MB&F Unveils The MusicMachine 3, The Star Wars-Inspired Music Box (With Pricing)

The MusicMachine 3 is the third music box from MB&F, but like the brand’s watches and clocks, the MusicMachine departs from convention. Shaped like a TIE fighter, it plays tunes from James Bond and The Godfather.

Established as a maker of timepieces in avant-garde shapes, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser has expanded the brand into clocks and music boxes in the same vein – having them made with traditional methods but in radically novel forms (the previous MusicMachine was Star-Trek inspired). Shaped like a TIE fighter, the MusicMachine 3 (MM3) is a collaboration with Swiss music box maker Reuge and JMC Lutherie, a guitar maker. The MM3 features twin movements on each side of the central pod, with the web-like wings on each side transmitting the sound down to the wood base that amplifies the music. Each movement is wound independently via keys shaped like thrusters, with each cylinder playing three tunes.

A closeup of the music cylinder

The themes from Star Wars, Mission Impossible, and James Bond are found on the right cylinder, while the left plays the theme music of The Godfather, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, and The Persuaders. This video shows it in action: A relatively large object weighing some 6kg, the MM3 measures 40mc long and 34cm wide, while standing 28cm high. It will make an impression on any desk. 

The MM3 is a limited edition of 99 pieces, with 33 each in white, black and chrome. It retails for SFr17,500 plus taxes.

The MM3 in white
The MM3 in chrome
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DKSH Puts Maurice Lacroix Up For Sale In The Face Of Slowing Sales

The slowdown in the luxury watch business has led Swiss trading house DKSH to put Maurice Lacroix on the block, for an estimated price of SFr100 million.

Four years after DKSH took a majority stake in Maurice Lacroix, the watchmaker is up for sale. With revenue of about SFr120 million according to Bank Vontobel, Maurice Lacroix is suffering the effects of depressed demand for luxury watches, especially in Hong Kong and China, which together account for a quarter of Swiss watch exports. And the recent strength of the Swiss franc exacerbated the slowdown.  DKSH may also sell Glycine, the maker of entry level, military-style timepieces, as it revamps its portfolio to focus more on marketing consumer goods and pharmaceuticals in Asia. DKSH also owns a stake in haute horlogerie watchmaker Bovet, though there is no news on its plans for that. Maurice Lacroix is a relatively large company, with annual sales of some 90,000 watches and 4000 points of sale worldwide. Its sales of about SFr120 million, with its biggest market being Germany, are in the same ballpark as brands like Richard Mille, Raymond Weil and Parmigiani. Founded in 1975 by Swiss trading company S.A. Desco and named after a middle management Desco employee at the time, Maurice Lacroix was historically a maker of affordable, no-nonsense timepieces. But the spectacular growth in demand for high-end watches starting in the early-2000s pushed Maurice Lacroix to go up market with timepieces like the Chronographe Le Squelette, equipped with an in-house movement designed by AHCI member Andreas Strehler. Despite some well conceived and high quality products, Maurice Lacroix ambitions in higher end timepieces have not served it well, with its priciest watches rarely selling well. The brand’s poor performance means it is worth much less than the SFr350 million Richard Mille was nearly sold for in 2013. According to Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux, Maurice Lacroix could fetch about SFr100 million though the odds are it’ll be less. Source: Bloomberg

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What Would You Ask Georges Kern, Chief Executive Of IWC?

Chief executive of IWC Schaffhausen and of the most successful leaders in modern watchmaking, Georges Kern will soon be sitting down for an exclusive interview with us. And he will also take questions from our readers, so you get to take part.

IWC chief executive Georges Kern will arrive in Singapore in mid-July and will sit down for an one-on-one interview. Despite having only 24-hours in Singapore, IWC’s leader has not only agreed to an interview, but he has agreed to take questions from our readers.  This is a rare chance for you to pose a question to the man behind IWC Schaffhausen. Having become the youngest brand CEO in Richemont when he took the helm in 2002, Mr Kern is responsible for growing IWC into the largest pure-watchmaking brand in the group. Send us your questions, along with your name and country of residence, via the contact form or email. The best questions will be posed to Mr Kern. Questions will be accepted until Friday, July 17, 2015. Update July 14, 2015: Deadline for submission updated.

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Introducing the Breguet Type XXI for Only Watch 2015

In platinum.

Ordinarily available only in rose gold or steel, the Type XXI is the larger, jazzed up version of Breguet‘s classic Type XX pilot’s watch. For Only Watch 2015 Breguet created a one-off specimen of the Type XXI in platinum, a metal never used before on this model, featuring a dark grey dial with parchment-coloured Super-Luminova.

Breguet was one of the firms, Auricoste and Vixa were two others, that supplied the French air force with the Type XX chronograph starting in the 1950s, continuing until mechanical watches went out of fashion in the 1970s.

While the Type XX was an ordinary flyback chronograph designed for pilots, the Type XXI is a modern interpretation of the original, featuring extra functions like the central minutes counter and day and night display at three o’clock.

The Only Watch edition is distinguished by its platinum case, and also the grey dial (the regular editions have either black or brown dials).

The Type XXI Only Watch will be sold at Phillips on November 7, 2015 in Geneva, alongside 42 other unique timepieces, to raise funds for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


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