Good salespeople don't sell, they simply appear to help you to buy what you previously didn't know you wanted. And you feel thankful for their help. While Switzerland excels in many domains, it generally has a very poor sales culture. Far too often I've been in a shop to buy something and made to feel like I'm just a drain on the staff's time rather than a valued potential client.
That does mean, though, that when you come across a good salesperson in Switzerland, they stand out. I remember going into a car parts and accessories store to buy engine oil and an oil filter for an old Land Rover. I told the salesman what I wanted, the year and model of the car, and he came back with the correct oil and filter.
He then said, If you are servicing it yourself, you might also consider changing the air filter and fuel filter while you are at it. I thought that was a great idea, thanked him for pointing those items out, and ended up spending twice as much as I'd planned. Win-win.
I am lucky to have acquired a few nice watches, but I don't consider myself a collector. I don't feel a need to own watches that I like; I can happily appreciate them when owned by others.
My taste in watches (and most things) tends to be restrained. I'm not one for bling or a watch that shouts, LOOK AT ME! And I've got small wrists so I avoid large watches especially thick, large- diameter watches. And while my income unfortunately doesn't match my tastes, I like beautifully hand-finished, high-end manufacture movements by small independent brands.
So with its large, high case, blingy, spinning LOOK AT ME! rotor on top, and mass-market Miyota movement, the M.A.D.1 ticks all of the boxes on my may be interesting, but not for me list.
Around a month ago, I received an email from MB&F founder, owner, and creative director Max B¼sser with the subject line M.A.D.1, which led me to expect the mail to be about a new artwork or event at the M.A.D.Gallery in Geneva. I opened the mail, and my eyes were immediately drawn down past the few paragraphs of text to the first of three images showing a large, thick watch (side on, which emphasized its height).
One thing was immediately crystal clear in my mind: whatever this watch did, it wouldn't be doing it on my wrist.
And then I read what Max had written. I knew that he had been working on Blue Dog a more affordable sister brand to MB&F for many years, but something always seemed to come up to thwart his plans. He decided to ditch the name Blue Dog for M.A.D. and here was the very first fruit.
In the email Max wrote, I've been playing with a side project for quite some time now: creating a machine that would be accessible to my friends, under another label, but always with our crazy touch. The result is finally here: the M.A.D.1'.
Max went on to explain a few technical features, What makes this M.A.D.1 special? As you'll see in the attached video, the fully visible automatic winding rotor the star of the show! but also the lateral time display. We selected one of the rare automatic movements with unidirectional winding (essential for an easy, high-speed rotation), the well-known and reliable Miyota 821A, which we flipped upside-down a nod to our HM3 and HM8 to showcase a pretty crazy triple-blade winding rotor, crafted in titanium and tungsten. The typically MB&F lateral time display is obtained thanks to two aluminum alloy cylinders for the hours and minutes, engraved and boosted with Super-LumiNova. The 42 mm case is in stainless steel.
As I read this, I was thinking the M.A.D.1 sounds interesting. It looks like an MB&F-style watch, and if it's a relatively affordable MB&F-style watch then it's sure to be a winner. But it's not the type of watch I would even borrow to wear, let alone buy for myself.
The next paragraph of Max's email went on to say, The M.A.D.1 is reserved in priority for our Friends, followed by our collectors (members of The Tribe), before we propose it to other close contacts. There is obviously no obligation whatsoever! The choice of a watch is totally personal and you alone can decide whether the M.A.D.1 has a place in your collection. If you are interested, please let us know rapidly. The price is CHF 1,900 + VAT, and the first pieces will be delivered at the end of June.
PS: There will be no press kit and no launch this is just for our friends.
The last paragraph in Max's email spun my thinking about buying a M.A.D.1 a full 180 degrees. With both the text and the price, I felt that he wasn't trying to sell me a watch (he wasn't) but saying thank you by offering me a present. I felt proud to be an MB&F Friend (I wrote MB&F's press releases for 10 years) and thought it would be churlish to refuse the gift.
But what really drove the point of what Max was doing home was when Elizabeth Doerr and I thought at that price, we might buy another M.A.D.1 to offer to a watch journalist friend who Max knows well. After all, while it was an edition limited to MB&F Friends and The Tribe (MB&F collectors), it didn't appear to be a strictly numbered limited edition.
When we told Max that we would like to buy an extra watch he firmly said sorry but no. It was exclusively for Friends and The Tribe. No exceptions. None.
And that no made me feel that the M.A.D.1 was even more special and that I was even more fortunate to be offered the chance to buy one.
Source - https://quillandpad.com/2021/07/15/m-a-d-1-friends-edition-from-not-by-mbf-why-i-bought-it-why-you-cant-not-yet-anyway-and-why-its-a-marketing-masterclass-plus-video-of-max-busser-explaining-the-watch-and-con/
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