Maximilian Büsser never saw himself as a traditional watchmaker, and MB&F was never just another watch brand. In deciding to break the chains of corporate watchmaking in 2005, Mr. Büsser sought to unite the very best independent watchmaking professionals, his ‘friends’, around the goal of developing radical horological masterpieces. MB&F can therefore be seen as a watchmaking incubator for the 21st century, bringing the very best out of the watchmakers under the stable, harnessing their potential to bring the collective work to a greater level.
Central to this goal of horological excellence is the relationship with L’Epée 1839. A Swiss manufacture specialising in high-end clocks with spectacular designs and great complications, MB&F have tapped on the prowess of L’Epee to disrupt the space of Jaeger Lecoultre’s Atmos, bringing its revolution to creations such as the Arachnophobia, Balthazar and the Starfleet Machine. Here is the Destination Moon, the next creation in the collaboration.
Described by MB&F as the quintessential torpedo-shaped rocket of our childhood dreams, the architecture of the Destination Moon follows the basic engineering of a real spaceship. Power, just as in a rocket, is derived from the base, with an oversized winding crown forming the foundations of the spaceship. The movement is completely visible through the middle, running up the centre of the transparent rocket structure. Designed and made by L’Epée, the vertically oriented movement consists of 164 components and 17 jewels. Beating at 2.5 Hz with and 8-day power reserve, the engine is polished, bead-blasted and then satin finished to ensure that it looks good beneath the mineral glass.
While the movement design is all L’Epée, the visual conception of the Destination Moon is the work of MB&F. Enlisting the help of Nicolas Bringuet as well as MB&F designer Stefano Panterotto, the Destination Moon sees the frame of the traditional rocket pared down to its simplest form. Using a pair of rotating stainless steel discs at the head of the rocket, the clock displays the time by aligning with a double-ended pointer above the regulator. The entire clock is supported by three palladium-plated brass landing pods that are PVD coated green, blue, or black, depending on the edition.
And then, there is Neil. Designed by MB&F to be bring a smile and a sense of child-like wonderment to the owner, Neil the astronaut hangs on to the ladder near the base of the clock. By winding the crown, Neil scales the ladder up to the main section of the movement. Our favourite part of the Destination Moon, Neil has his origins from the Astrograph pen released by MB&F in 2016, and forms an integral part of the allure of the clock as he provides a sense of pure joy to the piece.
The MB&F destination moon comes in at 41.4 cm in height and 23.3 cm in diameter. Weighing 4kg, it is available in Silver, Black, Green and Blue, each in a limited run of 50 pieces costing 19,900 CHF. More direct from MB&F.