The MB&F M.A.D.Gallery Dubai presents
Serious watchmaking. Seriously playful.
Engraved in French on the caseband between the lugs of LM1 Silbersteinis a paraphrased quote from Gustave Flaubert:“Levraibonheurestd’avoirsa passion pour métier” – which translates roughly as, “Making a profession of your passion is true happiness”.
The phrase carries special meaning for both French watch designer Alain Silberstein, who left the safety of working in his trained profession as an interior designer to found his own watch brand, and MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser, who left the security of being a successful CEO of a well-known brand to found his own niche creative lab.
In 2009, MB&F had called on Silberstein to create its very first piece of ‘Performance Art’ – reinterpretations by external artists and designers of existing MB&F Machines. The result was the HM2.2 ‘Black Box’, followed by a long list of collaborations with other creators. For this new Performance Art series, Silberstein has taken MB&F’s classic Legacy Machine N°1 and imbued it with his unique flair for the unconventional. His use of his signature three bright colours and shapes: red, blue and yellow; triangle, rectangle and circle for the hands and dial markers; and three-dimensionally translated as a cone, cube and sphere for the power reserve, catch the eye as they contrast against the more subdued movement plate below.
However, it is the concave curve of the subdials that highlights the artist’s philosophical approach most. While the convex sapphire crystal dome and balance bridge offer protection from outside forces, the concave subdials attract and welcome the “eternal time” of the universe into the movement, where it is transformed and displayed as two completely independent time zones. Naturally, the hands are similarly concave so that they seamlessly complement the curvature of the dials.
“I resonated with LM1 because by highlighting the balance – the mechanism that splits time into miniscule increments – it highlights how man converts eternal time into something he can use”,Silberstein explains.
Silberstein felt strongly that, as the balance is the “beating heart” of the timepiece, nothing should break the view of the dial side regulator or block “eternal time” from reaching the time indications. He also thought that as graceful as the dual arcing bridges of the original LM1 were, they took too much visual attention from the indications. Two years of development were required to create thetransparent sapphire crystal balance bridge to the incredibly tight tolerances required to support the balance wheel. And all of that work for an elegantly shaped component that is essentially designed to be invisible.
“It was a pleasure to work from such a creative timepiece as LM1 because the suspended balance and arched bridge made it feel like working on the set of a science fiction film”.
Even the two crowns are steeped in Silberstein magic: their distinctive six-pointed star shapes formed by overlappingtwo triangles make winding a tactile pleasure.
LM1 Silberstein is a limited edition of 3 x 12 pieces in red gold, titanium,or black PVD-treated titanium.