Back in 2013, MusicMachine 1 opened the floodgate for MB&F to collaborate with external creators on projects outside the scope of the wristwatch; it initiated a new category – “Co-creations” – that invited MB&F to a world beyond that of miniaturised horology.
And it did not tell the time: rather, it was a music box created with REUGE that uprooted everything we thought we knew about music boxes, from the design all the way to the music. MusicMachine 1 featured all the traditional, time-honoured elements of a superlative high-end music box, but configured in MB&F’s individualistic manner. It was a music box for today.
High-end mechanical music boxes share many similarities with their horological counterparts, both technically and aesthetically, with similar fine finishing techniques. For MusicMachine 1 Reloaded, energy is derived from coiled springs and transferred by gear trains; the unwinding speed is carefully regulated, thanks to fan regulators similar to those found in traditional minute repeater watches.
This puts in motion two cylinders, which contain the “scores” of the melodies, materialised by 1,400 precision-placed pins. When the cylinders revolve, the pins pluck the teeth of steel combs, each containing a bespoke selection of 72 hand-tuned notes. Each comb forms a unique pair with its corresponding cylinder; neither can play properly without the other.
REUGE was founded in 1865 in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland and is today the premier manufacturer of music automatons on the planet with more than 155 years of expertise and experience. Between 2013 and 2015, MB&F and REUGE released three MusicMachines, each playing different songs – untraditionally, modern music – and each model was a success. Maximilian Büsser and his Friends decided it was time to redesign the first MusicMachine and issue another edition.
With its dual propellers and twin silver cylinders mounted on sleek outrigger landing gear, MusicMachine 1 Reloaded still looks like a spaceship hailing from a galaxy far, far away. Just slightly different than before.
Like the original version, each of the cylinders on MusicMachine 1 Reloaded plays three tunes, all personally selected by Maximilian Büsser. The left cylinder plays the Star Wars theme, “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back, and the theme from Star Trek. Back on earth, the right cylinder plays Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
MusicMachine 1 Reloaded is a limited edition of 33 pieces in blue, 33 pieces in red, and 33 in black, and retails for SGD 29,000 with tax.