M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’

With the M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’, neither for the first time, nor I expect the last, Max Büsser has surprised me. This time by making all previous editions of the hitherto bonkers looking M.A.D.1 look boring.

And as a (previously happy) owner of the first Friends edition, that hurts.

M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’

The M.A.D.1 is a totally impractical – for those with smaller than gorilla-sized wrists – joyous watch that can’t help but put a smile on the faces of both its owner and all of those that have the opportunity to watch it uninhibitedly spinning.

But the M.A.D.Editions ‘Time to Love’ takes that joy and amps it up to unbridled delight!

M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’

The good news is that this, one of the most affordable – only ‘3,200 Swiss francs’-  of MB&F adjacent watches hasn’t already sold out before it’s even launched. The bad news is that. If you want one, you have to be lucky as to be in the running you have to enter a raffle that closes on the 16th of April 2024.

M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’ graphics

From the press release:

Legendary French artist and designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (JCDC) turns his hand to watchmaking, becoming the first creator to collaborate on a M.A.D.1.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac represents five decades of creativity. Very early on, he was able to create a unique voice and style, then over the years pivot, reinvent himself and challenge the status quo. Today, at the age of 74, his message of love and life is more than ever an example for the new generation.” Maximilian Büsser

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

As a young man in the 1980s, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser adored the French artist and designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac for his avant-gardist pop designs in primary colours. Over the years, his respect for JCDC continued to grow as he observed the artist from afar.

Collaborations with artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, and Jean-Michel Basquiat further increased his awe.

JCDC has never been a conventional designer, always daring to disturb, disrupt, and promote artistic chaos. Where most Couture designers seek out the finest quality fabrics, JCDC made clothes out of unconventional materials like his old boarding school blanket, mops, sponges, and oil cloths, being the first to upcycle in the fashion world, before it was even a thing!

With a career spanning five decades, the French designer has always had a multidisciplinary approach to his work, connecting different worlds to further explore his art.

He is perhaps best known for his audacious creations like the teddy bear coat, his “poncho for two”, his Barack Obama dresses, and the robes he created for Pope John Paul II and his Papal entourage for World Youth Day in 1997.



50 Years and Counting

JCDC’s artistic career started in 1968, when he founded the Ko & Co ready-to-wear fashion company along with his mother, Jeanne-Blanche de Castelbajac. Over the following years, numerous designers would call upon his talents as a freelance designer and in 1973, he held his debut fashion show, propelling him into the limelight.

By the end of the decade, he had become a fashion phenomenon with boutiques in Paris, New York, and Tokyo.

The 1980s and 1990s would see JCDC branching out into the creation of costumes for films, stage costumes for musicians, and even furniture, while the early 2000s saw him return to the world of fashion with numerous collaborations. His innovative and avant-garde approach to design has enabled him to continuously reinvent himself decade after decade. He was the artistic director of United Colors of Benetton from 2018 to 2022.

His art is expressed through installations, performances, chalk street-art, drawings and collages. In 2021-2022, his artwork was the subject of an exhibition entitled “The People of Tomorrow” at the Centre Pompidou’s children’s gallery in Paris, which itinerated to Shanghai’s West Bund Museum in 2023 and the Centre Pompidou Malaga in February 2024.

In 2023, he created a collection of his drawings for the Gien earthenware factory.

Jean Charles de Castelbajac and Max Büsser

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

The young Maximilian Büsser was a huge fan, saving up his pocket money for one of the designer’s bathing suits featuring pandas on it (could this have been the start of Max’s panda fascination)?

Fast forward 40 some years and the idea came to Max to try and contact JCDC to see – if by any chance – he would be interested in co-designing a watch. After all, JCDC is an expert in what he likes to call “accidents”, the results of combining two worlds that usually have nothing to do with each other.

Max decided to try his luck and reach out on Instagram, and from this one DM, an extraordinary collaboration has been born.



M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’

M.A.D.1 ‘Time to Love’

The initial thought was to collaborate on an MB&F Horological Machine, but it quickly became evident that the M.A.D.1 – from the brand’s parallel more accessible label, M.A.D.Editions – would be the perfect canvas for JCDC. Working with his three iconic colours – red for passion, blue for hope, and yellow for human warmth – he has adorned the M.A.D.1 rotor with his signature colourway that is produced in lacquer on a newly-engineered rotor, where one of the wings is slightly heavier than the other two to optimize spinning.

A bright green is also present and featured on the piece’s hour disc – another colour close to Castelbajac’s heart and linked to childhood memories.

M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’

Other details include a quote from the artist in French on the dial’s base: “Ce trésor rare et précieux, c’est ta vie. Le temps vole de ses ailes blanches. Tu es le gardien de ton temps”. This translates into English as: “This rare and precious treasure is your life. Time flies with its white wings. You are the guardian of your time”.

Crown of the M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’

The numbers of the hour and minute rings are in his own handwriting, and the crown features an engraving of an angel talking to the moon, a recurring theme in his art creations.

M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’ on white and black strap

The strap is crafted in leather and is embroidered with the name of the watch, ‘Time to Love’, and each timepiece comes with two straps – one in black and the other in white.

JCDC’s work has never been about fashion, it has, and remains to be, all about style.

‘Time to Love’ is not just a catchy name but a genuine philosophy for the artist who uses his work to spread love, peace and spirituality– a message that couldn’t be more poignant today.

“My relationship with time is unique. I am often “before or after hours”: before in my vision, after in my satisfaction. But when it’s time to love, I am always on time”, says Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.

Box and pouch of the M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’

The M.A.D.1 ‘Time to Love’ will be limited to 999 pieces, which is a first, as previous editions were not limited, just produced in batches that were made available via raffles. Retail price (before taxes) is CHF 3,200 + VAT.

As numbers will be more restricted than before, half will be made available for the MB&F Tribe (registered collectors of MB&F pieces) and Friends (suppliers) on a first come, first served basis. The rest will be available to the general public using the same raffle system as before, to ensure fair distribution to those interested in acquiring a ‘Time to Love’.

The raffle will open on Wednesday, April 3rd at 2pm CET and registrations will remain open for a period of approximately 2 weeks.

To enter the raffle, please visit https://shop.madgallery.ch/products/m-a-d-editions-raffles

M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’

For more information, please visit https://www.madgallery.net/geneva/en/creators/mad-editions

Quick Facts: M.A.D.Editions ✕ Jean Charles de Castelbajac ‘Time to Love’
42 x 18.8 mm, stainless steel and mineral glass

Movement: inverted automatic Miyota 821A caliber, 60-hour power reserve, 21,600 vph/3Hz
Functions: Lateral hours and minutes
Limitation: 999 pieces
Price: 3,200 CHF (excluding taxes)

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M.A.D.1 Red Owner’s Review: The Spirit of Something Greater and the Most Affordable Horological Machine by Maximilian Büsser (Plus Videos) – Reprise

2 replies
  1. J. Quincy Magoo
    J. Quincy Magoo says:

    It looks like a designed for fun kind of watch. Has a certain Swatchiness to it. Colorful, and well executed enough to provide some enjoyment while deciphering the time, but I don’t see the price point justifying or inviting enough to get in line for a raffle. Not that it makes any difference, as it will have more than enough participants, especially given the limited offering. If I had that kind of money I could afford to not at all miss, perhaps, but then I’d want to see a different movement involved, as the 8 series seems to have accuracy/regulation issues associated with it. But in this case, my guess is accuracy is not on the list of what’s driving interest in this watch.

  2. LocalheroEd
    LocalheroEd says:

    Having a raffle is a great idea as many people can’t get an allocation of whatever watch, despite being a fan. Unfortunately the number of mad editions on Chrono suggests a raffle doesn’t prevent flippers.

    I won’t bemoan flippers as in this case they are at least making items available and don’t appear to be making unreasonable gains.


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