MB&F unveils exclusive watch just for Dubai

The LM1 M.A.D. Dubai is a tribute to the Gulf and the Seddiqi family that helped launch the brand.

Robert Chilton April 19, 2016

Maximilian Büsser and his eccentric horological concept company MB&F don’t make bespoke pieces for individuals.

But a personal – and persistent – request from friend and business associate Osama Seddiqi led Max, MB&F’s owner and creative director, to create a limited edition timepiece that launched today in the UAE. 

The Legacy M.A.D. Dubai is a striking piece, largely due to the shimmering green movement plate that morphs into blue, mauve and turquoise as the watch moves and catches rays of light. The green has been achieved using a technique called CVD (chemical vapour deposition) that deposits a layer of ions one micron thick to coat the brass plate.

Made from grade 5 titanium, the watch carries dual time zones, one with Roman numerals and one with Hindi numerals that most people recognise as Arabic characters. The watch is part of Büsser’s Legacy family, which began in 2011 with the launch of the Legacy Machine No. 1 (LM1) that only came in gold and, incidentally, will be retired in early 2017, which boosts the collectability of this new piece. 

Büsser’s friend Seddiqi, a member of the UAE Seddiqi & Sons family that is the country’s leading retailer of luxury watches, wanted the Legacy 1 in titanium or steel because he doesn’t wear gold. But Büsser refused because, as he explained to EDGAR, “the legacy machines are a tribute to the watchmaking masters of the 18th and 19th century and they must be in gold.”

Fast forward a couple of years and the Seddiqi family approached Büsser about opening a gallery to showcase MB&F’s collection of mechanical art. The result, the M.A.D. Gallery in Al Quoz, opened in January 2016 and as a thank you, MB&F created this new watch in Seddiqi's preferred titanium.

Getting the green colour on the movement plate was the most challenging part of the project. “All green dials are lacquer but you can’t put lacquer on a movement because it would drip – a nightmare!” says Büsser. “So it had to be galvanic plating or PVD. Galvanic produces a horrible khaki colour and PVD is impossible. So we used the CVD technique and I thought it looked amazing. Everybody sees it differently because the colours changewith the light. I showed it to the Siddiquis and they said wow.” 

Two small dials sit at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. On the left dial are Roman numerals and on the right are Arabic numerals. Büsser adds, “This watch is for the people of the Gulf so the dial on the right is the home time zone and uses Arabic numbers. We read from right to left and so the other dial is in Roman numerals.”

After a year-long development process, Büsser is delighted with the result. “When I see the watch now it makes me happy because it’s another step in the relationship between MB&F and the Siddiqui family. Our stories are intertwined and this watch is my way of saying thank you.”

Limited edition 13 pieces, AED 308,000. mbandf.com