Max Büsser , along with his company MB&F (which stands for Max Büsser and Friends) has been turning out some pretty amazing (and very high-end) watches. Of course, Büsser is no stranger to the world of crazy watches, as prior to his 10-year stint at the helm of MB&F, he was creating the Harry Winston Opus watches. Hitting the 10 year mark is worth celebrating, and to do that, we now have the new (and more affordable) MB&F HMX.
Now, as you can probably guess, the HMX stands for Horological Machine 10. While the watch is certainly in-line with what we have seen from prior Horological Machines, this one is a bit, well, simpler. Not to call it a simple watch, but it is much less complicated than prior outings. Then again, you would not necessarily guess that looking at the watch. A fair amount of effort has been put into the aesthetics of this watch, building up what amounts to a poem for a sports car.
This is primarily evident by looking through the sapphire crystal on the top of the watch, where we can actually see the movement (nope, not the dial; more on that in a minute). Here, you’re seeing parts of the movement that have been fashioned to mimic the look of valve covers on an engine. With that in mind, the shape of the case (from the top) has very much the feel of a car hood. Back to the movement, though, your eyes do not deceive you – there are two discs there with numbers, but that is not where the time is read.
Instead, it’s done on the side of the case that would face you if you held your hand out flat in front of you – or, more tellingly, if you were gripping a steering wheel. You see, the MB&F HMX is also an homage to driving watches of the past, which place the time indication on the side like this so you could read the time without removing your hands from the wheel. Of course, Büsser being Büsser, it would not do to have a simple display here. Instead, prisms are used under the aforementioned discs to bring the display to life.
Light comes in from the top of the watch (now you know why it has that massive sapphire “engine cover”), reflecting off of the discs with their mirror-image printed numerals (one for bi-directional jumping hours, and one for minutes). This light is then captured by angular prisms that transmit the display out to the edge of the case. Along with just being a clever application, it also means you’re not truly looking at the time – just a reflection of it (apply whatever philosophy you may – or may not – want to at this point).
Coming in at an affordable (for the brand) $31,000 (depending on currency conversion from the list of 29,000 CHF), the MB&F HMX will be available in 20 pieces each of each color (Lotus black, British racing green, Bugatti blue, and Ferrari red). While this very likely is not a watch everyone loves, for the petrol-head with an eye for fine watches, this is one that hits all the right notes. I also enjoy the fact that, while the MB&F HMX is still well outside of my budget, Büsser created the watch purposely as a way of giving back to those who have supported the brand, and made the conscious decision to keep the price low. I also really appreciate that MB&F is very transparent about who all of the friends are that helped the MB&F HMX become a reality. This is a rarity in any manufacturing these days, let alone the world of luxury watches. Just another thing that Büsser is doing very, very right. mbandf.com
- Brand & Model: MB&F HMX
- Price: $31,000 (depending on currency conversion)
- Who we think it might be for: This is for the person who likes their cars fast and their watches high-end
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Budget aside, probably not. It’s an interesting design, but not one for me
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I wouldn’t even dare to pretend I could inform Max Büsser in this regard!
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s got to be the trick use of prisms, bar non
‘Friends’ responsible for MB&F HMX
- Concept: Maximilian Büsser / MB&F
- Product design: Eric Giroud / Through the Looking Glass
- Development and production management: Serge Kriknoff / MB&F
- R&D: Guillaume Thévenin and Ruben Martinez / MB&F
- Movement base: Andreas Deubzer / Sellita Watch Co SA
- Additional module in-house machining: Alain Lemarchand / MB&F
- Case: Fabien Chapatte and Ricardo Pescante / Les Artisans Boîtiers SA
- Steel movement parts: Alain Pellet / Elefil
- Wheels: Dominique Guye / DMP Horlogerie SA
- Profile-turning of small parts: Sébastien Paroz / Swissmec SA
- Chrome functional oil caps : Yves Bandi / Bandi SA
- Hand-finishing of movement components: Jacques-Adrien Rochat and Denis Garcia / C.-L. Rochat and Aurora Amaral Moreira / Panova
- Movement assemblage: Didier Dumas, Georges Veisy, Anne Guiter and Emmanuel Maitre / MB&F
- After-sales service: Florian Courbat / MB&F
- Quality Control: Cyril Fallet / MB&F
- Sapphire glass: Martin Stettler / Stettler Sapphire AG
- Hour and minute disks: Jean-Michel Pellaton and Gérard Guerne / Bloesch SA
- Crown : Jean-Pierre Cassard / Cheval Frères SA
- Winding rotor : Denis Villars / Cendres + Métaux Galétan SA
- Buckle construction and production: Dominique Mainier and Bertrand Jeunet / G&F Châtelain
- Strap: Tristan Guyotjeannin / Creations Perrin
- Presentation case: Olivier Berthon / ATS Atelier Luxe
- Production logistics: David Lamy and Isabel Ortega / MB&F
- Marketing & Communication: Charris Yadigaroglou, Virginie Meylan and Juliette Duru / MB&F
- M.A.D.Gallery: Hervé Estienne / MB&F
- Sales: Luis André, Patricia Duvillard and Philip Ogle / MB&F
- Graphic design: Damien Seydoux / MB&F, Adrien Schulz and Gilles Bondallaz / Z+Z
- Product photography: Maarten van der Ende
- Portrait photography: Régis Golay / Federal
- Website: Stéphane Balet and Victor Rodriguez / Sumo Interactive
- Texts: Ian Skellern / Underthedial
- Film: Marc-André Deschoux / MADinSwitzerland
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