Reuge x MB&F Sound Off with The MusicMachine 1 Reloaded
Maximilian Büsser and friends remix the 2013 MusicMachine 1 with music box makers Reuge.
Last month, I got to try on a friend’s MB&F M.A.D.1 Red Raffle (only available by, what else, raffle), and I did not want to give it back because it was just too much fun to wear. It spins! It glows! It makes you 100% more interesting!
The joy of the MB&F experience extends beyond watches. Maximillian Büsser has tapped into a magical moment in manufacturing mechanical objects. And hot on the heels of the release of the Red Raffle comes the remix of the MusicMachine 1 Reloaded – a cool collaboration with high-end music box manufacturer Reuge.
MB&F presented the first MusicMachine in 2013, and it was the brand’s first partnership with outside creators on a non-wristwatch project. For MusicMachine 1, the brand teamed up with Reuge, the premier manufacturer of music automatons with more than 155 years of expertise and Chinese designer Xin Wang.
The original concept of the first MusicMachine came from Büsser. “Like many kids, saving the world was my full-time job when I was a boy,” he said in 2013. “For MusicMachine 1, I delved into my childhood dreams and fantasies inspired by heroes, such as Luke Skywalker and Captain James T. Kirk.”
MB&F presented the idea to Reuge, which happily made the dream a reality by employing two cylinders that played three tunes each. The Star Wars theme, the “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back, and the theme from Star Trek played on the left cylinder; while Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine” played on the right cylinder.
Thinking Inside the Box
While the machine itself looked like a starfighter, the twin mechanisms produce an enchanting twinkling sound that managed to transport the listener to childhood and the future at the same time. The dissonance between the shiny, futuristic look and nostalgic, playful sound created an alchemic kind of beauty.
What’s also wonderful is how MB&F’s non-watch projects feed the team’s creativity. Dare I say it, but we would not have the daring impishness of the Red Raffle without the whimsy of the MusicMachine.
Why? Because a high-end mechanical music box employs many of the same techniques as its horological counterparts. For instance, the MusicMachine 1 uses a transfer of energy and fan regulators similar to those found in traditional minute repeater watches. And I can’t help but think that engineering a timepiece after riffing on a music box has got to provide new perspectives on timekeeping.
Back to the Future
Since 2013, MB&F has produced a trilogy of MusicMachines. But now, a decade later, Maximilian Büsser and friends decided it was time to create a new take on the original: the MusicMachine 1 Reloaded!
Once again, this co-creation is the fruit of a collaboration between MB&F and Reuge. However, this time, the design has been reinterpreted by German designer Maximilian Maertens to make the body more streamlined and open.
Another important update is that the entire body of the MusicMachine 1 Reloaded is made entirely of anodized aluminum (instead of the original’s mix of wood and metal), making the manufacturing process more complex. But it’s worth it.
When the cylinders revolve, 1,400 precision-placed pins pluck the teeth of steel combs, each containing a selection of 72 hand-tuned notes. The playlist is the same, with Star Wars and Star Trek themes on the left and rock classics on the right, but the tunes sound brighter.