Performance art - Musicmachine 2

Performance art - Musicmachine 2



MB&F celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2015 with the tagline “A creative adult is a child who survived.” One film that children (and many adults) of all ages love is Star Wars and who could forget the frantic swarms of the Imperial fleet's TIE fighters as they battle the Alliance. The TIE fighter-inspired MusicMachine 3 (MM3) is proof positive that both the child and the Force are still going strong within MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser.

MusicMachine 3’s design with those lattice-like vertical wings support and protect the dual music cylinders, each playing three melodies: the theme tunes from Star Wars, Mission Impossible, and James Bond on the right and The Godfather, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and The Persuaders on the left. The music is powered by two independent movements mounted on the two tail sections. Each movement has its own winding key (disguised as thrusters), a mainspring barrel, horizontal cylinder with pins, and comb with hand-tuned teeth sounding each note. An air regulator in the form of a circular fan (resembling a rotating radar dish) governs the unwinding speed/music tempo of each cylinder. The side wings also play a vital role in propagating sound vibrations down from the combs to the naturally amplifying resonant base, manufactured by JMC Lutherie.

MM3 may appear to come from a galaxy far away in the future; however, its origins are much older and much closer to home. MusicMachine 3 features all of the traditional elements of a beautifully arranged, high-end mechanical music box. This should come as no surprise as it was developed and crafted according to MB&F's design by Reuge, the Swiss music box manufacturer with 150 years of expertise and experience.

MusicMachine 3 completes the trilogy of MusicMachines. It is a limited edition of 99 pieces: 33 pieces with white finish; 33 pieces with black finish; and 33 pieces with ‘chrome’ finish.

Left cylinder

Right cylinder


  • all
  • MusicMachine 3 Black
  • MusicMachine 3 White
  • MusicMachine 3 Chrome
MM3 Black
MM3 White
MM3 Chrome Face
MM3 Insitu 1
MM3 Chrome


With nearly 150 years of expertise and experience, REUGE is positioned as the only premier producer of music boxes in the world today. While REUGE has a comprehensive collection of both classical and contemporary music boxes, the brand also prides itself on its ability to create bespoke pieces or limited series – like MusicMachines – for discerning clients. The REUGE mentality is to respect tradition, but at the same time move forward with beautiful contemporary music boxes for the 21st century.

It was in 1865 that Charles Reuge established his first musical pocket-watch shop in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland. Charles Reuge was a pioneer, managing to incorporate a musical cylinder and a miniature comb into a watch movement. His son Albert Reuge converted the family's atelier into a small factory in 1886 and REUGE musical movements began to feature in the most unlikely of objects, including powder compacts and cigarette lighters.

Guido Reuge, who presided over the brand for much of the 20th century, built the current REUGE manufacture in Sainte-Croix in 1930 and expanded the company. In the 1960s and ‘70s, REUGE diversified, taking over the manufacture and marketing of mechanical singing birds of Bontems and Eschle and also developed the skills and capacity to create or replicate virtually any melody. Since 2006, Kurt Kupper has been CEO of REUGE. Under his guidance the brand has developed a particular ability to customise and create bespoke music boxes.



JMC Lutherie – pioneering guitar makers and creators of the Soundboard loudspeaker

Based in Le Brassus in Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux, JMC Lutherie was co-founded in 2005 by luthier Jeanmichel Capt and CEO Céline Renaud, one of the top 20 leading women in Swiss business according to Bilan magazine. JMC harnesses the incredible talents of Capt and the exceptional acoustic properties of 350-year-old resonance spruce wood sourced from the nearby Risoud Forest.

A research and teaching partner at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) and the School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD), Capt is a visionary stringed instrument maker. He has taken time-honoured luthier techniques and fused them with a decidedly scientific approach exploring the audio-acoustic possibilities of resonance spruce.

Capt developed JMC’s pioneering beautiful-sounding Soundboard high-fidelity loudspeaker. Launched in 2007, the Soundboard features strategically-placed transducers on a cambered spruce membrane to produce an ultra-pure sound rich in timbre for a unique listening experience in your home. JMC has also used this venerable wood to create resonance trays and cylinders that showcase the full auditory splendour of minute repeater watches, plus a high-end speaker dock for smartphones.


  • Engine

Functioning by the principle of forced vibration, wooden soundboards traditionally feature on stringed instruments such as violins, guitars and pianos. The board is vibrated by the string at the same frequency, producing the same sound, the only difference being the timbre. While the same amount of energy is created irrespective of the board’s presence, a soundboard is more able to transform this energy into sound because of its greater surface area – the board can move a greater volume of air – creating a louder sound. On MusicMachine 3, energy is transmitted from the vibrating teeth down though the vertical side wings to the resonance base, which not only amplifies the sound, but underlines the beauty of the music. MusicMachine 3’s innovative base combines 350-year-old resonance spruce with 21st century composite materials like NomexTM honeycomb Kevlar.


350-year-old resonance spruce wood

MusicMachine 3’s soundboard base features timber from 350-year-old resonance spruce from the Risoud Forest in Switzerland, where cool summers and cold winters lead to slow tree growth, occasionally producing an extremely dense wood boasting superlative acoustic properties. Each resonant tree was selected by one man: lifelong ‘tree gatherer’ Lorenzo Pellegrini, who would climb trees like a squirrel and hug each trunk, in order to see if it was straight enough to create a sufficiently resistant as well as light soundboard.

Such is the criteria for selecting appropriate wood that only one in 10,000 spruce trees is good enough to feature in a JMC Lutherie guitar! The tree is cut down on a specific day in November when it is in its driest state. The wood is left to dry for a further five to ten years and then prepared at specialist sawmills. A primer is used to close the wood fibres before a non-penetrating varnish is applied.








specs & manual

  • view specs
  • view manual

MusicMachine 3 is a limited edition of 99 pieces: 33 pieces with white finish; 33 pieces with black finish; and 33 pieces with ‘chrome’ finish

Main hull – resonance base

  • Main body: aluminium with lacquer finish
  • Matte sections: protective varnishing
  • Gloss sections: White UV-resistant lacquer; black lacquer or ‘chrome’ anodised finish depending on version
  • Resonant amplifying base by JMC Lutherie: 350-year-old resonance spruce with 21st century composite materials like NomexTM honeycomb Kevlar.

Dimensions and weight

  • Dimensions (with soundboard base): 400mm long x 340mm wide x 280mm high
  • Total weight: Approximately 6 kg

Tail section – movement and finishing

  • MusicMachine 3 features two 3.72 movements (3 refers to number of melodies on each cylinder; 72 refers to number of notes on each comb); one movement is ‘right’ configured; one movement is ‘left’ configured (they rotate in opposite directions)
  • Main plate: polished brass decorated with Geneva waves. The main plate holds both movements; each movement includes a mainspring, cylinder, comb, and regulator
  • Mainsprings: wound via conical, grooved winding keys in the form of thrusters, in nickel-plated brass Barrels: satin stainless steel
  • Regulator fans: nickel-plated brass
  • Cylinders: nickel-plated brass
  • Start/stop and repeat/continue functions
  • 1 melody = 1 revolution of the cylinder
  • 3 melodies per cylinder
  • Length of each melody: 35 seconds
  • Power reserve per cylinder: 15 minutes
  • Pins hand-applied and hand-polished
  • Length of pins: 1 mm; diameter of pins: 0.3 mm
  • Pins per right cylinder: 1,279;
  • Pins per left cylinder: 1,399
  • Combs: steel alloy and lead; 72 teeth per comb; each comb attached to nickel-plated brass vibration plate
  • Winding keys: nickel-plated brass


  • Right cylinder – extracts from:
  • ‘‘Star Wars’ (1977) by John Williams
  • ‘Mission Impossible’ (1960) by T Lalo Schifrin
  • ‘James Bond’ (1962) by Monty Norman
  • Left cylinder – extracts from:
  • ‘The Godfather' (1972) theme by Nino Rota
  • ‘Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence’ (1983) by Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • ‘The Persuaders’ (1971) main title by John Barry
Left cylinder

Right cylinder

Click here to download the manual in pdf format.