On the 15th of November creative powerhouse MB&F added another two accolades to their growing collection, with their superb LM1 timepiece claiming both the Public Prize and the jury-awarded Best Men’s Watch at the prestigious Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). An amazing achievement in itself no doubt but also one with far wider reaching implications, if we simply scratch a little below the surface.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing the LM1 in person than you will have no doubts as to why it was considered the best candidate for both awards. It sounds cliché I know but there is really only one word that accurately describes it, mesmerizing. It doesn’t matter how close or far away you’re standing, if there is one in the vicinity it will always capture your attention, and hold it.
A Force To Be Reckoned With
These days Max himself is generally found sporting one on his wrist and I will admit that I have been caught out several times by its hypnotic trance, completely losing track of what he (or anyone else for that matter) is saying to me. Sure it’s a little bit embarrassing at the time but heck it’s worth it, and you can always see that glimmer of a smile in Max’s eye, the almost sadistic sense of glee at drawing in yet another victim with his captivating creation.
Maximilian Büsser accepting the Public Prize for the LM1, little did he know he would be back up on stage again shortly thereafter.
And that’s just it; MB&F – with the aide of the LM1 – is drawing people in. No longer is it just a rebellious inconvenience for the major players in the Swiss watch industry, with these awards – the public prize in particular – MB&F has established itself as a real force to be reckoned with. Not bad for a small brand that started out less than a decade ago with the ambitious plan of making the timepieces they liked and to hell with the rest of them.
If You Didn’t Know
Just a quick aside for those who aren’t perhaps as familiar with the luxury watch industry and therefore may not appreciate the full significance of these transpirings. The GPHG is like the Oscar’s of the luxury watch industry, in other words it’s kind of a big deal. That means MB&F didn’t just beat out a couple of no-hopers to claim the Public Prize, they were up against 69 other pre-selected timepieces from some of the world’s best known brands. Not to mention this was the first time in Grand Prix history that the same timepiece was rewarded a prize both from the public and the professional jury.
Make no mistake, this is a huge achievement.
The LM1 with its two awards – image courtesy MB&F
Just as exciting though is the message that this triumph sends to other independent watchmakers and small brands looking to find their own way in an extremely competitive industry. You don’t need a huge marketing budget or celebrity endorsements to gain notoriety and success, nor do you need ludicrous production levels. What you do need however is a rebellious spirit, an unwavering commitment to quality and a willingness to tread your own path, no matter what the detractors say.
The Final Word
Certainly it is not easy – full credit to the MB&F team for sometimes making it look like it is though – but it is possible. As they say, if you can dream it, you can do it.
Just ask Maximilian Büsser.