The traditional music box gets futuristic dimensions in this creation
May 4, 2022: MB&F has always been a patron of modern mechanics. Going beyond just horology, MB&F has stepped up to give artists and inspired engineers a platform through MAD Gallery. This latest product, co-created by MB&F and Reuge, is something of a marvel that reminds you of childhood, yet takes you to the future. Presenting MusicMachine Reloaded.
“How you make a music box is still something that is mind-boggling for the mere mortal,” says MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser. High-end mechanical music boxes share many similarities with horology, both technically and aesthetically, with similar fine finishing techniques. For MusicMachine 1 Reloaded, energy is derived from coiled springs and transferred by gear trains; the unwinding speed is carefully regulated, thanks to fan regulators similar to those found in traditional minute repeater watches. This puts in motion two cylinders, which contain the “scores” of the melodies, materialised by 1,400 precision-placed pins. When the cylinders revolve, the pins pluck the teeth of steel combs, each containing a bespoke selection of 72 hand-tuned notes. Each comb forms a unique pair with its corresponding cylinder; neither can play properly without the other.
Reuge was founded in 1865 in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland and is today the premier manufacturer of music automatons with more than 155 years of expertise. Between 2013 and 2015, MB&F and Reuge released three MusicMachines, each playing different songs – untraditionally, modern music. Maximilian Büsser and his Friends decided it was time to redesign the first MusicMachine and issue another edition.
Originally designed by Chinese designer Xin Wang, this latest edition has been given a more streamlined, open design by Maximilian Maertens. “I took the existing idea of how and where we place the mechanics and changed everything else about the MusicMachine, without losing the main essence of the previous piece – so that it really looks like a ‘reloaded’ version,” Mr. Maertens said.
With its dual propellers and twin silver cylinders mounted on sleek outrigger landing gear, MusicMachine 1 Reloaded still looks like a spaceship hailing from a galaxy far, far away. Just slightly different than before.
Like the original version, each of the cylinders on MusicMachine 1 Reloaded plays three tunes, all personally selected by Maximilian Büsser. The left cylinder plays the Star Wars theme, “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back, and the theme from Star Trek. Back on earth, the right cylinder plays Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
“When it comes to design and creativity, MB&F is the specialist,” says Reuge CEO Amr Alotaishan. “However, when it comes to execution and excellence of product – the technical, engineering, and manufacturing side – we are comfortable. The ability to have a creative design that can reach out and touch people is amazing, while we know that we can produce the complementary quality when it comes to the technology.”
MusicMachine 1 Reloaded is a limited edition of 33 pieces in blue, 33 pieces in red, and 33 in black, available for CHF 18,500, on MAD Gallery's eshop.