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A MAD One Indeed

by Helbert Tsang 12 Jun 2022
Much has been said about the M.A.D.1.

"They finally made an affordable MB&F, and I can't get one."

These type of comments have been floating around the internet ever since news of the "release" of the M.A.D.1 broke, so much so that Max Busser felt the need to release a video to clarify the situation.

The M.A.D.1 was never meant to be a watch to be "released". When I first got the email blast from The Tribe and learned about the watch, I was gobsmacked. How can a watch designed by Max Busser be priced below CHF 2,000? I then went on to Google to find out more about the dimensions of the watch, and there was absolutely no information to be found whatsoever on the internet. The only thing that I had to help me make a decision about this watch was a link to an official video of the watch in the dark with the lume brightly lit and the rotor freely spinning where a dial is normally positioned. I was captivated. I think I watched that video about 20 times before replying to the email telling them I want to order one. I hesitated a bit due to the thickness of 18mm but I got over the hump by telling myself this is not the type of watch that I'll be sliding under a shirt cuff so it doesn't matter. I put the order in via a link provided and left it at that.
The next morning when I woke up, the whole "watch internet" was talking about the M.A.D.1. "I want one. Where can I get one?" "Why can't I get one?" Such is the state of our beloved watch community these days - we all want what we can't have. People want a M.A.D.1 because they want an MB&F that only costs them CHF 2,000. The truth is an MB&F wouldn't be an MB&F if they can afford to only charge CHF 2,000 for it. The truth is a M.A.D.1 is not an MB&F. That much is clear to me when I took it out of the packaging after 2 months of patiently awaiting its arrival.

Despite its size, the watch is actually quite light which makes it very comfortable to put on the wrist. One glance at the exposed upside-down movement underneath the battle axe rotor and one can easily see that the quality of the finishing is nowhere near that of an MB&F. The M.A.D.1 is not an MB&F and it should not be viewed as such. What you are getting is the creativity and innovative design that can only be the brainchild of Max Busser, who just so happens to have founded another watch brand called MB&F.

There are however a few common design themes between the M.A.D.1 and MB&F watches. The spinning battle axe rotor. Tick. The lateral time display that runs throughout the Horological Machine line. Tick. Now it has become the piece that I pick up whenever I want to wear something that looks a bit crazy (which is pretty much all the time) without having to worry about damaging it.

I believe that each watch should be assessed on its own merit, and not the hype around it. One should buy a watch because they truly appreciate it, not because everyone else wants one. And there is a lot to like about the M.A.D.1. More often than not, I find myself flicking my wrist trying to get the rotor to spin like its being powered by a hamster running inside of it. How does one get anything done when they are wearing a M.A.D.1? The fact is you won't get anything done while wearing it. It is essentially a fidget spinner for your wrist that also happens to tell the time. So let's make sure it is strictly for weekends only.
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