Accessibility, Raffles, and Max – The M.A.D 1 Green

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Almost as interesting as the watch itself, is the way you purchase it.

Today, my wife pulled me back down to earth with a thud. I needed it too.

As we were on the train, I said to her, ‘you know, it seems like the norm these days that people can afford things that make them happy’.
In the subsequent seconds, she stared me blankly in the face and said, ‘they absolutely can't’.
And then proceeded to point out that most of the people I interact with, make up, at most, 1% of the general population.

The majority of people can’t do what they do.

I thought about it for a second, resisting the urge to defend myself. (Something I’m working on…) and instead, I swallowed my pride, acknowledged my position and widened my view of the world.

As somebody who has worked in the watch industry, specifically retail, for a while now, I’ve become somewhat desensitised to the amount of money that Is being asked for the watches we love. It’s all just meaningless numbers at this stage.

$50,000? Seems reasonable, $30,000? A downright bargain!

When I think about it, thanks to my wife, even $5,000 for a Tudor is unreachable for most people. I think this is why watches like the moonswatch and the newly released Blancpain collaboration have been so popular. It’s a window into a world that is usually reserved for the wealthy.
Nice watches are more unreachable than the moon for most people.

This got me thinking, what can brands do to be more accessible to a broader range of the market? And who is doing it well now?

I want to be one of Max Büsser’s friends.

I love crazy watches. The crazier, the better, but if I’m honest with myself, most of what I love is unreachable for now.
That’s part of the reason I started The Subdial, to feel connected to a hobby I can’t afford.  

The MB&F LM101

One of my dreams is to own an MB&F. The beautifully creative and complex LM101 is a particular favourite, with its dial side balance wheel and movement finishing by Kari Voutilainen, what’s not to love?
But, at 73,000 CHF or ($125,000 AUD), it’s more than a little out of reach.

Max knows this, and back in 2021, after contemplating creating a more accessible brand for years, he ‘launched’ the M.A.D.1 Blue (“Friends and Tribe Edition”). I put launched in quotes because it wasn’t really a launch. He just sent a short email to his friends, clients and suppliers, giving them priority and thanking them for supporting him.

Good Guy Maximilian Büsser
Good Guy Maximilian Büsser

After this, in 2022, he launched the M.A.D.1 Red, the first edition available to the public. Now, for a guy with all the influence, creativity, and credibility in the world to do this and make his brand this accessible is incredible.
It’s like Michael Jordan going down to the local basketball court to hoop with the kids.

The M.A.D.1 Green

On the 12th of September 2023, Max released the third edition of the M.A.D.1, this time in a rich green colour.
With the same case dimensions as the last two, 42 mm and 18 mm thick, it’s on the chunky side, but to be honest, this one doesn't belong hidden under a cuff, so I’ll allow it.

The M.A.D.1 Green
The M.A.D.1 Green

As a more affordable offering, the watch is powered by a modified Miyota 8315 movement. When I say modified, I mean really modified… How they convert the time display from horizontal to radial is anyone's guess. The movement is visible from the ‘dial’ and is nicely finished, but, by all means, it’s not at the level of the MB&F Horological Machines. However, at a retail price of $2,900, it is perfectly fine.
For all of you movement snobs out there, loosen up, would you?

The M.A.D.1 Green
The M.A.D.1 Green

But Max, how can I buy one?

Almost as interesting as the watch itself, is the way you purchase it. 
I’ve worked as a Rolex Sales associate for a while and I have to say, this whole waitlist thing is a pain in the ass. It’s not fair, it’s frustrating, and it doesn’t work.

Max and the team at MB&F understand this and have spent months working out how to offer the M.A.D 1 and make it fair for everyone.
What they settled on was a raffle system. You sign up, put your name in the raffle and cross your fingers. No prior purchase history, taking your SA out for dinner or once a week text messages saying – “Don’t forget about me!”

The M.A.D.1 Green
The M.A.D.1 Green

This system gives everyone a fair chance, and I love it. If were in any position of power at all, I would implement this system industry-wide.

The Raffle for the Green edition was started on the 12th of September and is open for submissions for two weeks. There’s no lining up in the rain for this one.

Enter here for your opportunity to buy the M.A.D 1 Green.

Where does the industry go from here?  

Max recently reached out to me to say hello after I connected with him on LinkedIn. I was blown away that the owner of a watch company that I have admired for so long would take the time to do that, with no anterior motive or expectations. It’s made me feel valued as a fan and, if all goes to plan, I’ll be a loyal customer for life.  

Things like this are the physical manifestation of an accessibility mindset and a sense of respect within MB&F. The M.A.D 1 is a way that they are connecting with their community and building relationships with people that may not yet have the resources to enjoy MB&F as owners.

 The M.A.D.1 Green
The M.A.D.1 Green

Brands at any level have the opportunity to bring a whole new group of aspiring watch fans into their sphere, like MB&F has, just by being open to connect without expecting a sale straight away.

We are all just real people, with hopes, dreams, financial responsibilities and desires to one day be a part of the industry we love so much. All we ask is for a little respect in return.

Thank you, Max and team, for making it possible.

Fingers crossed for the raffle and see you in the next one! x

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