Pure genius. Unabated and unrelenting. This is the only way I can think to describe French high-end watch designer Alain Silberstein’s stunning reimagination of MB&F’s Horological Machine No2. Subtle, refined and yet at the same time completely alluring this new model, called Horological Machine No2.2, will absolutely take your breath away. The starkness of the case, affectionately known in-house as “the black box”, contrasts so beautifully with the playful, colorful dials that you cannot help but stare. Nothing else on the market even comes close to this.
What’s In A Name?
The name is unmistakably similar to its predecessor and this is indicative of the fact that the twin porthole dials remain the focal point. However don’t let allow this sense of familiarity to fool you, Mr Silberstein has successfully achieved his goal of completely changing the character of this watch. According to the master himself, his vision was for Horological Machine No2.2 to combine the pure geometry of the Bauhaus with the user-friendliness of the miniature box cameras of the 1940s. And what a visionary he is!
A Case Like No Other
For a man renowned for his generous use of color, Mr Silberstein has been remarkably reserved in his design of the all-black case and this will undoubtedly surprise many MB&F followers. Yet to me this is where the true genius lays. By creating something completely unexpected MB&F will truly delight and inspire their dedicated fans whilst at the same time continuing to challenge the perception of the brand. Just when you think they will do one thing, they go and do something completely different!
The rectangular shaped case is carved out of a solid block of titanium, resting on the original substructure. This multi-layered construction gives the watch its powerful, richly engineered profile. However, it is impossible to truly give credit to it in still photographs. Alain Silberstein is design genius, working with the light, like a diamond-cutter, to achieve a play of mat and polished surfaces that can only be truly appreciated when the watch is worn.
The titanium case is treated with an exclusive PVD coating incorporating silicium, giving the case a soft touch and particularly intense black colour. All the characters on the twin displays were designed by Alain Silberstein and contrast exceptionally against the black canvas. Even the moon’s expressive face was inspired by a treasured cartoon from the Art Nouveau period. As a final touch the vibrant red numerals, markers and hands are coated in Superluminova for easy night reading.
The new case will be issued in a limited edition of eight watches.
Heart Of Beauty
The covert case of the new MB&F Horological Machine No2.2 houses the same revolutionary “engine” as Horological Machine No2, introduced in 2008 and featuring the world’s first mechanical movement combining an instantaneous jumping hour, concentric retrograde minutes, retrograde date, bi-hemisphere moon phase and automatic winding.
Conceived In The Name Of Friendship
In recognition of MB&F’s true ethos an inscription on the reads: “Le vrai bonheur est d’avoir sa passion pour métier” (“True happiness is having one’s passion for a profession”). That is Alain Silberstein’s motto, and he found his soul mates in MB&F. He says that the whole point was the pleasure of working together, and Maximilian Büsser agrees. “Alain is a true artist, but he never takes himself too seriously. He has kept that childlike spirit of adventure, and that is something that we at MB&F hold dear”.
The Final Word
From day one MB&F have never failed to bedazzle and beguile fans. There are no barriers as conventional thinking is tossed carelessly out the window. This latest creation seamlessly reflects that mentality, conceptualising something completely unexpected yet at the same time when you see it, you think “of course, that is just what I was hoping for!”
I said it before and I will say it again. Pure genius. Thank you Mr Busser and Mr Silberstein, this is truly a gift.
For more information check out the official MB&F website.
Category: Watch Reviews