


Dimensions: 143 mm tall x 109 mm wide x 80 mm deep

Weight: 0.9 kg



Options: Fully palladium-plated (polished silver colour); gold-plated with palladium-plated going train (gearing) and nickel-plated balance wheel; and fully gold-plated body and movement, gem-set with 735 high quality VVS diamonds around the eyes, hour markers and head.

Dome/head: blown mineral glass



L’Epée in-house designed and manufactured in-line eight-day movement

Balance frequency: 2.5 Hz / 18,000 bph

Power reserve: 8 days

Components movement: 148

Jewels: 17

Incabloc shock protection system

Movement finishing: Geneva waves, anglage, polishing, sandblasting, circular and vertical graining, satin finishing


Winding: double-depth square socket key sets time and winds movement at back of clock


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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