Founded by Max Busser in 2005, MB&F has become one of the best-known names in the world of high-end independent watchmaking thanks to Max's incredibly original and eccentric designs and fixated approach to Haute Horlogerie. However, in 2020 during the height of COVID-19 restrictions, Max decided to create an entry-level watch that would forgo MB&F's Haute Horlogerie approach and instead act as a value-for-money thank you to MB&F's closest partners, collectors, and friends. Never offered to the public and launched in 2021, the resulting design was the MAD 1, an eccentric timepiece that contains MB&F's design language in abundance.
Featuring a large 42mm case with crown at 12 o'clock and a domed polished steel bezel that meets almost perfectly flush with a domed sapphire crystal, the MAD 1 immediately reveals its lack of a traditional time display. Instead, from the top-down, through where its dial should be, the MAD 1 reveals its upside-down automatic Miyota cal. 821A movement. Fitted with a large custom triple-blade winding rotor made of titanium and tungsten that spins at breakneck speeds, the MAD 1's party trick is perhaps its most charming and stereotypically MB&F piece of design as it recalls MB&F's HM3 and HM8 models.
Instead of using a time display on the top of the watch, it is instead on the mid-case. Revealed through a sapphire crystal window that wraps its way along the mid-case, the MAD 1 tells the time by using two aluminum-alloy cylinders for the hours and minutes that rotate clockwise over a triangle that bisects the two lugs at the 6 o'clock side of the watch. Both cylinders have been engraved with numerals, which have then been filled with Super-LumiNova to provide legibility in low-light conditions.
Fitted to a grey leather rally strap with larger perforations via its unique angular lugs that tuck under its case as if to cradle the watch, the MAD 1 is visually distinct in just about every way possible. An extremely limited watch that seldom enters the open market due to the profoundly personal nature of its release, the MAD 1 represents everything MB&F stands for and Max Busser's undying determination to provide his friends with the best and most unique watches he can.