M.A.D.1 GREEN, a third edition of the M.A.D.1 wristwatch from MB&F, first disclosed in June 2021 under a separate label, M.A.D.Editions is now available by a raffle.
The driving force behind M.A.D.Editions was a frustration that not everyone could afford a high-priced MB&F timepiece, including MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser’s own friends and family; it started as a side project to thank those supporters of MB&F who have played a major role in the success of the brand. For almost two decades Max had an idea for a parallel watch brand at a more affordable price point.
Between 2020 and mid-2021, the MB&F team fine-tuned and finalised the design – and invested into the manufacturing of a few hundred pieces. The timepiece would be as creative as everything else MB&F had developed, but at an affordable price. It could clearly not carry the MB&F name; to keep the price accessible, the engineering, complexity and finishing would obviously not be in the same league as MB&F’s Horological and Legacy Machines. The team chose M.A.D.Editions, linking the watch to the mechanical art universe of the brand’s M.A.D.Galleries.
The M.A.D.1 BLUE (above) was never actually launched, but in June 2021, without any warning, it was simply presented within a short email, accompanied by a few photos, to MB&F’s suppliers and collectors. It was not announced on the brand’s website or social media channels. But that simple email generated a media storm unlike anything MB&F had ever seen.
This first edition of M.A.D.1 watches – recognisable thanks to its blue accents – was proposed to two well-defined groups of people: first, MB&F’s network of suppliers – the “Friends” as the brand calls them – who had been helping create their timepieces since 2005.
The second group were the registered members of “The Tribe”, the MB&F owners’ club – the collectors, the patrons who had supported the brand from the very beginning by acquiring its Horological and Legacy Machines.
MB&F’s compact and highly skilled team of engineers and watchmakers create about 400 watches per year. Even though the M.A.D.1 was not as complex as what they usually work on, they still needed to modify the base movement, mount the hour and minute cylinders, the oversized rotor, encase the watch and do the final testing.Assembling hundreds or thousands of M.A.D.1 timepieces was just unthinkable, dangerous even to the brand’s core business. After much internal debate, it was decided to respond to the mind-blowing demand for more M.A.D.1 watches, but to proceed step-by-step and in the fairest way possible.
The M.A.D.1 RED (above) was unveiled in March 2022 to the public, featuring a vibrant cherry red design. It also had its own special features, including a slimmer bezel and a more traditional round winding crown, instead of the key-like crown on the previous version. The team manufactured a first batch of 1,500 M.A.D.1 REDs. To keep things as equitable as possible, those who had previously taken the trouble to send an email to the brand, clearly expressing their interest in purchasing a possible future version, were given priority.
For the rest, a raffle was opened on the brand’s e-shop where those interested could register for a free raffle ticket, to win the right to purchase one of the remaining pieces available. The MB&F team hoped that the raffle would attract maybe a few thousand aficionados, but there were 19,000! The lucky winners were chosen at random via a draw – under the supervision of a bailiff – and the M.A.D.1 REDs were delivered between March and December 2022.
The year 2022 ended with an amazing reward as the M.A.D.1 RED won the Challenge Prize at the famousGPHG/Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, rewarding the year’s best watch under CHF 3,500.
Choosing the fairest way possible to allocate the M.A.D.1s has been the subject of endless hours of internal debate at MB&F. The team felt that the usual systems – including drops, queuing endlessly in line at retail outlets, or never-ending waiting lists – were extremely frustrating for customers. It was decided that raffles were the fairest way: they give everyone a fair chance and ample time to register, since the raffle registrations stay open for about two weeks.
After the original M.A.D.1 BLUE (“Friends and Tribe Edition”) and the M.A.D.1 RED, the M.A.D.1 GREEN joins M.A.D.Editions’ colourful series in September 2023. With this new choice of vivid mint green, fans and collectors who haven’t been able to acquire their own M.A.D.1 yet, will get another chance – with a little bit of luck – to be picked and join wearers of the blue and red models. The new batch of 1,500 pieces with the green colourway will be available via the usual M.A.D.Editions’ raffle system where watch lovers can sign up for a ticket on the M.A.D.Gallery e-shop.
Results will be announced in early October and deliveries scheduled between October 2023 and April 2024.
For more information please visit M.A.D.Editions