HM2.2 Black Box by MB&F and Alain Silberstein
Friend of the show, Maximilian Busser, just introduced the HM2.2 ‘Black Box’. A redesign of the famous Horological Machine No.2 that he did together with watch design icon Alain Silberstein.
Maximilian Busser wrote in his e-mail that “In fact my first encounter with an Alain Silberstein watch dates back to my student years over 20 years ago: I was driving down a German Autobahn and overtook a BMW Z1 with its doors down and the driver wearing first world war pilot jacket, goggles and leather helmet and a Silberstein Krono on his wrist. A sight I have never been able to forget?” . So, a little more than a year back, I asked Alain if he would honour me with a redesign of our HM2. Well, he not only readily accepted, but floored me again ! Where I was expecting his signature colours, he came up with the Black Box. HM2.2 is in fact where both our universes join. It’s a little unnerving and it is beautiful (at least in my eyes!).
I think both watch designers can be proud of the outcome of their joint venture on the HM2.
Whilst the design of this time piece is still very HM2, Silberstein’s influences are clearly visible by the Bauhaus-look applied to the watch. Silberstein wanted the HM2.2 to be a combination of pure geometry of the Bauhaus design with the user-friendliness of the miniature box cameras of the ’40s.
Also, the typical Alain Silberstein colors are applied to the Hm2.2, as well as the square, circel and triangle. Although it doesn’t sound very respectful, I always refer to the Sony Playstation controller that also used these icons. Alain Silberstein uses these icons to shape the pushers and crown on his own time pieces (as pictured below), while the HM2.2 carries them on the second dial of the watch.
The rectangular case is carved out of a solid block of titanium, resting on the original substructure. This multi-layered construction gives the watch its powerful, richly engineered profile. The simplicity of the case itself is deceptive: Alain Silberstein works with the light, like a diamond-cutter, to achieve a play of mat and polished surfaces when the watch is worn. The case exists out of 89 parts.
The titanium case is treated with an exclusive PVD coating incorporating the famous silicium material, resulting in a soft touch and particularly intense black colour. The vibrant red numerals, markers and hands are coated in Superluminova for easy night reading.
The back of the case carries the signatures of both watch designers. The MB&F logo and the ‘hand written’ Alain Silberstein signature.
The side of the case has an inscription that has the following sentence: Le vrai bonheur est davoir sa passion pour mtier? (True happiness is having one’s passion for a profession?). To quote the press release: That is Alain Silberstein’s motto, and he found his soul mates in MB&F. He says that the whole point was the pleasure of working together, and Maximilian Busser agrees. Alain is a true artist, but he never takes himself too seriously. He has kept that childlike spirit of adventure, and that is something that we at MB&F hold dear.”
The movement inside the watch (see picture above) has been designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor and is powered by a oscillator and gear train by Girard-Perregaux. It ticks at 28.800 beats per hour and features a 22 karat blued red gold winding rotor. The movement consists of 349 parts, including the 44 jewels.
The two dials of the watch show several functions, namely: the retrograde date and moon phase on the left dial and jumping hours and retrograde minutes on the right dial.
Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 59mm x 38mm x 13mm.
More information can be found here.