MB&F Horological Machine No.2


Horological Machine No.2

Welcome to Horology 2.0!
La Cote des Montres - November 7th, 2007


Inspiration and Realization:


MB&F is first and foremost about people and the key person behind Horological Machine No2 is Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. It was 9 years ago, in Maximilian Büsser’s former position as Managing Director of Harry Winston Timepieces, that Büsser first began working with Wiederrecht and found him to be imaginative, inventive and sharing in the same human values. Wiederrecht and his company Agenhor are world leaders in Retrograde and Jumping Hour mechanisms and Büsser conceived HM2’s functions specifically to play to these strengths.

In true MB&F style, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and Agenhor constructor Maximilien Di Blasi worked hand in hand with erstwhile competitor Patrick Lété of Les Artisans Horlogers in ensuring that the architecture of the movement fitted coherently and holistically with the iconoclastic case.

The case, with its flying buttresses, bolted portholes and sliding crown guard, was so complex - over 100 components go into its construction alone - that it could only be developed with an innovative modular method inspired by the Meccano sets of Maximilian Büsser’s childhood. And in line with best engineering principles, this modularity also simplifies future refurbishment of the case should it ever be necessary.

Horological Machine No.2 is full of the tension caused by apparently incongruous elements co-existing side by side. There is tension between cutting-edge technology and sculptural art; tension between matte textures and mirror-polishes; tension between high-tech alloys and precious metals, and tension between traditional watchmaking and 21st century micro-engineering. Balancing all of this tension is an extremely risky endeavour, the slightest error and the complete design falls flat. However, in getting the delicate balance of tension ‘just right’, MB&F have managed to bring HM2 alive.

While Horological Machine No.2 is a high-tech machine of the 21st century, the quality and hand execution of the fine finishing is a showcase of the very best in traditional craftsmanship. Light flashing off hand finished mirror-polished surfaces and immaculate bevelling brings vivacity to the rich combination of colours, materials, shapes and textures.

Technical Innovations:


The principle technical challenge in developing the movement was ensuring that the jumping hour functioned both instantaneously and simultaneously when the retrograde minute flies back from 60 to 0. And not only instantaneously, but also without using excessive energy. The usual method of activating Jumping Hour indications is to store energy in the minutes before the change to power the jump; however, while this energy is being accumulated it takes power from the balance causing it to loose amplitude - an effect detrimental to time-keeping precision. Wiederrecht’s solution was as brilliant as it was simple: he designed a ingenious mechanism so that when the minutes fly back, a snail on the minute mechanism hits the hour star causing the hour to jump. The hour jumps instantaneously with the minutes because it is triggered by the minutes and, as the jump is powered by the energy of the minutes flying back, it has virtually no effect on the amplitude of the balance.

While the complications and functionality operate with maximum efficiency, with 349 components in the movement alone, there are no doubting HM2’s credentials as an incredibly technical tour de force.

The complication has another very special feature: specific gears in HM2’s movement are manufactured to extremely high precision using Mimotec’s UV-LIGA technology. These gears mesh together with a virtually a no-tolerance/no-play engagement. Normally, gears interacting this tightly would bind; however, Wiederrecht’s patented asymmetrical-split-tooth gear design ensures this does not occur. The high precision of this gearing enables very accurate time-setting and offers high reliability.

To maximise the efficiency of MB&F’s already iconic double Hakken automatic rotor, one of the 22kt gold blades was machined down to a razor sharp edge of just 0.2mm - a dimension which pushed the very limits of micro-machining!

The innovative sliding crown guard clearly indicates its position (in or out) and facilitates access to time-setting and quick date correcting.



The principal feature of Horological Machine No.2 is the holistic symbiosis between the three dimensional architecture of both the case and the movement. The sheer complexity of the case design necessitated a modular approach to construction. More than 100 components go into the assembly of the case alone - that is more parts than make up many complete movements! While extremely complex to fabricate, this bolted-not-welded engineering allows maximum flexibility in design and enables a rich variety of materials and finishes to be used.



Each of HM2’s twin portholes allows the viewer a different perspective of time. On the right, the Jumping Hours and Concentric Retrograde Minutes reveals time up close and ’now’, while the Retrograde Date and Bi-Hemisphere Moon Phase on the left dial allows the viewer to take a step back from immediacy and relax.

MB&F Horological Machine No.2

Technical Specifications




Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor designed functionality regulated and powered by a Girard-Perregaux oscillator and gear train
Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph
22 k rose gold Double Hakken automatic winding rotor
Number of components:349 including 44 jewels



Left dial:Retrograde Date and Bi-Hemisphere Moon Phase
Right Dial:Jumping Hours and Concentric Retrograde Minutes



18k white gold/titanium or 18k red gold/titanium
Limited edition:of 125 pieces in each combination to be delivered over 3 years
Dimensions:(exclusive of crown and lugs)
59mm x 38mm x 13mm
Water resistant:to 30 meters (3 ATM)
Number of parts:102 (case only)

Sapphire crystals


Dial side with anti-reflective treatment on both faces.
Display back with anti-reflective treatment on single face.



Silver and ruthenium

Strap & Buckle


Black hand-stitched alligator with 18 carat gold and titanium custom designed deployment buckle

Presentation box


Precision engineered aluminium and leather instrument case featuring an integrated Rüeger thermometer

‘Friends’ for Horological Machine No.2


Movement Development:Jean-Marc Wiederrecht / Agenhor, Maximilien Di Blasi / Agenhor, Patrick Lété / Artisans Horlogers
Movement fabrication:Salvatore Ferrarotto / APR Quality, Georges Auer / Mecawatch, Jose Perez / Clamax, Gianni Di Blasi / Clamax
of movement
:Jacques-Adrien Rochat / C-L Rochat, Denis Garcia / C-L Rochat
Movement assemblage:Véronique Benoit Pequignet / Agenhor, Stewart Lesemann / Independent
Case and buckle
and production
:Serge Kriknoff, Dominique Mainier, Bertrand Jeunet and François Liard of G.&F.Châtelain
Dials:François Bernhard and Denis Parel of Nateber
Hands:Pierre Chillier and Isabelle Chillier of Fiedler.
Presentation case:Isabelle Vaudaux / Vaudaux
Communication:Graphic Design - Hervé Rigal, Gérald Moulière and Alban Thomas of GVA Studio
Product Photography - Maarten van der Ende
Display Architecture - Frédéric Legendre / Lekoni
Portrait Photography - Régis Golay / Federal
Webmaster - Jérôme Piguet / rj41
Texts- Ian Skellern
Project Manager - Estelle Tonelli / MB&F

MB&F - The Genesis of a Concept Laboratory


While working in his position as Managing Director of Harry Winston Timepieces, Maximilian Büsser realized that the projects which gave him the most vitality and pleasure were those working with talented independent watchmakers on the exciting Opus series watches. A utopian idea emerged of creating a company dedicated solely to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches with talented professionals he respected and enjoyed working with. The entrepreneur in Büsser brought the idea to reality.

MB&F is not a watch brand, it is an artistic and micro-engineering concept laboratory in which changing collectives of independent horological professionals are assembled each year to design and craft radical Horological Machines. Respecting tradition without being shackled by it enables MB&F to act as a catalyst in fusing traditional high-quality watchmaking with cutting-edge technology and avant-garde three-dimensional sculpture.

MB&F is independent people creating for independent people.

Welcome to Horology 2.0!

Biography – Maximilian Büsser


Maximilian Büsser was born in Milano, Italy, before moving at an early age to Lausanne, Switzerland where he spent his youth. Growing up in a multi-cultural environment and family - his father was a Swiss diplomat who met his mother, an Indian national, in Bombay - led Büsser to develop a cross-cultural broad-based approach to his life and to business.

In July 2005, at the age of 38, Maximilian created the first ever horological Concept Brand: MB&F (Maximilian Büsser & Friends) in which he is the sole shareholder. Büsser’s dream with MB&F is to have his own brand dedicated to developing radical horological concepts by working in small hyper-creative groups composed of people he enjoys working with.

Entrepreneurship is Maximilian Büsser’s forte. In 1998 and only 31 years old, he was appointed managing director of Harry Winston Rare Timepieces in Geneva. During his seven years there Büsser developed the company into a fully-fledged and well respected haute horlogerie brand by developing the strategy, products, marketing and worldwide distribution, whilst integrating design, R&D and manufacturing in house. The results were a 900% increase in turnover and the positioning of Harry Winston as one of the leaders in this very competitive segment.

Prior to Harry Winston, Maximilian Büsser’s love for high-end horology was strongly imprinted by his first employer, Jaeger-LeCoultre. During his seven years in the senior management team during the 1990s, JLC strongly increased its profile and multiplied its turnover by a factor of ten. Büsser’s responsibilities at Jaeger-LeCoultre ranged from Product Management & Development to Sales & Marketing for Europe.

Maximilian graduated in 1991 with a Masters in Micro technology Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne.