Independent watchmaker, MB&F, will open its first Lab concept store stateside in the coming months. The retail initiative offers a mix of the company’s avant-garde timepieces, its creative sculpture clocks and horological art. The first MB&F Lab launched in Singapore last year in partnership with the reputable local watch retailer, The Hour Glass. Its latest Lab will debut in Beverly Hills sometime this fall (an official date has yet to be announced) in a joint effort with Westime, a Southern California-based watch retailer known for being an early advocate of modern watchmaking brands such as MB&F and Richard Mille.
According to Watchpro, the brand intends to operate through fewer points of sale—a direction other independents including Parmigiani, for example, have recently taken—and will aim to open more Labs to drive sales through spaces where the company can control its messaging, aesthetic, and relationships with the help of select prestigious retailers, like The Hour Glass and Westime. The strategy is being implemented as MB&F continues to grow. Last year the company opened a new, expanded manufacture, creatively dubbed the M.A.D. House, which is situated in a picturesque 120-year-old Chateau in Geneva. The space is a necessity to support the growing demand for its timepieces. Currently, MB&F makes just 250 timepieces per year, but founder Max Büsser told Watch Pro that number is expected to grow to 350 and could hit between 400 and 500 by 2024.
Still, at those numbers, MB&F remains an ultra-niche brand for the serious watch collector. The company’s pieces are often out-of-the-box creations for the horological enthusiast who already has everything—someone who has grown bored of their Rolex Daytona and is keen to wear something no one else has that will elicit the question, “What is that?” Its Horological Machines have been inspired by everything from car engines to bulldogs—both figuratively replicated, to a degree, in the case—and come equipped with seriously inventive movements to match.
The last time Robb Report met with Büsser in the U.S., he told us he has tons of concepts for new watches (as well as other products) but due to production limitations, he doesn’t have time to bring all of them to fruition as fast as he would like. But for those that haven’t been able to get their hands on an MB&F or even see one in person, the new Beverly Hills Lab will be a welcome new destination.