MB&F MoonMachine 2

Hands-on MB&F MoonMachine 2 – a watch that comes too often in mind

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Two years ago, at SIHH 2018 MB&F launched a new performance art piece, the MoonMachine 2. The second MoonMachine is a continuation of the collaboration of Maximilian Büsser and Stepan Sarpaneva and a result of a long friendship. MB&F MoonMachine 2 is one of the watches that constantly kept my mind busy in the last two years. And since Max posted recently a picture with the MoonMachine 2 on his IG account, I decided it is the time to finally express my feelings about this piece. Other than the technical specification at the end of the article, this “review” contains less to none tech talks. There are just my feelings related to different details of this watch. More of “why I like it”…

MB&F MoonMachine 2
For the immortal and cold Moon, humanity is just a speck of sand at the mercy of the winds

MB&F MoonMachine 2 – Planes, Trains and Automobiles

If you are passionate, or at least interested, about the machines mentioned above, it will be impossible not to be impressed by the MB&F creations. Complex shapes, cases, dials or architectural constructions, the brand’s watches tend to be far away from the ordinary. They tend to exceed the extraordinary.

MB&F MoonMachine 2
PVD coated titanium rotor with Sarpaneva gold moon. The Moon is hiding behind another Sarpanevian element

The view and sound of the rotor

The reasons why I love this watch are not necessary logic for everyone. A hardcore collector would laugh and would say that they are at least childish. But aren’t just envious at the other one’s toy? Aren’t we still boys?

Back to my reasons: the rotor construction and its rotating sound are quite hypnotic. As the Moon itself can be. In the wrist-roll below you can see and hear the rotor-weight movement (together with the bells near M.A.D. Gallery location in the centre of Geneva).

The idea of using extra metalisation on the crystal to generate an entire theme is welcome. It makes the view of the top side of the watch homogenous but also interesting.

MB&F MoonMachine 2
Some might argue that the top face of the watch and the rotor are the watch’s highlights

The idea of using the rotor on the viewable side is by all means not new and not original. Even MB&F used it before. But the particular implementation and the Sarpaneva’s specific elements make the MoonMachine 2 so cool.

MB&F MoonMachine 2
An aperture reveals the true position of the time telling discs

Traditional time telling? What is that?!?

When it comes to the time-telling, MB&F forgets (most of the time) about the traditional dials and hands. For MB&F, time must be revealed by a story, by art, by technical innovation or by all three. In the case of MB&F MoonMachine 2, the time is revealed by prisms.

MB&F MoonMachine 2
The time and moon phase display of the MB&F MoonMachine 2

This watch reminds me of the submarines’ periscope, the prisms from the physics class. But mostly and vividly about my father’s SLR camera that I, as a kid, completely dismantled to understand why and how I see what I see. No, it could never be repaired. But what I have learned was, and still is precious…

MB&F MoonMachine 2
The moon indication between the hours and minutes’ indications

But besides the cool technical way of telling the time, I cherish the idea of personal time-telling. As a wearer, I am the only one capable to see the time. It gives me the foolish idea that I am in control. That I am the only one knowing the actual, true time. Looking at the MoonMachine 2 to see the actual time is, nevertheless, a personal experience.

MB&F MoonMachine 2
A spectacular architectural construction with elements from aeronautics and automotive

Case. It’s complicated…

Not only the time telling is far from the traditional horological canons. The cases used by MB&F dare to be more than just different. The form coexists with function.

MB&F MoonMachine 2
Practical mechanical art and beauty

I am quite a traditional and conservative guy, but when it comes to MB&F, I expect nothing more and nothing less than originality. I am a sucker for their view of watchmaking. The MoonMachine 2 has a complex case that, at a first sight, can frighten you (as a traditional dress watch wearer). But the watch fits so well on the wrist. It looks so cool on the nightstand. It takes your eyes when it sits in a watch box along with other timepieces.

MB&F MoonMachine 2
Have you expected a crown at 3 o’clock?

Last and not least – finishes

I love MB&F and I admire their watches. But I not dream at all of them. Like any other “normal” person, I have preferences and so on. But if there is something that I appreciate at all the MB&F creations is the finishes. Regardless of what: watch, clock, piece of art, the result is absolutely ravishing when it comes to finishes.

MB&F MoonMachine 2
For the eyes hungry of haute horlogerie details: symmetrical gold chatons.

Every element is exceptionally finished. From the complex shaped crystals to the personalised screws, the MoonMachine 2 is full of details for those who know what to search for. The most simple finishes are combined in difficult associations that increase the work time and complexity. Each surface is harmonious in the entire design. MB&F stands for good taste in the choice of decoration and exceptional knowledge of how far some details can be pushed to obtain the brand’s perfection.

MB&F MoonMachine 2
As mentioned, time reading is a personal and satisfactory process. The time can be read in limited positions and angles

The motto of MB&F is “A Creative Adult is a Child who Survived”. And I find it captivating and true. The MB&F pieces awaken the dormant child in us, make us dream. The MoomMachine 2 is a watch that allows the busy adult to take a moment and let the inner child play: shaking the rotor or following the lines of the case with the fingers and dreaming at space ships, aeroplanes and streamlined cars.  As any other MB&F machine, it allows the connoisseurs to enjoy exceptional craftsmanship and embellishes. I little bit, or more, for everyone. MB&F MoonMachine 2

MB&F MoonMachine 2 Technical Specifications

MOONMACHINE 2 is based on a specially configured HM8; the projector moon complication was imagined, designed and created by Stepan Sarpaneva. It is available in three limited editions of 12 pieces each.


  • Three-dimensional engine conceived and developed by MB&F from a Girard-Perregaux base calibre, with moonphase complication by Stepan Sarpaneva
  • Automatic PVD coated titanium rotor with Sarpaneva gold moon
  • Power reserve: 42 hours
  • Balance frequency: 28,800bph / 4Hz
  • Number of components: 293
  • Number of jewels: 30


  • Bi-directional jumping hours, trailing minutes and moon phase displayed by one optical prism that reflects vertically.
  • The hour and minutes segments are magnified by 20%.
  • The dual moons rotate under a Korona ring and are corrected by a pusher.


  • Three limited editions of 12 pieces each:
    • Natural titanium case, white gold moon faces, light-blue sky;
    • Black titanium case, white gold moon faces, dark-blue sky;
    • Red gold and titanium case, red gold moon faces, anthracite sky.
  • Dimensions: 49 mm x 51.5 mm x 19.5 mm
  • Number of components: 59 components
  • Water resistance: 30 m / 90′ / 3 atm

Sapphire crystals

  • All sapphire crystals – front, back, top, bottom – treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces.
  • Top plate with special metallisation.

Strap & buckle

  • Titanium version: Light Blue hand-stitched Black alligator strap with titanium folding buckle.
  • Black Titanium version: Dark Blue hand-stitched Black alligator strap with titanium folding buckle.
  • Red Gold version: Grey hand-stitched Black alligator strap with red gold and titanium folding buckle.

MB&F MoonMachine 2 Gallery

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