“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium

True care for the cause, and the chemistry between the two brands and their leaders have resulted in one of the most genuine Only Watch auction pieces in 2023. The H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium makes a noise, brings a smile and will raise decent funds during the 10th edition of Only Watch for finding the cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

UPDATE, 23 October: On 17 October Audemars Piguet canceled its participation and watch donation to the 2023 edition of Only Watch. In the following days questions were raised about the transparency, the allocation of funds and the governance of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies. As Only Watch press release states – ‘The AMM has decided to postpone the 10th edition of the Only Watch (OW) auction to 2024, originally scheduled for 5 November 2023 in Geneva.’

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a currently fatal genetic disease affects 1 in every 3,500 boys. Since 2001, the Monegasque Association has been financing scientific research and brought researchers together to fight against DMD. The Only Watch bi-annual charity auction series has been moving ever greater energies in the watchmaking sector for raising funds for the successful operation of the Monegasque Association. The ‘Only Watch’ title refers to its principle, that each participating brand offers a unique piece for sale, but also the fact that what is only one watch for brands and buyers, is hope for finding treatments and a cure for children.

For the past 18 years, Only Watch has surfaced some of the nicest and definitely most unique timepieces. Yet, it takes empathy to truly turn to the children involved and dedicate not only funds through a unique piece, but leaders put their own time in coming up with something that children are at the heart of. 

Some, like Maximilian Büsser of MB&F and Edouard Meylan of H. Moser & Cie, would choose this route. The CEOs of independent manufactures have already demonstrated not only the playfulness but the honesty of their child-like selves, many times. When it comes to dreaming big, they both have a solid track record, infused with the right energies and attitudes for realising them even if it takes falling and standing up multiple times during the process. Being nimble independents in a world dominated by Goliaths, there’s a deep sympathy between them. Even more chemistry and a friendship, that you can tell by watching them talk about and to each other. Such an event was the joint announcement of their collaboration for the Only Watch 2023 auction last Wednesday (30 August), manifesting in a high-end toy that encompasses the individual creativity of each, as well as all the qualities and values they share. 

The H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium is a one-off piece with deep roots, a big heart and a very clear message. The name ‘Pandamonium’ transforms Pandemonium, the Capital of Hell depicted in John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost as a place of noise, disorder and confusion, into a dance hall of hope and joy, where MB&F’s recurring motif for children, a panda provides the music. As Max Büsser explains: ‘Each Only Watch creation is an opportunity for MB&F to see things through the eyes of the children, more specifically those suffering from muscular dystrophy. Our original panda was created as an allegory for Only Watch 2011, and it returned in 2021, before now making its third appearance in 2023. This time, it is an invitation to immerse yourself in the world of music and lose all touch with reality for just a few beats’. 

Indicating the effort they put into this project, Maximilian Büsser described it as ’economical insanity’ with a smile on his face. Edouard Meylan highlighted that the joint work, which they have already tasted during their double-collaboration in 2020 when they designed watches with each others’ signature elements, is a great source of learning for him. ‘We talk with Max on a regular basis, but events like the Geneva Watch Days are also a platform for us to connect, share ideas and learn from each other. Being independents at this size, we try to benefit from the experiences of one another. I think that has helped us to make the right decisions both in the production and also the commercial side.’ – he noted.

The H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium elevates this collaboration to another level by setting all creative and production forces into the direction of a single piece, never to be recreated.

H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium

H. Moser’s signature Streamliner case houses the unique creation,featuring a minute repeater complication led by a miniature dj-ing panda. It is powered by the partially skeletonised hand-wound HMC 906 calibre, beating at 18,000 vibrations/hour. The ‘stage’ of the panda is a new Aquamarine fumé dial with a sunburst pattern. 

The minute repeater complication has been significantly modified to include MB&F’s flying balance wheel, floating under a sapphire crystal dome.Taken from the already iconic Legacy Machine range of MB&F, a large suspended balance wheel features a double hairspring produced by Precision Engineering AG, H. Moser & Cie.’s sister company. These paired hairsprings reduce the effect of friction normally experienced with a single hairspring, improving isochronism (a balance wheel is isochronous when the period of an oscillation remains the same regardless of amplitude). 

The geometry of the 42.3 mm case has been carefully designed, developed and adapted to maximise the properties of steel. The case middle has been hollowed out in order to accommodate the movement while allowing enough space to create a ‘soundbox’. This amplifies the chiming of the minute repeater (hours, quarter-hours and minutes). 

The star of the show is a 5.35 mm panda sculpture in white gold decorated entirely by hand, with turntables and a mixing deck, playing at 10 o’clock. It took many hours of precision work to create the black and white tiny animal, from the design and development phase, to modelling, then manufacturing, followed by time in the hands of the engraver, then the jeweller for the final polishing and miniature painting.

The H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium embarked along with all the other unique pieces for the Only Watch world tour (Los Angeles, New York, Monaco, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Dubai) and will be back in Geneva for the auction on 5 November. 

Photo credits: H.Moser & Cie, MB&F, Loupiosity.com
All registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
All rights reserved.