H. Moser & Cie. and MB&F make some noise for Only Watch

Maximilian Büsser and Edouard Meylan have collaborated for a second time for the Only Watch charity auction organised to raise funds for the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy, co-creating an exceptional one-off piece dedicated to music. Baptised the H. Moser X MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium, it features a minute repeater complication led by a miniature DJing panda, a creature that has become the signature of the Only Watch creations by MB&F. At the heart of the Streamliner’s case is a three-dimensional movement that has been developed specifically and exclusively for Only Watch.

It will not be used in any other models. Acoustically captivating and visually enticing, the minute repeater mechanism can be seen on the fumé dial in a brand-new colourway. Stripped of logos and indices, this dial illustrates the minimalist philosophy of H. Moser & Cie. and showcases the large suspended balance wheel characteristic of MB&F. With this creation, MB&F and H. Moser & Cie. deliver a masterful mix of their DNAs, rhythmically punctuated with signature elements from each of the two brands. With its rare poetic sophistication, this watch is the height of technical excellence.

When Maximilian Büsser and Edouard Meylan join creative forces, it really creates some noise!  Heads of MB&F and H. Moser & Cie. respectively, both independent, family-sized Swiss companies, these two passionate entrepreneurs never do things by half. Following on from their immensely successful previous collaboration, Max and Edouard both wanted to repeat the experience in aid of the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy led by Only Watch. For this second collaboration, just as in 2020, the worlds of the two brands collide, working together for the enrichment of both. For a single one-off piece, MB&F and H. Moser & Cie. move to the same tempo, inviting the public to enjoy an artistic performance dedicated to showcasing sound.

To get the audience buzzing and give Only Watch the maximum possible resonance, the two brands decided to create a minute repeater. Returning to the very essence of this complication, they positioned the complex chime mechanism on the dial, allowing the passage of time to be heard whilst the choreography of the hammers and gongs can be simultaneously admired. This ever-moving stage is further animated by the dial, which has been stripped of logos and indices and features a brand-new colourway, Aquamarine fumé. Continuing in this minimalist spirit, so emblematic of H. Moser & Cie., the hours and minutes are displayed directly on the dial via subtly elegant small leaf-shaped hands at 2 o’clock.

Miniature DJ panda

Baptised the H. Moser X MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium, this creation refers to the literary capital of hell, Pandemonium – a term which also describes a situation of wild and noisy disorder or confusion. The letter “a” which replaces the “e” is a nod to the miniature panda sculpture that adorns its dial, a creature that has become the signature of the MB&F world, as Max Büsser explains: “Each Only Watch creation is an opportunity for MB&F to see things through the eyes of the children, more specifically those suffering from muscular dystrophy. Our original panda was created as an allegory for Only Watch 2011, and returned in 2021, before now making its third appearance in 2023. This time, it is an invitation to immerse yourself in the world of music and lose all touch with reality for just a few beats”. For both MB&F and H. Moser & Cie., the notion of pleasure is essential. In life as in watchmaking, having fun and cultivating the inner child is key. This state of mind comes through in this little DJ panda, made from white gold and sculpted and decorated entirely by hand. Placed alongside the hammers, it seems to be mixing the soundtrack to the meeting between MB&F and H. Moser & Cie. Its turntables are fitted on the axis of the hammers and are driven by the rotation of the mechanism as it operates. At a height of just 5.35 mm, this miniature took countless hours of precision work to create, from the design and development phase, to modelling then manufacturing, followed by time at the hands of the engraver, then the jeweller for the final polishing – not forgetting the meticulous painting. This was a true technical and artistic feat due to the tiny scale of its elements, such as the muzzle, which measures 0.99 mm, or the turntables, featuring a paw print, with an outer diameter of 1.75 mm and measuring just 0.35 mm thick.

Flying balance wheel and double hairspring

Taken from the Legacy Machine range, a large suspended balance wheel occupies centre stage. This beating heart represents the very essence of watchmaking in the eyes of Max Büsser, and features a double hairspring produced by Precision Engineering AG, H. Moser & Cie.’s sister company. Thanks to this pair of perfectly matched hairsprings, the movement of the point of gravity on each spring when it expands is corrected, significantly improving accuracy and isochronism in continual pursuit of perfection. In addition, the paired hairsprings also reduce the effect of friction normally experienced with a single hairspring, improving isochronism. Hypnotic in its movements, this balance wheel posed an additional challenge as the gongs had to be bent in two places to allow them to pass over the balance wheel bridge. Occupying three dimensions, the shaped gongs feature a flat coil and an upper coil, positioned one on top of the other.

Ingenuity devoted to enhancing sound

Within a steel frame on an integrated bracelet, the cushion-shaped case is topped with a domed sapphire crystal. It is water-resistant to 5 ATM. Preserving the proportions and signature curves of the Streamliner collection was no mean feat. The sliding bolt, used to activate the minute repeater mechanism and fitted on a Teflon runner to ensure it slides perfectly smoothly, is built into the main plate to save space. The case middle has been completely hollowed out in order to accommodate the movement while allowing enough space to create a soundbox. This amplifies the chiming of hours, quarter-hours and minutes by two gongs, onto which fall two hammers that are raised based on information provided by different feeler-spindles. The geometry of the case has been meticulously designed, developed and adapted to maximise the properties of steel and enhance its impact, whilst allowing the essential walls to form part of the resonance. Steel has a relatively high elastic modulus, which means that this material deforms very little under stress and is consequently more rigid than gold; it retains the vibratory energy from sound well, rather than allowing it to dissipate thanks to its low damping effect. While ensuring the functioning of the minute repeater mechanism was already a complex technical feat, it also required perfect understanding of the subject to achieve a beautiful sound that combines amplitude, a certain length and a pure note.

Like a three-dimensional sculpture

Driving this exceptional creation is the three-dimensional hand-wound HMC 906 calibre, which has been partially skeletonised to allow certain key components of the mechanism to be admired. As it was not possible to case up this movement from underneath, as it usually would be, the assembly concept had to be redesigned. To be able to integrate the calibre from the top of the case, a removable bezel was created. In addition to the fact that it opens up the required access, it also makes the case larger, which is beneficial for the sound.

Beating at 18,000 vibrations/hour, the calibre HMC 906 guarantees a minimum power reserve of 54 hours. It features highly contemporary finishes, with anthracite grey rhodium-plating on the bridges and the main plate, and the famous horizontal double Moser stripes.

A collaboration between friends

In conclusion, Edouard Meylan emphasises: “A successful mix of two sets of expertise and DNA which mutually enrich one another, the H. Moser X MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium model is a one-off piece resulting from a unique development process, featuring a unique movement and a unique dial, created especially for Only Watch, and providing us with the opportunity to excel ourselves for a good cause”. There is no doubt that this model will create a buzz amongst collectors and lovers of Haute Horologie alike. It will be part of the international Only Watch event, which culminates in the auction on 5th November. Edouard Meylan and Max Büsser extend an invitation to all music lovers out there. On your marks! Get ready! Mix!


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