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I Won the Raffle to Buy the Super Rare MB&F M.A.D.1 Green Watch. Here’s What It’s Like


In high-end watch circles, Maximilian Büsser of MB&F is a prolific artist of a watchmaker. His original designs and horological ingenuity make him one of the most well-known watch CEOs in the world. Most of his creations are out of reach for normal humans since these limited-run timepieces can cost from $65,000 to nearly half a million each. Looking less like watches and more like sci-fi wrist candy, Büsser’s exclusive and expensive timepieces, which Büsser refers to as “horological machines” and “mechanical and kinetic art,” are highly sought after and often sell out despite their astronomical price tags.

The collectors who buy Büsser’s watches are collectively known as the Tribe, a nomenclature that reflects the passion Büsser instills. The rest of us just get to look from the horological nosebleed seats. To bridge the affordability gap, Büsser decided to make a more accessibly priced model for those in his circle of influence. In 2021, he created the M.A.D.1 watch under the M.A.D.Editions brand.

The watch was radical with a lateral time readout, super-charged SuperLuminova, and a titanium and tungsten triple-blade winding rotor layered over a bright blue aluminum ring. The movement is a significantly modified and inverted Japanese Miyota 821A. News of it was emailed to MB&F’s suppliers, “the Friends” (the “F” in MB&F), as well as to “Tribe” members. The price? A little more than $2,000—a bargain compared to even the least expensive of Büsser’s high-end line. Sadly, it was not commercially available, but it marked a big step for Büsser. Although the M.A.D.1 was technically not an MB&F product, it exhibited some of the ingenuity Büsser is famous for.

The M.A.D.1 became a huge hit with those who bought it. In 2022, Büsser followed it with the M.A.D.1 RED. A couple of things were changed, including the size of the bezel, and a more traditional crown replaced the pocket-watch style winding crown version on the blue M.A.D.1. Unlike the first model, the RED was made available to the public, but the approach was unique. Those who had emailed M.A.D.Editions expressing interest in the first M.A.D.1 were given priority access. Others could enter a digital lottery to win a spot to purchase one, and 25,000 entries were received. Between the two groups of buyers, about 1,500 units were sold, meaning all of them. I entered the lottery but sadly came up empty. The watch was so coveted that REDs sold in the aftermarket for thousands more than the original price.

Then, in 2023, Büsser issued a model simply known as the M.A.D.1 GREEN and used the same sales model as the red version. The major change, other than the color, is the shift to using a Miyota 8315, the successor to the 821A from the first two models. M.A.D.Editions set the production number to 1,500 units at a price point of 2,900 Swiss Francs (about $3,200).

I received the email about the debut of the watch in September of last year. Without hesitation, I entered the lottery with my fingers crossed. Then, I simply forgot about it largely because I figured my chances were slim, so I didn’t waste any brain space trying to hope against hope.

Credit: Amos Kwon

Then, on October 3, I received the notification that I won the lottery to buy one. It felt surreal, honestly. I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend over $3,000 for a watch that would definitely not be a daily wear. But then I realized what a monumental achievement the M.A.D.1 series represented: the customized movement, the high-end materials, the originality of the whole thing that made $3,000 a pittance to own this level of horological genius and artistry. I made the purchase and anticipated its arrival. Two months later, it showed up at my door. The package felt remarkably light for such a chunky watch, to the point that I was worried the watch itself had been yanked by someone in the customs process. The packaging is pretty nondescript, an interesting juxtaposition next to the substantial watch.

My initial unboxing impression was one of surprise and pleasure. It really is a stunning timepiece that lives up to the hype, but one that the box fails to properly introduce. The watch isn’t super wide at 42mm in diameter, but the whopping 18.8mm thickness is substantial. At least the layering of the bezel on top of the lateral time rings helps mitigate the visual height. But make no mistake, this is not a subtle timepiece. The large crown at 12 o’clock, the reflective polished bezel, dramatically domed sapphire glass, and that mesmerizing rotor combine to draw the eye.

Things improve even more once you put it on the wrist. For a watch of this size with such a thick strap, it wears quite comfortably. Much of that can be attributed to the curvature of the partially transparent caseback and lugs. The time readout is limited to 5-minute increments, so you’re not gonna time anything with specificity, but reading the time between the bottom lugs feels both fresh and natural. A metal arrow on the case guides you to the correct time, and the black hour ring and the green minute ring look great together. The green SuperlumiNova on the rotor, time rings, and indicator arrow is as subtle as the watch itself. It glows brightly even when the surroundings aren’t that dark. Combined with the modern typeface and the size of the numerals, the time is very legible, even from a distance.

Credit: Amos Kwon

The M.A.D.1 GREEN isn’t a watch you can wear on a regular basis. If you have any long sleeve shirt cuff, especially one with a button cuff, it won’t fit underneath. You won’t want it to, anyway, because it’s a conversation starter almost anywhere you go. Some fascinated individuals (and groups) will ask about it, while others will just gawk because they think you’re a grownup with a fidget spinner on your wrist. If that bothers you, then steer clear of getting one in the aftermarket.

The M.A.D.1 GREEN is a watch you wear with your most modern outfit, perhaps a slim cut blazer, dark selvedge denim jeans, and dress sneakers. But it’s also not the kind of timepiece you don while at a backyard barbecue while wearing shorts and a graphic t-shirt. It’s a lot of watch, but not the way a Rolex Yachtmaster is. It’s artistry in motion, and it should be treated as such because it elicits conversation, praise, criticism, and general joy. It’s not a watch I gravitate to more than a few days a month, but it’s easily the most special, if not sentimental, timepiece I own.

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