Watch Of The Week: The MB&F Destination Moon

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Watch Of The Week: The MB&F Destination Moon

Words by Mr Chris Hall

18 December 2020

Not a watch at all, but the latest sensational clock from MB&F and L’Epée.

Collaboration is at the heart of everything MB&F produces (the name stands for Maximilian Büsser and Friends). Over the past decade, the clocks it has produced in partnership with traditional Swiss clockmaker L’Epée have become some of the brand’s best-loved creations. There have been space stations and spiders, tanks and turtles and each and every one has deftly combined MB&F’s love of otherworldly motifs and unconventional time-telling displays (barely any of them has anything so simple as a clock face with hands) with the generations of experience in high-quality clockmaking that L’Epée brings to the table.

First launched (for once, the phrase is apt) in 2017, Destination Moon is a favourite among favourites, one of the simplest and most evocative designs the two firms have produced. Originally produced in four limited editions of 50 pieces each (blue, green, black and palladium – all long since sold out), the clock has now been reissued in a fifth colour, the striking red you see here.

The brand says that in Destination Moon, everyone sees the rocket ship of their childhood and while, yes, that’s a cheesy line, I admit it’s true. For me, it has always evoked the rocket of Tintin’s adventure of the same name, an association truly cemented by the addition of the red rocket landing pods.

The clock itself is fully exposed to the elements by the skeletal framework of the rocket’s body. The two black discs rotate on their central axis to show the time, marked by a small lozenge-shaped marker and, in a pleasingly fitting stroke of design, the clock’s power comes from the base of the rocket. The knurled base of the rocket is the clock’s winding crown. Pick it up and, with a satisfyingly solid movement, you can wind up the eight-day power reserve.

You may also notice the astronaut figurine (Neil, as he has been christened) climbing the ladder – a typical MB&F touch. Cast in solid silver, a magnet enables him to be positioned anywhere you like on the ladder.

Perhaps it’s the Christmas spirit, but I find myself more drawn to the whimsical attitude of MB&F. After all these years, it remains more or less the only serious watch brand capable of injecting a sense of levity into its work without losing even a tiny amount of the respect it commands from collectors. In fact, the more it leans into this personality, the more popular it gets. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

Materials: stainless steel, palladium-coated and PVD-coated brass

Width: 23.3cm

Height: 41.4cm

Weight: 4kg

Power reserve: eight days

Price: £19,900

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