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M.A.D. Gallery - Going M.A.D.

M.A.D. Gallery Going M.A.D.

A quintessential part of the MB&F experience, WorldTempus explores what makes the M.A.D. Gallery an important stop for watch enthusiasts.

You would be hard pressed to find a brand that interprets the art of telling time quite like MB&F. Led by Maximilian Büsser, the independent watch brand is one of the leading voices in the industry for exciting and mind-bending watches in the 21st century, all created with a unique collaborative approach (the “F” in MB&F standing for ‘Friends’, in reference to the multitude of designers and watchmakers the brand works with to create watches). And while their watches are certainly worth many dedicated articles and pages on this website, today we’re going to focus on another aspect of the MB&F experience: The M.A.D. Gallery, a series of locations throughout the world that showcase and promote the universe of kinetic art.

Going M.A.D.

MB&F M.A.D. Gallery Geneva © M.A.D. Gallery

The first M.A.D. Gallery (“M.A.D.” standing for Mechanical Art Devices) was inaugurated in 2011 in the heart of Geneva’s old town. Just a five-minute walk from the MB&F headquarters, the new space served to show how mechanics and art intersected—part watch boutique, part art gallery. Just like how the Patek Philippe Museum is a must-visit for any watchmaking enthusiast looking to understand how watches got to where they are today, the M.A.D. Gallery shows where watches are going in the future.

Going M.A.D.

DisintegratingX © M.A.D. Gallery

But, as previously stated, the Gallery isn’t just about watches. The concept serves to present any sort of art that marries industrial and abstract, tackling the philosophical with concrete, mechanical creations. And it does so by curating artists who present interesting ways of interpreting time, often found through the same approach that MB&F uses to design and create their watches.

Going M.A.D.

MB&F M.A.D. Gallery Geneva © M.A.D. Gallery

One such artist is Frank Buchwald, based in Berlin, Germany, who specializes in creating metallic furniture and sculptural lights inspired by the city’s raw industrial energy. Part of the initial line-up of artists whose works were present at the inauguration of the first M.A.D. Gallery, Buchwald’s has fascinated Büsser for many years, who described the artist’s Machine Lights as the emblematic example of “mechanico-artistic excellence that forms the cornerstone of the M.A.D. Gallery.” Since, Buchwald has created many pieces presented at the Gallery, from the first Machine Lights to the Nixie Machine I through III, created as limited editions exclusively available at M.A.D. Gallery. The latest, the Nixie Machine III, uses cold cathode displays to present glowing numerals in glass tubes, resembling light bulbs. Six Nixie tubes are positioned on a metallic structure made of solid stainless steel, hand-sanded and polished, telling the time down to the second, and possess an internal, Wi-Fi enabled electronic system that allows the user to adjust the settings wirelessly.

Going M.A.D.

Frank Buchwald’s Nixie Machine III © M.A.D. Gallery

Buchwald’s Nixie Machine III, and his numerous other sculptural light machines, is only one of many different forms of kinetic art presented at the M.A.D. Gallery. And not just here, but in all of the M.A.D. Gallery locations (Dubai, Taipei, and Hong Kong). The M.A.D. Gallery has also included fine art photography from artists such as Fabian Oefner, Young-Deok Seo’s lifesized metal sculptures in the shape of the human form, or even Ryan Kvande’s hypnotic wall sculptures.

Going M.A.D.

Young-Deok Seo’s lifesized metal sculpture © M.A.D. Gallery

At the time of publishing, sanitary measures in Geneva have forced many cultural places such as M.A.D. Gallery to close until December 2020. But fear not! If your curiosity has been piqued, many of their pieces are available through their E-shop (shop.madgallery.ch/). So head there to dive into their world of thought-provoking, kinetic art to satiate your appetite for mechanical art devices.


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