What’s the secret to keeping MB&F at the top?
Creativity is an addiction and, like all addictions, you need the dosage to continuously increase—or else you feel empty and in need. Once a piece has been launched, I more or less lose interest in it. It is always the next creation or creations [that] get my adrenaline [going].
How does MB&F stand out from its competitors in the watch world?
[Since] the beginning of MB&F, 12 years ago, we had a very different outlook on watchmaking. For us, it is art and, as such, we deconstruct traditional, very high-end watchmaking to reconstruct it into a piece of 3D kinetic art. I cannot sing, paint or write, but give me the components of a watch movement and I can come up with dozens of pretty unusual ideas.
One of our favorite pieces was the MB&F Legacy — it was a huge success! Why did you stop this line with your last edition over the summer?
We did not stop the whole line, but only the original Legacy Machine No.1, which had been launched in 2011. Even though we continue to craft and sell about 60 pieces per year, it was time to retire this crucial piece in our history. The main reason is to increase desirability of the preowned pieces so that the existing owners can maximize the price when reselling them. And we needed the LM1 to give way to the brand new Legacy Machine, which launched on October 10.
Tell us about your relationship with Westime?
Westime is one of the six worldwide retailers who, in 2005, believed enough in us— or [was] crazy enough—to pay in advance one-third of [its] first order two years before we delivered the first machine… based [only] on a drawing and a crude 3D printed piece of plastic, which was supposed to mimic the HM1. The word ‘friends’ in our name—the ‘F’ in MB&F—always had a real meaning. Without the Simonian family, owners of Westime, and five other retailers, I would not be standing in front of you today. Contrary to what happens in the corporate world, that has a real meaning for both of us.
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