Rise of the machines: 5 reasons we can't get enough of MB&F's mechanical masterpieces

By Michelle Johnson | 27 Oct 2017 | Smart Living

What do you get when you cross a timepiece with rockets, robots and an octopod? Let's find out.

* Maximilian Büsser & Friends has been changing the face of the concept of timepieces with their artistic horological machines
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* Octopod is the latest – and most impressive – machine yet
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* Horological Machine No. 7: Aquapod
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* Destination Moon
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* Horological Machine No. 6
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* Balthazar – a robot clock with two distinct sides
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Maximilian Büsser may have began as a traditional watchmaker for Harry Winston's rare timepieces, but ever since he created Maximilian Büsser & Friends in 2005 he has been changing the face of the concept of timepieces with his artistic horological machines. Starting with award-winning distinctive geometric shapes, sculptural pieces and homages to 19th century watchmaking, it was with the brand's 2010 collaboration with jewellery house Boucheron – notably launching the jewel-encrusted owl JLWRYMACHINE – that they really hit the ground running. With their brand new Octopod launch changing the game yet again, we've rounded up our favourite new releases from this iconic mechanical house. >>


The latest, and most phenomenal collaboration between MB&F and L’Épée 1839, Octopod is an eight-legged, eight-day clock like no other. Retailing for £33,500, the eight articulated legs can be positioned standing or extended, while the clock is housed in the spherical clear dome head. Inspired by traditional ship chronometers, Octopod’s 360˚ rotating clockwork seems to float in mid-air. An instant conversation starter.


Horological Machine No. 7, or Aquapod

HM7 was MB&F's first venture under the sea, after launching horological machines inspired by fast cars and powerful rockets. Inspired by jellyfish, a central 60-second flying tourbillon seems to float within the organically shaped head. Additionally, all 303-components of its mechanisms rotate around the centre, from the winding rotor at the bottom to the flying tourbillon on top, and like any dive watch worth its salt-water it features a unidirectional rotating bezel. And if that's not enough ocean-inspired whimsy? Aquapod even glows in the dark. 

Destination Moon

MB&F describes this statement piece as "the torpedo-shaped rocket of childhood dreams" – and we couldn't possibly summarise it better. To bring this fun rocket to life, L'Épée followed the engineering of a real spaceship in order to create the eight-day movement held within its stylish frame.The vertical regulator sits underneath the time display covered by a protective layer of mineral glass and, of course, there's the solid silver astronaut figurine climbing the rocket as if ready for takeoff – fittingly, MB&F have named him 'Neil'.

Horological Machine No. 6

Ready for an Alien invasion? HM6 is another design inspired by space flight – or more accurately, sci-fi – with organic curves, a winking eye and 'beating' heart to delight any would-be space cadet. Each corner of the biomorphic case features a transparent sapphire crystal sphere, two displaying hours and minutes, while the rear hold twin spherical turbines to regulate the automatic winding system. While each HM6 hints at the complex movements within, the Alien Nation editions also offers top and bottom views inside the machine. 


An incredibly precise clock and beautifully crafted robot, Balthazar is one of the many outstanding feats of craftsmanship that define the MB&F ethos. Balthazar stands 40cm tall and weighs over 8kg, featuring slow jumping hours and sweeping minutes with 20-second retrograde second displays in his eyes. But, perhaps inspired by Phillip K. Dick's classic novels, Balthazar is a robot of two distinct personalities. Flip him around to his 'dark side' and you'll get a dramatic grinning skull as well as a double hemisphere moon phase indicator. 

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