Finding ones true passion in life can be extremely rewarding, however making a profession of your passion is true happiness. This latter phrase carries a special meaning for both French watch designer Alain Silberstein and MB&F found Maximilian Büsser. Alain Silberstein left his trained profession as an interior designer to found his own watch brand, and Maximilian left the security of being a successful CEO of a well-known luxury brand to found his own niche creative lab. Both these creative minds have made a profession out of their passion for watches. Engraved in French on the case band between the lugs of the LM1 Silberstein you will find the very same quote in french: “Le vrai bonheur est d’avoir sa passion pour métier” – which translates roughly as, “Making a profession of your passion is true happiness”.
For this Performance Art series, Silberstein has taken MB&F’s classic Legacy Machine N°1 and imbued it with his unique flair for the unconventional. His use of his signature three bright colours and shapes: red, blue, yellow; and triangle, rectangle and circle, catch the eye as they contrast against the more subdued movement plate below.
However, it is the concave curve of the subdials that highlights the artist’s philosophical approach most. While the convex sapphire crystal dome and balance bridge offer protection from outside forces, the concave subdials attract and welcome the “eternal time” of the universe into the movement, where it is transformed and displayed as two completely independent time zones.
Alain Silberstein was born in 1950 in Paris, France. After graduating with a diploma in interior architecture and model making, he worked first as an interior designer in Paris, then continued in that field after moving to Besançon in 1979 − the centre of France’s watchmaking industry. Silberstein fell in love with watchmaking and in 1990 founded his own brand, Alain Silberstein Créations, which ceased operations in 2012.
While interior design and designing watches share quite a few commonalities including the harmonious juxtaposition of colours and textures, the scale is quite different: Silberstein replaced working in metres with working in microns.
In all my creations I search for the radical, which is finding the very essence of what should be highlighted. -Alain Silberstein
Silberstein’s watches are known for the signature use of three bright primary colours (red, blue, and yellow); three simple geometric shapes (triangle, square/rectangle, and circle or in three dimensions pyramid, cube, and sphere); and sophisticated juxtaposition of materials and finishes.
Silberstein was the first to create a watch with a sapphire crystal case, and he was a pioneer in making haute horlogerie playful with his use of bright colours and non-traditional materials. ”Colour is important, but you have to always keep in mind that you cannot disassociate colour from the material. Finishes can also convey a sense of colour”.
Silberstein now works as an independent watch designer. He is a long-time Friend of MB&F, having first collaborated on the Bauhaus-inspired HM2.2 Black Box Performance Art piece in 2009.
More info: MB&F