Maximilian is a creative genius who makes dozens of mechanical art pieces including designer watches and machines. His work is sold across the world but at heart, all he wants is to create.
Maximilian Büsser is constantly thinking. Like any of us, he is working on various projects and yet he has always kept his focus on what matters the most. His family…
He is also someone who reaffirms his love for his family every single day. Fortunately I had done a fair amount of research before I set out to meet this creative genius of sorts in person. He lives between two parallel worlds in Geneva and the UAE. Like any city, the weather can be a challenge. One day is rainy and the next is cloudy, but we take it all in our stride.
Today is the perfect day to reflect on my first meeting with MB&F and more specifically with its founder. Maximilian (or Max) is a creative genius who makes dozens of mechanical art pieces including designer time pieces and machines. His work is sold across the world, but at heart, all he wants is to create.
Thankfully a long journey to meet Max in person was worth it. After a two hour trip on public transport I finally managed to hail a cab. Reading the sign outdoors the taxi driver says politely, ‘Madam its called a M.A.D. gallery. Are you sure you want to go there?’ I nodded politely. There are three galleries of this kind in the world, one in Geneva, Taipei and Dubai.
After a long and arduous wait where people were politely telling me Max had no time, the only person who lit up the room was Max himself. We are at the launch of MB&F’s new HM 7 Aquapod – an aquatic watch originated from MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser’s memories of family beach holidays, which included an encounter with a jellyfish. Even though the concept for Horological Machine No.7 came relatively quickly, the development took many years.
We get down to the interview. With a smile and no need for small talk. Max shared his life journey. I know he is a very busy man. In a matter of moments I began to see that this was not just a sensitive soul, here is someone who relied on all his closest friends who are experts in their own right, to help him create. He told me about the now famous journey of him hitting rock bottom. He is quick to point out that he is no genius. We laugh out loud.
After 15 years managing prestigious watch brands, Maximilian Büsser resigned from his Managing Director position at Harry Winston in 2005 to create MB&F – Maximilian Büsser & Friends. MB&F is an artistic and micro-engineering laboratory dedicated to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches by bringing together talented horological professionals that Büsser both respects and enjoys working with.
Creativity is an addiction so powerful that there is no cure for it. Every day we celebrate creativity, friendship, inspiration and the simple act of being meaningful. When everyone thinks you must be insane, crazy. That’s perhaps the mark of a true genius. I don’t mind that people think I have a M.A.D. gallery. It is the place I can think and work and just be myself.
Now which one of us isn’t inspired and intimiated to be in the presence of a genius? All of human endeavour involves a constant battle to be a better human being. As scientists, authors, writers and parents we often tend to question ourselves and yes measure our own self-worth. Knowingly or not, a certain standard is set, an invisible threshold and you have to someone rise above it. Thankfully I had to do no such thing with Max.
He smiles, “You know now I spend my time with my children and I create. Most of my learning comes from them.
Max has travelled the world, often times he is spending more time catching up with time itself. Having admitted that he hit rock bottom he has always risen up to the challenges. That’s the take home I got from him on that cloudy day. He strives to be himself. Shortly after the interview he was on his way to meet his own mother who doesn’t live in the UAE. ‘I want to spend as much time as I can with her and I know I’m going to gain a lot of weight,’ he chuckles. His much sought after watches are retailed through the Middle East’s most prestigious destination for luxury watches and jewellery, Ahmed Seddiqi &Sons. The company was established in 1950 and represents more than 60 of the leading timepiece brands across a retail network of 65 locations across the UAE. It is plain to see, we all get by with a little help from our friends.
Surrounded by many books that I’ve inherited, lent to friends and been blessed to curl up to, I know I’m working in my own private lab in my own safe haven. This world is far from perfect and we keep learning every single day. Perhaps that’s why this ‘year of giving,’ means more and more to me every day.