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THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

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UnBNBelievable - BNB & The Confrérie Horlogère and the Only Watch 2009 Release

By Alex Doak for The Watchismo Times

By now, many are aware of BNB Concept and their work – after all, it was only a matter of time before people started to wonder where the likes of Romain Jerome, De Witt, Hublot, Concord, Jacob & Co. and Bell & Ross acquired their blisteringly innovative tourbillons all of a sudden. Jorg Hysek’s HD3 visionaries were the only ones to freely admit the origins of their gothic-tech complications from the start, but once people started spotting BNB’s trademark spiral-spoked escape wheel all over the place, the cat was out of the bag. Once was a time when people were reluctant to reveal the minds behind their rent-a-calibres – now everyone's falling over themselves to get a piece of the BNB action and the instant provenance it brings. As BNB attests:

“BNB wishes not to become a new watch brand, but rather a label of quality. Should BNB create its own brand, it would inevitably become a competitor to its customers.”

Unlike Renaud & Papi's selective austerity or Christophe Claret's mercenary dictatorship, BNB is a genuinely cool, relaxed community of eager young things with genuinely new ideas about how watches should work – with no less than five facilities in Duillier, Crans-près-Céligny, La Vallée de Joux, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Nyon at their disposal, all crammed full of the latest tools, CNC machines, electroplating and engraving machines, and rank-upon-rank of sterile assembly lines. What’s doubly impressive about BNB is that they make complete WATCHES for their 25-or-so clients – not just the multi-plane/dual-axis tourbillon movements they’re famous for. For a five-year-old outfit, that’s serious progress.

Members of the Confrérie Horlogere 2008-2009 and Mathias Buttet (CEO and founder BNB Concept ; founder Confrérie Horlogère).

From the left: David Rodriguez, Ranieri Illicher, Clara Bise, Mathias Buttet, Ken Koshiyama, Sabitry Montandon, Gabriel Salgado-de Arce, Brigitte Carneiro.




It was therefore inevitable, despite the abovementioned pledge, that as a fully verticalized entity, BNB would eventually indulge in its own vanity projects – albeit under an alternative banner, "Confrérie Horlogère". (Perhaps reminiscent of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey’s Complitime factory, which bankrolled proceedings before they unleashed their eponymous double tourbillon).

Confrérie Horlogère is a bit Opus, a bit Maitres du Temps, a bit Time Aeon – only the emphasis is on nurturing youngsters with ideas beyond their usual means. And in this first year, no less than seven talents and four almost-complete watches have been put on pedestals by BNB’s effusive CEO Matthias Buttet (one of the "B"s in BNB - the others being Barbasini and Navas, all of them formerly of Franck Muller’s Watchland - Buttet as a micro-technical engineer, Navas and Barbasini as prototypists).

In Buttet’s words:

“The Confrérie Horlogère, far from being a product, is an ambitious project to promote such values as work, creativeness, craftsmanship, community spirit, respect and above all freedom of women and men moved by the will to express themselves through excellence, as well as unexpected design.”

And I’m pleased to report that every one of Buttet’s fresh-faced prodigies have come up with equally amazing movements and watches... It really is quite incredible to see such a tranche of brilliance emerge all at once.

Every year, Confrérie Horlogère will select a maximum of 7 “graduates” to develop their own watch, produced on a very small-scale – no more than 10 pieces each. And unlike many flash-in-the-pan pantomime projects, which run the danger of costing more to fix and service over a lifetime than the watch itself (if indeed you find a capable-enough and willing watchmaker in the first place, once the flash-in-the-pan brand has gone belly-up) the CH timepieces will benefit from a lifetime’s guarantee. Buttet trusts his kids that much.

This year’s 7 “companions” are:

1. David Rodriguez, a Peruvian watchmaker, whose “la Résilience” tourbillon demonstrates sublimely anarchic finishing with Punk overtones that actually reveal through its scars and stitching the difficulties Rodriguez faced as an abused orphan on crutches who, finally, found in Switzerland and watchmaking a refuge. Metaphorically biographical watchmaking – surely a world first?

la Résilience


2. Brigitte Carneiro, watchmaker, with “la Face Cachée”


la Face Cachée

3. Ken Koshiyama, watchmaker, with “Racines japonaises”

4. Ranieri Illicher, watchmaker, whose la Passion à l’italienne micro-brand debuts with the “Bel Canto” minute repeater tourbillon – a chiming watch literally suspended in a bell, which also serves as the watch case – why didn’t anyone think of this before?!

Bel Canto Minute Repeater (thanks to DonCorson Watchprosite.com)

5. Sabitry Montandon, watchmaker

6. Clara Bise, watchmaker

7. Gabriel Salgado de Arce, engraver and chaser of watch components, whose coral reef ImmenSEAty just defies all watch-finishing convention. Words can’t do this justice.

ImmenSEAty

8. An eighth Companion has already been selected for the year 2009- 2010. His name is Jérôme Siegrist, a watchmaker who is already involved in an ambitious project that focuses on recreating and scaling down to wristwatch dimensions an extremely complex mechanism built, anachronistically, two centuries B.C. and salvaged from a shipwreck in 1901. Antikythera will be presented by the end of 2009, but you can get an inkling of what to expect-->here.



The ANTIKYTHERA mechanism wristwatch concept

Beside these individual “Complications” watches, the Companions will all be collaborating on joint Confrerie Horlogère projects, either as small-series “Classiques” or one-off “Masters” pieces. So far, there’s Masters Clef du Temps – an ornately skeletonised vertical tourbillon movement (presumably derived from the one developed for Concord, but as usual completely original and unlike anything seen before) – and Classiques Chronographe Tourbillon Pulsion 1 (I’ve run out of superlatives….)



Le Chronographe Tourbillon « Pulsion »


BNB Factory

BNB Confrérie Horlogère Watchmakers

Confrérie Horlogère for Only Watch 2009

The Master watch

The Confrérie Horlogère’s Only Watch 09 (by BNB Concept) is “La Clef du Temps” (the Key to Time) – a watch created by Buttet in collaboration with the brand’s R&D team. It is the first timepiece created in the “Les Masters” collection. It is a working prototype of a sophisticated timepiece called “La Clef du Temps”, which will be produced in small series after the Only Watch 09 auction. It is an innovative tourbillon watch featuring a hand-wound mechanical movement with hour and minute indications, a 3-day power reserve indication (PRI) in a 120° sectoral indicator at 8 o’clock and retrograde running seconds at 4 o’clock. The retrograde seconds of 0, 30, 60 depict the rhythm of time as it passes, and the power reserve reminds you when to rewind the piece as it makes its 0, ½, and 3-day passage. Like a body, if you don’t eat properly your body doesn’t function properly, and so with the watch if you forget to rewind it.

“The funds from Only Watch are there to indirectly help the children suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy,” says Buttet. “So I thought: what is it that everyone hopes for? Everyone hopes that these children will live longer than expected. I wanted this watch to express this dilemma.”

Buttet wanted the piece to convey two very important and thought-provoking concepts associated with being a parent: Firstly, the idea that however rich you are, true luxury lies in the freedom to manage one’s time as one wishes; secondly, the watch has a sophisticated mechanism that allows the wearer to “adjust the speed” of his personal time by adjusting a simple three-position lever that alters the running speed of the hours and the minutes.


Hence
Position 1 the pace of time slows by half so that the true value of one hour is displayed as a half-hour on the dial.
Position 2 the pace of time stays at true/standard time.
Position 3 the pace of time runs at double speed so a true/standard half-hour becomes a full hour on the dial of the watch.

As Buttet says, “This way, pleasant moments can be made to last twice as long while unpleasant ones can be shortened by half while the ability to ‘return’ to true time is always there.” The watch’s extremely sophisticated mechanism allows the watch’s time indications to remain in positions 1 or 3 as long as its wearer wishes, since a simple turn of the lever to position 2 (the watch’s memory) resets the hour and the minute hand to the real time of day.

As Buttet sees it, it’s his way of extracting some form of balance from a seemingly unjust world that makes us feel that when life is good, time flies, but it slows to a crawl during the rough patches. As with a child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the pleasure of the good times passes all too fast and the painful moments all too slow.

The movement is shaped like a stylized human brain because, according to Mathias Buttet, “Time is a sort of “state of mind” which is the result of the will of any single person. Not to have time to do something is, at the end, a personal decision and it is not at all something imposed by someone else. Every person decides if he or she wants to have the time to do or not to do something.” Moreover he adds “If you look at the figures on the dial you will see that they are mirror images of themselves. Some numbers are reflected face-to-face, showing the moments that are the result of the one’s will; others are reflected back-to-back: in this case, it is fate that controls your life.”

The futuristic case is shaped like a spaceship – ever searching for a better life, and the strap is composed of four rubber-clad steel strands. Lifetime warranty and the totally Swiss-made provenance of its every part and component are other characteristics of the “La Clef du Temps”.


LINK: Confrérie Horlogère Website
LINK: BNB Concept


All Alex Doak Post for The Watchismo Times


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Barbed Wire & Butterflies - MB&F HM2 Piece Unique by Artist Sage Vaughn for Only Watch 2009

There is a butterfly trapped in the movement of the latest watch to emerge from MB&F (Maximilian Büsser & Friends). And it has no hope of escaping, because the complicated movement is wrapped in barbed wire. This emotionally charged piece, a one-of-a-kind interpretation of MB&F’s Horological Machine No.2, is signed by the American artist Sage Vaughn.



Video from the New York WENY presentation (July 16th, 2009)

It will be auctioned at Only Watch, the charity auction to benefit research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to be held in Monaco on 24 September 2009 under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II.


The auction is held every two years and brings together the cream of Switzerland’s haute horlogerie watchmakers. Each contributes a unique watch, or the number one from a limited series, to be auctioned without a reserve price. All the proceeds from Only Watch go to enabling the Monegasque Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (AMM) to support international research projects into that disease – a field in which the Association has been actively involved since 2005.


HM2 Movement


"State Penn" by Sage Vaughn

The inspiration for the watch

Büsser and his team were, as he says, “shocked into” creating a piece of horology for the Only Watch event, and were determined that their timepiece should convey that emotion. But horology has its limits. How could it be used to express the beauty and vulnerability of childhood, and the valiant struggle of a child who may well be in a wheelchair before he is twelve?

There are no coincidences in life, and at the time, a new gallery in Geneva was given over entirely to the work of Sage Vaughn, an American painter and former graffiti artist whose solo show in New York last summer had been one of the art world’s most talked-about events. This young artist has fought and conquered his own demon – a seven-year heroin addiction – and the pain of that struggle is felt in the emotional power of his work. The images of gaily-dressed children or bright birds or butterflies putting on a brave front against bleak urban backgrounds had haunted Max Büsser. He had bought one of the art works, a baseball bat adorned with a collage of butterflies, pinned down by nails. Here was the tension between light-hearted innocence and something darker that he was seeking.

Sage Vaughn in his studio

The result

A trip to the US proved him right. Sage Vaughn understood the mission at once and immediately proposed to donate his time and talent. Max Büsser came back with the initial sketch for the watch, and the result is faithful to it. The entire upper face of the watch – the surface of the rectangular case and the two projecting portholes – is crafted in sapphire crystal, revealing the HM2’s complex engine. The hundreds of minute components display the meticulous hand finish that is MB&F’s hallmark. But they are imprisoned in barbed wire. A blue butterfly struggles to escape from the same fate, but its wings are clipped. In the finished work, the barbed wire is handcrafted in blackened gold and the butterfly in blued gold. But the scene has all the emotional power of the first rough by Sage Vaughn – a pencil sketch of the movement criss-crossed by barbed wire drawn in red pencil.

The watch is a unique interpretation of Horological Machine No2, launched as limited series in 2008. HM2 typifies the radical approach to high-end horology taken by Max Büsser and his Friends. It is a high-tech time machine of the twenty-first century and an incredibly sophisticated micromechanical work of art. It houses the world’s first mechanical movement – “engine” in MB&F language – to offer an instantaneous jumping hour, concentric retrograde minutes, retrograde date hand, a bi-hemisphere moon phase and automatic winding. The case alone contains more than 100 parts – more than many complete movements – and is the most complex case in watchmaking history. Altogether the watch has over 450 components.

"Reseda Butterfly" by Sage Vaughn

About Sage Vaughn

Sage Vaughn was born in Jackson, Oregon in 1976 and grew up in Reseda, California. He now lives and works in Los Angeles.

As a child he developed his talent for art in the company of his father, the artist Richard Smitty Vaughn Junior. His father would take him to the Los Angeles zoo, where they would sit all day, sketching the animals. His hippie parents had little money for toys, but they encouraged him to draw and to develop his own style. Later, he became an avid participant in the graffiti culture.

Today he favours painting, but the city of his graffiti days is ever present in his work. It is shown in its least flattering light, in the grey walls and stylised cityscapes and freeways that form an austere backdrop to his vibrant foreground figures. He has also preserved the same free and easy touch and energy. This is most visible in the paint runs used in certain areas of his work.

“I try to utilise animals in the same way that Aesop did in his fables”

Sage Vaughn’s paintings question the human condition and the difficulty of living in a contemporary environment. The bright birds and insects serve as an affirmation of life, but they also remind us of our strategies for survival in a modern society. Imperceptible at first glance, black tattoos in the birds’ plumage spell out the names of gangs or codes. They evoke the individual’s need for recognition, but also a subculture, linked in the collective conscience to violence and rebellion in the streets.

“It is easier for an observer to project into the countenance of a child”

Sometimes, children replace the birds in the foreground. Not yet formatted by society, they seem to have the energy to survive and reinvent the world. Sporting masks and brightly coloured costumes, they look like superheroes. Yet there is nothing joyous or innocent about them. Each is desperately alone, abandoned in a hostile setting.

The message could thus be seen as a bitter one: the American dream of bucolic happiness is shattered.

Sage Vaughn likes to cloud the issue, however, and scramble what might be seen as clear cut. His paintings do not stop at that admission of failure. To live is, of course, difficult but the simple fact of being alive brings hope. In the wake of Melville, whose novels the painter admires, Vaughn knows that even during war, birds do continue to sing and children to play.

Being Maximilian Büsser And Friends

The founder of MB&F says that he created a business model around his neurosis. He was an only child who grew up longing to surround himself with people that he could admire. His parents – his father Swiss, his mother Indian – were “too much in love” to provide the company that he craved, and, left to himself, he developed a rich imaginary life. This led to constant injunctions, at home and at school, to be more reasonable and responsible, and the little boy grew up imbued with his father’s rigorous principles and sense of duty.

It was only when his father passed away, seven years ago, that he felt free to become unreasonable again. “There are two occasions when you become conscious of mortality”, he says. “When you have a child, and when a parent dies.” That prompted him to leave what he admits was a dream job, as head of Harry Winston Timepieces, and form MB&F (Maximilian Büsser and Friends), a company dedicated solely to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches in collaboration with talented professionals. Or, as he says: “Letting my guts speak instead of my head”. That spirit is shared by all the independent craftsmen, engineers and watchmakers who collaborate on his projects.

Joining the battle to save children from muscular dystrophy

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a serious genetic disorder that affects one in every 3,500 boys. It is characterised by a progressive weakening of the muscles, resulting in respiratory and cardiac problems that become fatal as the child gets older. In Europe there are around 30,000 sufferers of the disease.

As yet there is no cure for the disease, but considerable progress is being made. One of the most important breakthroughs is the development of Saut d’Exon – a surgical technique that enables the cellular machinery to “forget” to read that part of the gene that carries the abnormality of the illness. This technique was developed by Luis Garcia, Head of Research at CNRS, and his team. Mr Garcia is a key player in the field of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He and his group are among the 20 research teams that have benefited from AMM’s financial support.

The role of childhood in MB&F’s creations

Maximilian Büsser knew that he would participate the moment he spoke to Luc Pettavino, the President of AMM. “At my age,” he says, (he is 42), “if I contract a serious illness I can say that I have already lived a full life, but for a child just starting out, it is a tragedy”.

Whilst he would never claim to understand the suffering of a child with this disease, childhood holds a special importance for him. For all their sophistication, the lovingly crafted time machines that he dreams up and creates with his Friends have their roots in his earliest years.

The case of Horological Machine No2 is the most complex case in the history of watchmaking, but its modular structure is inspired by the meccano model kits that were his toys. The 22-karat gold automatic rotor has the jewel-like hand-finish reserved for the elite of traditional watch movements, but it owes its iconic sickle shape to the double-headed battleaxe wielded by his childhood comic hero, Grendizer. All the great sci-fi TV series – Star Trek, Thunderbird, Dr Who and Star Wars – have played a role in MB&F’s creations. It is the tension between fascination with that imaginary world and a love of high-end horology at its purest that gives the machines their vitality.


Technical Specifications

Movement:
Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor designed functionality regulated and powered by a Girard-Perregaux oscillator and gear train.
Blued 22K gold Battle Ax automatic winding rotor
Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph

Number of components: 349 including 44 jewels

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

Sage Vaughn sculpture:
Blackened 18K gold barbed wire which imprisons the movement, symbol of the illness capturing the body.
Blued 18K butterfly on movement bridge, symbol of innocence and childhood.

Case:
Piece unique – 18K white gold/titanium with sapphire “double dome” glass
Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 59mm x 38mm x 13mm
Water resistant to 30 meters (3 ATM)

Sapphire crystals:
Dial side with anti-reflective treatment on both faces. Display back signed by Sage Vaughn.

Dials:
Brushed sapphire for minutes and date, Black disks for hours and moon phase.

Number of parts (Movement & Case): 439 parts

Strap & Buckle:
Black hand-stitched alligator with 18K gold and titanium custom designed deployant buckle.

Presentation box:
Sage Vaughn piece unique painted wooden “coffret”.

How does Only Watch work? Swiss haute de gamme watch companies each produce a unique watch or the first (No 1) of a limited series to be offered (without a reserve price) at this exceptional auction. Patrizzi & Co Auctioneers will be taking these watches on a promotional preview tour during late summer/early autumn 2009.

The Only Watch auction will then take place on 24 September 2009 in Monaco during the 19th Monaco Yacht Show. Participating watch brands 2009 Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, BNB Concept, Bovet Fleurier, Breguet Montres, Cartier, Corum Montres, De Bethune, Delacour, Franck Muller, Frederique Constant, Glashuette Uhrenbertrieb, Hermes, Hublot, Jaquet Droz, Louis Vuitton, Maximilian Buesser & Friends, Mont Blanc, Omega, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Richard Mille, Swatch, Tag Heuer, Tourneau Timepieces, Ulysse Nardin, Urwerk, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Zenith International. Source: Patrizzi & Co Auctioneers www.patrizziauction.com

MB&F website->LINK

Related MB&F, Max Busser, and Horological Machine Posts-->LINK

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A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk - Mechanical Digital Jump Hour


The Lange Zeitwerk watch 140.029 A. Lange & Söhne - White gold

Often, it is a new face that ushers in new times. That was the case after the rift in Europe had healed and the LANGE 1 paved the way for the comeback of A. Lange & Söhne. Fifteen years ago, it enriched the realm of horology with a fundamentally new concept and unprecedented technical finesse. As a design icon, it has long conquered its place at the pinnacle of timelessness. Now, with a mechanical, precisely jumping hour and minute indication of singular clarity, Lange presents another milestone. So yet again, a new face ushers in the next era in timekeeping. Its name: Lange Zeitwerk.

The Lange Zeitwerk watch 140.032 A. Lange & Söhne - Pink gold

“I shut my eyes in order to see” – the creative maxim of famous French painter Paul Gauguin was adopted by Lange’s calibre engineers and designers as they resolved to explore uncharted territory and, from an unbiased viewpoint, devise a watch that would be evolutionary and progressive in every respect. Ultimately, progress is always a result of curiosity. The question at Lange was: “Can the principles of a mechanical watch and a modern time indication format be persuasively combined?” The answer is the first mechanical wristwatch with a truly eloquent jumping numeral display. It is a watch that reinterprets time in an era of change. It not only endows time with a new face but also defines a new direction in watchmaking. It is a timepiece that embodies the spirit of time and simultaneously transcends it. Indeed, it is a watch that lets its owner experience a totally new sense of time.


The Lange Zeitwerk watch 140.025 A. Lange & Söhne - Platinum

A fresh design concept underscores the paradigm shift: The German-silver time bridge unfolds its wings across the entire width of the dial to prominently frame the large numerals of the laterally aligned windows that present the hours and minutes. It extends down to encircle the subsidiary seconds dial as well, uniting all three levels of time measurement in a harmonious setting. With its easy-to-grip bevelled flutes, the knurled crown points up and away, predicting an upswing movement. And in the upper third of the dial, the continuous power-reserve indicator reliably tells the owner when it is time to re-energise the movement.

With its emblematic name, the Lange Zeitwerk is a watch that stands for uncompromising clarity. Thanks to the unparalleled size of its numerals, it tells the current time at even a cursory glance. With a whispered click and within fractions of a second, the minute display advances step by step until the watch initiates the big jump at the top of the hour. At this point, all three numeral discs switch forward simultaneously and instantaneously by exactly one unit. Here, timekeeping is elevated to the status of an event. The perfect moment for the showdown is at 11:59 – “high noon” in a widescreen format. The seconds hand embarks on its leisurely trajectory along the periphery of the subsidiary dial. Time seems to slow down as its course is deliberately observed. Thirty seconds to go. Mounting suspense. Then: ten… three, two, one – click – 12:00. One small step for a watch, but a giant leap for horology.

Beneath the extraordinary face, an equally revolutionary movement with a diameter of 33.6 millimeters fully occupies the space inside the 41.9-millimeter gold or platinum case.

The significant amount of energy required to simultaneously advance all three numeral discs once every hour is delivered by a newly developed barrel with an extra-strong mainspring. Its patented design literally turns the venerable wind/unwind principle upside down. Thus, the mainspring barrel bearing with the higher friction rating is involved when the watch is being wound, but the barrel wheel always turns in the minimized-friction bearing as the mainspring gradually relaxes. This makes more torque available for powering the watch as well as the ensemble of discs with the hour and minute numerals.

A constant-force escapement between the barrel wheel and the balance


A constant-force escapement, also patented, between the barrel wheel and the balance acts as a pacemaker for the jumping advance of the hours and minutes – in its compactness, the mechanism is quite likely unprecedented. The forces that occur when the numeral discs are accelerated and braked are far beyond the magnitude normally encountered in a movement. To absorb them, a fly governor was integrated in the mechanism. As it rotates, its vanes must displace air like a fan; it is this resistance that dissipates much of the energy and assures gentle switching.

At the same time, the constant-force escapement makes an important contribution to stabilizing the rate of the movement: across the entire 36-hour autonomy period, it drives the balance with nearly uniform power, regardless of the state of wind of the mainspring and unaffected by the energy-consuming switching cycles that take place in one-minute intervals. Incidentally, a balance wheel with eccentric poising weights and a hairspring manufactured in-house constitute the high-precision beat controller.

As progressive as this watch with the “A. Lange & Söhne” signature may be, it remains a staunch advocate of classic horological values. A glance through the sapphire-crystal caseback reveals the lavishly decorated L043.1 manufacture calibre that in addition to all its technical novelties of course also features a three-quarter plate, a hand-engraved balance cock, and screwed gold chatons – each element is an endearingly familiar and regal asset of every Lange watch.

With its graceful appearance and intrinsic values, the Lange Zeitwerk is not only a seminal timepiece, it also makes a strong statement about the personality and the style of its owner. It delivers a new experience in time – whether with eyes wide open or shut.

Film from the A. Lange & Söhne factory


A. Lange & Söhne Website

Related Posts on The Watchismo Times;
All Haute Horology Features


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Real Life Photos of the Concord C1 Quantum Gravity Tourbillon



Finally, no more slick CAD teasers, the real deal, Concord's C1 Quantum Gravity live in Basel.

Thanks to Watchluxus


Video Link of the new tourbillon bi-axial from BNB Concept for the Concord C1 Quantum Gravity timepiece is placed and alive.




Christophe Claret Introduces his DualTow Display Belt Single Pusher Planetary Chronograph with Striking Mechanism

Christophe Claret Introduces his DualTow Display Belt Single Pusher Planetary Chronograph with Striking MechanismChristophe Claret's Dual Tow watch introduced today at Baselworld
Two conveyor belts rotate displaying the time. (there seems to be a theme this year!)

Christophe Claret Introduces his DualTow Display Belt Single Pusher Planetary Chronograph with Striking Mechanism

From the press release (via Horomundi):

2009 is a jubilee year in the history of Christophe Claret SA, a milestone that its owner wished to symbolize by releasing an exclusive timepiece produced under the company brand name and distributed by the finest retailers worldwide.

The DualTow is a faithful reflection of the watchmaking philosophy inherent to Christophe Claret. Housing several inventions including one patented innovation, this single-pusher planetary-gear chronograph with striking mechanism and tourbillon expresses a combination of technical excellence and sophisticated aesthetics.

It also embodies the merging of the wide variety of skills united within the company, since almost all operations involved in making it – from movement development to the machining of the sapphire dial-bridge – have been performed in-house.

Representing a horological embodiment of power and energy, the DualTow is an ultra-refined machine for measuring time. With its original “belt” display of the hours and minutes, the model features an ultra-technical and classically elegant appearance.

Technically speaking, the mechanical hand-wound CC20A movement boasts an impressive number of innovations and stylistic refinement.

One particularly striking example is a gong that sounds each time the chronograph pusher is activated, in a playful allusion to the expertise of the Manufacture in the field of striking watches.

Christophe Claret Introduces his DualTow Display Belt Single Pusher Planetary Chronograph with Striking Mechanism



Christophe Claret Introduces his DualTow Display Belt Single Pusher Planetary Chronograph with Striking Mechanism


DUALTOW Specs:

SINGLE-PUSHER PLANETARY-GEAR CHRONOGRAPH WITH STRIKING MECHANISM MOVEMENT:

Number of parts: 582

Number of jewels: 73

Power Reserve: Over 50 hours

Barrels: Twin barrels placed in parallel

Tourbillon: - Swiss lever escapement
- Balance oscillation frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vph)
- Tourbillon rotation frequency : 1 revolution/minute

Functions: - Hour and minute display on belts
- Single-pusher planetary-gear chronograph
- Mechanical striking mechanism sounding each change of function (start, stop and reset)
- 12-hour, 60-minute and 60-second chronograph counters
- Operating mode indicator
- Mechanical hand-wound movement
- Power-Reserve display

EXTERIOR:

Case: - Watch glasses specially designed and manufactured to ensure an ergonomic fit
- Rectangular, curving; fitted with exclusive mobile lugs enabling a perfect fit on the wrist
- Dimensions : 42.75 x 48.20 mm (not counting the lugs)
- Water Resistant: 3 ATM or 30 meters

Display belts: In rubber with transferred hour and minute numerals

Flange: Flange with chronograph seconds markers cut from five different stones

Dynamometric crown and pusher: Rubber-molded

Dial: Sapphire crystal serving as a bridge for the chronograph counters and featuring transferred chronograph hour and minute counters, chronograph operating mode, Christophe Claret brand name and ‘Swiss Made’ indication

Buckle: Triple-blade folding clasp with decorative covers and an innovative system enabling comfort-enhancing 10 mm wrist extension

Series: Limited edition of 68 timepieces; each unique


Christophe Claret website

Related Posts;
All Christophe Claret Stories
Watches with Alternative Displays
Opus 9 Diamond Chain Display
Baselworld Releases
Watches over $100,000


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THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces

2009 Harry Winston Opus 9



In Opus 9, diamonds are not merely a decorative element, but the functional element of time telling. Teamed up for the 9th Opi is master watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederecht and haute designer Eric Giroud.

Replacing the traditional watch hands and cyclical dial, time is displayed by two parallel diamond chains, for hours and minutes.

Sleek and scintillating, each chain is adorned with 33 baguette-cut diamonds, Harry Winston’s signature shape.

Vivid mandarin garnets are strategically positioned to indicate the hours and minutes.

Meticulously calibrated, each stone is perfectly set into the links, to ensure movement, while maintaining their brilliance. The chains are designed to maximize mobility while minimizing friction.

Recalling Harry Winston’s iconic, invisible settings, the gemstones appear as floating lines of light, seamless unfolding across the dial.

Limited edition of 100 pieces

Harry Winston presentation today at Baselworld
Photography and report by Ian Skellern for Horomundi


THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesHistory of the Opus Series 1-8

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesFirst presentation of the dial

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesPresentation of the sketches and renderings

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesThe exposed diamond time chain

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesOpus 9 on the wrist

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesFirst public viewing for the watch

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces
THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesThe Opus 9 Box

Specifications:
  • Movement: Automatic self-winding using a chain system.
  • Functions: Linear display of hours and minutes.
  • Power Reserve: 72 Hours
  • Case: White Gold
  • Dimensions: 56mm x 48mm x 20mm
  • Dial: Baguette diamond chain indicating the hours on left, the minutes on the right. The indicator is a Garnet.
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters (3ATM)
  • Carat Weight: 66 baguette diamonds, total carats: 2.148 cts. 6 Garnet, total carats: 0.222 cts.
Related Stories:

OPUS 8
OPUS 7
OPUS 6
OPUS 5


Harry Winston Website

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New Releases from Greubel Forsey - Invention Piece No. 3 & Double Tourbillon Technique

New Releases from Greubel Forsey - Invention Piece No. 3 & Double Tourbillon TechniqueDouble Tourbillon Technique
  • Mechanical hand-wound movement,
  • Calibre GF 02s Double Tourbillon 30°,
  • Hours and minutes display,
  • Outer Tourbillon 4-minute rotation indicator,
  • Inner Tourbillon 60 Second rotation indicator, power-reserve indicator.
New Releases from Greubel Forsey - Invention Piece No. 3 & Double Tourbillon TechniquePhoto - Ian Skellern via Horomundi


New Releases from Greubel Forsey - Invention Piece No. 3 & Double Tourbillon Technique
Invention Piece 3
  • Mechanical hand-wound movement,
  • Calibre GF 01n
  • Tourbillon 24 Secondes Incliné,
  • Hours and minutes display,
  • Seconds display and power-reserve indicator.
New Releases from Greubel Forsey - Invention Piece No. 3 & Double Tourbillon TechniquePhoto credit - Watchprosite

New Releases from Greubel Forsey - Invention Piece No. 3 & Double Tourbillon Technique
Greubel Forsey Website

via Horomundi (photos courtesy of Ian Skellern)

Related Stories at The Watchismo Times:
The Greubel Forsey Invention Piece No. 1
All Greubel Forsey Posts on The Watchismo Times
All Independent Watchmaker Posts

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The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind Satellarium


The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind SatellariumA unique Vianney Halter piece will be on show during Salon Belles Montres in Paris (27th to 30th of November).

In 2001 Halter realized a series of 108 Jumping Hour and Moonphase Watches
for Egana Goldpfeil.

The “Faces of Time” project also included a one-of-a-kind watch. For that one, Halter imagined and realized a very special timepiece that was called “Satellarium” due to his very special shape. For this, Vianney worked with the french designer Pascal Pagès who also contributed to the JHMP and to the Opus 3.

This piece is like 3 round cases linked together and inserted into a structure. In the larger case is the Hour and Minute display while in the lower “satellite” case is the moonphase and in the upper “satellite” case is a very unexpected thermometer. The whole is in platinum and powered with an automatic movement.

This unique piece was delivered to Goldpfeil in 2001 and sold. As far as we know, it now belongs to a Russian collector. It was rumored to be for sale four years ago for $450,000 USD.

But the truth is this piece is not that unique as Vianney also made a back-up piece so as to secure the delivery to Goldpfeil. This piece is slightly different than the one delivered to Goldpfeil as only “Vianney Halter” brand name appeared on it while the other one was branded “Gold / Pfeil” on the main dial.

Via Horomundi

The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind SatellariumThe original Goldpfeil Satellarium

The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind SatellariumVianney's Jump Hour "JHMP" for Goldpfeil
(photomontage-->link)


The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind SatellariumVianney Halter's landmark Antiqua
(photomontage-->link)


Vianney Halter Website-->Link

See Also;
All Related Vianney Halter Posts on The Watchismo Times-->Link


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First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!


First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!I was lucky enough to be one of the first people in the world to see the latest from Maximilian
Büsser & Friends this morning. Max and Stephen Hallock of MB&F met me for breakfast at NYC's Brasserie to unveil the coolest Horological Machines yet. I hate to use one word to describe the HM3 Sidewinder and Starcruiser, but here it is... WOW.

Summed up, this watch has two variations. The red gold Starcruiser (above) and white gold Sidewinder (below) with two sapphire cones rising up from the case to reveal hours and day/night indicator and the other cone for minutes - transmitted via ceramic ball bearings to laser-cut hands and visible as a drivers style watch, on the side. Each watch shown here displays 10:45 am.

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!But what really sets it apart is the fact the movement with automatic rotor is upside down! No more turning your watch over to show off its most essential element. The signature Grendizer battle axe rotor swings wildly under each dome adding to the many layers of the most dimensionally effective Horological Machine to date.

The date wheel surrounds the movement through each dome and indicated by an arrow cut into the case.

Two styles are available in both red gold and white gold. The Starcruiser has both cones on the inside of your wrist and the Sidewinder with cones vertically next to your hand. Both are read easily without turning your wrist. Great when you're driving so fast you can't take your eyes off the road...or sky.

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!HM3 Starcrusier & Sidewinder

MB&F Website-->LINK

See Also;
All Max Busser & MB&F Posts-->Link

Press release;

Horological Machine No3

Warning! Horological Machine No3 (HM3) is so far outside existing timekeeping references that it may cause sensory overload. The mind first attempts to take in the kinetically active movement, paradoxically seen in all its glory on the top of the watch and partially circumscribed by a ring of large numerals. However before that information can be processed it is assailed yet again, this time by twin cones rising majestically from the sculptured three-dimensional case. No wonder many struggle to reconcile the reality that this dynamic sculpture is actually a highly technical wristwatch that tells the time and date.

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!
Welcome to the world of MB&F!
Individualists demand choice, so HM3 is available in two versions: ‘Sidewinder’, with cones lined perpendicular to the arm and ‘Starcruiser’, with cones in line with the arm. Each version has its own very distinct visual characteristics and each offers its own angle on telling the time.

The twin cones respectively indicate hours and minutes, with the hour cone capped by a day/night indicator. An over-sized date wheel allows for large, legible numbers with the date indicated by a neatly engraved triangle on its perimeter.
However, it is the spectacular open-air theatre presented by the finely finished movement, with its swinging battle-axe shaped automatic rotor and fast oscillating balance wheel, which mesmerises the eye and astounds the senses.
Turning the watch over reveals the technical secret behind HM3’s inverted movement: two large high-tech ceramic bearings efficiently transmitting power up to the cones and date wheel.

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!
About MB&F

After decades learning and conforming to the corporate rules of watchmaking, Maximilian Büsser broke the chains and started a rebellion - a rebellion called MB&F. MB&F is an artistic and micro-engineering concept laboratory in which collectives of independent horological professionals are assembled each year to design and craft radical Horological Machines.
The ramifications of these audacious projects are profound. Respecting tradition but not shackled by it, MB&F fuses traditional high-quality watchmaking with cutting-edge technology to create three-dimensional kinetic sculptures.

Horological Machine No3 is the third chapter in the story of MB&F’s horological revolution; it is a story of adventure, of excitement and of passion.

“The Earth is a cradle of the mind, but we cannot live forever in a cradle.”
-Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky, Father of Russian Astronautics, 1896.


Inspiration and Realization: Horological Machine No3 was developed to display the machine’s beautifully finished movement in operation. Harmoniously crafted bridges, rapidly oscillating balance wheel, gearing and distinctive battle-axe shaped automatic winding rotor are all open to view. This allows the wearer to fully appreciate the art and craft that makes up HM3 and draws the viewer’s gaze inside the highly complex machine; a machine comprising more than 300 fine-finished, high-precision components.

The movement of HM3 has been literally turned upside down to allow for an uninterrupted panorama of the solid gold winding rotor’s graceful arcs and the high-speed oscillations of the balance wheel. Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, winner of the inaugural award for Best Watchmaker at the 2007 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, was entrusted with turning the drawings and designs of Max Büsser and designer Eric Giroud into horological reality and, with his team at Agenhor, he not only met but surpassed the challenge.

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!White gold Starcruiser

Starcruiser and Sidewinder: MB&F’s Horological Machines are for individualists who demand art, craft, excellence, exclusivity . . . and choice. To cater to these demanding aficionados, Horological Machine No3 is available in two versions: ‘Sidewinder’, with its cones lined perpendicular to the arm and ‘Starcruiser’, with its cones in line with the arm. Just like their potential owners, each is very special, each is very different.

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!Red Gold Sidewinder

Indications:
The three-dimensional time-indicating cones allow for telling the time at a glance, whether driving or typing; however, the fact that nothing like them had ever been attempted before in horology posed considerable challenges. The top caps of the truncated cones are brazed (not glued) to ensure maximum water-resistance and the red ‘hands’ of the hour and minute indicators had to be cut by laser to obtain the incredibly high precision with minimum mass that the design necessitated.

The over-sized date wheel is actually a larger diameter than the movement, a fact that allows for very legible and well spaced 2.5mm high numbers. A neat triangle engraved into the top of the case marks the date.

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!Exposed automatic rotor, domes and hands

Mystery Rotor: the prominence of the 22K solid gold battle-axe shaped rotor on the dial of HM3 is certain to increase the recognition of this already iconic MB&F symbol. The rotor is a ‘mystery’ because it appears to defy the laws of physics in being symmetrically balanced instead of having a visibly off-centred mass. This is achieved by machining the underside of one arm to a razor-thin edge so reducing its mass.

“The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”
-Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Horological Machine No3
Technical Innovations:


First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!Ceramic Bearings: Time indications are usually located on the top, or dial side, of a movement. As the movement of HM3 is inverted to display its operation, an efficient solution was needed to bring power from the bottom of the movement to the timekeeping cones and date wheel at the top. Standard pinions set in jewels would have required complex, friction-generating gearing, and would require support top and bottom – a factor which would increase the height of the movement, and thus the watch. So instead of standard jewelled pinions, HM3 features two large-diameter (15mm) high-tech ceramic bearings. These minimize the number of gear-wheels (and thus friction) because of their large diameter and, as they only require support at one end (the base) due to the rigidity resulting from their ultra-high precision design and manufacture, they allow for a thinner movement.

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!Large Date: The over-sized date ring has a diameter larger than the movement. While the design allows for large (2.5mm high) easy-to-read numbers, the considerable distance between each number, while aiding legibility, required great ingenuity in enabling the date to be adjusted. Technical constraints in using the crown to operate the date meant that a pusher was called for; however, a pusher has an approximate travel of only 1mm – far short of the 4mm needed to move the date wheel from one day to the next. An ingenious system of amplifying the pusher’s travel was developed using efficient gearing to multiply by four the distance travelled by the pusher.

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!2:35

Sapphire cones: Three-dimensional cones have never been used to display time before, and no wonder as their manufacture was said to be impossible. Fortunately the impossible just took a little longer. The difficulty lay not in actually fabricating the cones, but in polishing the interior of their (originally) translucent surface until transparent. The caps of the truncated cones are brazed (a high temperature soldering technique) to their gold rims, a technique which is aesthetically pleasing and ensures a solid and waterproof construction.

Screw heads: Perfection lies in the details, form follows function. Those two statements explain both the reason MB&F has gone to the effort of redesigning the slots of the case screws and their unusual cloverleaf shape. Sharp-edge shaped screw slots require sharp-edge shaped screwdrivers, a tool tailor-made for scratching polished gold screws. The rounded cloverleaf pattern in the head of HM3 screws is not only pleasing to the eye, it reduces the chances of damage to the screw. Horological Machines are micro-mechanical works of art and demand that each and every component both looks superb and functions impeccably.

Case and finish: Though totally original in design, the double indications, idiosyncratic play of matt and polished finished surfaces, iconic mystery rotor and slope-sided case ensure that HM3 is unmistakeably, 100 per cent pure Horological Machine.

"Traveling through hyper-space ain't like dustin' crops, boy."
Han Solo in Star Wars


Horological Machine No3 – Technical Specifications


First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!Movement:

Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor;
Girard-Perregaux oscillator and gear
Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph.
22k rose gold battle-axe shaped ‘mystery’ automatic winding rotor
Hour and minutes information transmitted via ceramic ball bearings to laser-cut hands.

Number of jewels: 36 (all functional)
Number of components: 304

Functions:


Hour and day/night indicator on one cone
Minutes on second cone
Date around the movement

Case:

2 versions: Starcruiser (cones in line with arm)
Sidewinder (cones perpendicular to arm)

Both versions available in 18k white gold/ titanium or 18k red gold/titanium.
Screwed-down crown
Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 47mm x 50mm x 16mm
Number of case components: 53 - Starcruiser , 57 - Sidewinder

Sapphire crystals:

Cones and both display backs with anti-reflective treatment on both faces.

Strap & Buckle:


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

First Look at the HM3 - Horological Machine No 3 Starcruiser & Sidewinder!MB&F Team

'Friends' responsible for Horological Machine No3

Concept: Maximilian Büsser/MB&F

Product Design: Eric Giroud – Eric Giroud Design Studio

Technical and Production Management: Serge Kriknoff/MB&F

Movement Development: Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor, Nicolas Stalder/Agenhor

Movement manufacturing: Georges Auer/Mecawatch, Salvatore Ferrarotto/APR Quality

Ceramic ball bearings: Patrice Parietti/MPS

Movement assemblage: Didier Dumas/MB&F, Gilles Dalloz/Agenhor

Case and buckle construction and production: Philippe Marti, Dominique Mainier and Stéphane Lhomme of G.F.Châtelain

Sapphire cones: Sébastien Sangsue and Grégory Esseric/Sebal, Peter Bloesch/Bloesch

Dials: François Bernhard and Denis Parel of Nateber

Hands: Pierre Chillier, Isabelle Chillier and Félix Celetta of Fiedler

Strap: Olivier Purnot/Camille Fournet

Presentation case: Frédéric Legendre/Lekoni, Isabelle Vaudaux/Vaudaux

Communication:

Graphic Design - Alban Thomas and Gérald Moulière of GVA Studio
Product Photography - Maarten van der Ende
Display Architecture - Frédéric Legendre/Lekoni
Portrait Photography - Régis Golay/Federal
Webmasters - Stéphane Balet and Guillaume Schmitz of Sumo Interactive
Texts - Ian Skellern
Project Manager - Estelle Tonelli/MB&F

MB&F - The Genesis of a Concept Laboratory

The projects that gave Maximilian Büsser the most pleasure and personal satisfaction during his seven year tenure as head of Harry Winston Timepieces, were those working with talented independent watchmakers on the exciting Opus series watches. An idea for his own personal utopia emerged; that of creating a company dedicated solely to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches in collaboration with talented professionals he both 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 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.

Biography– Maximilian Büsser

Maximilian Büsser was born in Milan, 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 world’s first horological Concept Brand: MB&F (Maximilian Büsser & Friends) in which he is now partnered with Serge Kriknoff. 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. MB&F presented its first timepiece, Horological Machine No. 1 (HM1), in 2006and followed that up with HM2 in 2007 and HM3 in 2008, and Büsser has more radical machines in the development pipeline.

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.


MB&F Website-->LINK

See Also;
All Max Busser & MB&F Posts-->Link

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