Never Forget Where You Come From (My story behind the Chocolate Frog)

Nov 30, 2010,07:12 AM

On Monday, we had the pleasure of announcing The Chocolate Frog, a special edition of 10 watches we are making to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of ThePuristS and PuristSPro. This collaboration is of particular significance for me and is something I have been working towards since the day I started with MB&F.

I am a Purist. In 2004, when I moved to Los Angeles, I was a budding watch collector - just starting to travel down the rabbit hole of information available on the internet. A young Contemporary Art fan in casual LA, once I became aware of the world of Independent, "Contemporary Horology," I was hooked. There simply was (and there still is) no better source for information on the planet than ThePuristS.

I started going to the Los Angeles get-togethers and quickly made friends with the tight group of LA PuristS. The founder, Thomas Mao, welcomed me with open arms even though my horological knowledge was mediocre, my watch was not overly impressive, and I was probably 10 years younger than anyone else there. It was the combination of the community and the information that got me really hooked on watches. From there, I learned as much as I possibly could about every watch, every brand and everyone involved - never missing a PuristS event or a chance to learn more. I even met Max Busser, the founder of MB&F, at a PuristS dinner before the launch of HM1 and again to launch the brand and HM1.

(First time I saw a Horological Machine, Purists Dinner 2006)

Of course, at the time I had no intention of ever working in the watch industry. I just loved watches, loved the work these creative Independents were doing, and loved ThePuristS for providing me with an incredible resource to sink into. After I moved on from my last business I decided to take some time off and focus on my passions. This allowed me to get even more involved with watches. I started the TimeOut forum and was both a general moderator and TO moderator. I also joined ThePuristS Executive Staff to help with the transition to PuristSPro. It was in that capacity that I got closer with Max Busser, who I had met earlier and stayed in touch with. The rest is history. Two and a half years later, MB&F has clearly cemented its spot as one of the leaders in the genre, tremendously raised visibility even outside of the niche watch collecting world, and even recently won the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie!

So, amazingly, the PuristS literally changed my life. I have learned an incredible amount (not only about watches!), met wonderful people, and had great adventures. The first thing I did when I joined MB&F was to get the ball rolling on a special piece for ThePuristS. Two years later, we have found a perfect opportunity. This is not just a limited edition for me, but a very personal statement of gratitude. Thank you Thomas and the rest of the team. Without you, brands like MB&F would most likely not be able to exist, and I certainly would not be here writing this.

I hope you guys like the piece. I have to say, I really want one myself, so I won't be too disappointed if they only sell 9 wink I can't wait to meet all the new owners and those of you who I have not yet met next year in Las Vegas at IGOTT2!


Steve Hallock

MB&F North America

More posts: Max Busser and Friends

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Now that is really a great story

 By: grigo : November 30th, 2010-07:55
Makes the Chocolate Frog an even more special watch to me. I won't be getting one, but every time I see one, I will remember this post. I hope the PursistSPro's 10th anniversary provides us with more interesting stories from members. Best regards, George

congratulations Steve, and a job very much...

 By: et : November 30th, 2010-08:32
well done.. it's very comforting to know that there exists in these crazy times a passionate down-to-earth watch gentleman and all-around nice guy. if i had a hat it would be off to you and Max & his friends, most of whom i have had the extreme pleasure m... 

Steve, thank you for this. I am very, very touched...

 By: ThomasM : November 30th, 2010-08:45
As you know, I've been dealing with some (plural) very serious personal issues over the past few years, and especially in the past several months. Sometimes, the deep, pure passions that have been with me pretty much my whole life (timepieces and horology... 

Amazing how much of an impact a little site can have

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:08
I hope you are touched as well by the many responses to this thread! We still have to do that lunch! -Steve

Thanks again, Steve!

 By: dxboon : November 30th, 2010-08:52
This story of passion for not only watches, but the people you've met along the way, is an example of what I love about PuristSPro. I've often stated that while a collective interest in watches is what brought each of us here, it is the people who make th... 

Always a pleasure Steve!

 By: patrick_y : November 30th, 2010-09:18
The PuristSPro society has changed my life too and I really enjoy spending time with other PuristS such as yourself. Thank you Steve and I always look forward to seeing you again!

Great Story

 By: AllThingsWatches : November 30th, 2010-09:39
What a great story and a great watch. I hope to own an MB&F one day.

Thanks! [nt]

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:10
No message body

Thanks Steve

 By: ei8htohms : November 30th, 2010-10:11
You're one of the good guys. _john

Thanks Steve

 By: aldossari_faisal : November 30th, 2010-10:11
for sharing this once in a while story...not on everyday bases one come across such a story , such a transition in ones life.. i too feel the warmth the thing that makes this community a special one is the togetherness which is far beyond thats its a cult... 

Ah......the young PuristS padawan

 By: MTF : November 30th, 2010-11:43
has become the master... Steve, Having just reached "1/3 the Age of Chopard", I feel older but not wiser. I know less now, relatively, than I did when I was your age Is this the paradox of Time or Age? Thanks for sharing the story behind the Yummy ChocoFr... 

I have to clarify the 'Master' bit

 By: MTF : November 30th, 2010-13:06
You are now the master because the current Mrs MTF likes the Chocolate Frog design. MTF

The Force is strong in me

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:11

thanks for sharing!

 By: playtime : November 30th, 2010-11:50

thanks for reading!

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:12

Inspirational story

 By: AndrewD : November 30th, 2010-13:30
And thanks for sharing it, Steve. The only downside of your involvement with MB&F is that you have to spread yourself around and can't contribute as much on line at PuristS as you used to. But it's great to see your obvious support for the community that ... 

Yes, Andrew, it is a shame

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:13
I still check in all the time but I refrain from posting very much as I don't want to be seen as shilling or unfairly promoting the brand. The fact is that I work with MB&F because I love what Max is doing, not the other way around. I still buy and wear o... 

Regardless of the watch

 By: Mostel : November 30th, 2010-13:50
(which I'll never 'understand' yet can intellectually very much appreciate) This story of yours is so inspirational and I still remember meeting you to look at your old perpetual AP those years ago... I am at a transitional time too... have funds to start... 

Yes, outside Whole Foods!

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:15
That was a lifetime ago. MB&F's certainly aren't for everyone. If we designed pieces for everyone, they would be as toned down as everything else. Seems like your business is pretty well suited to the current climate. Hope you are doing well. -Steve

"The PuristS literally changed my life"

 By: Ares501 - Mr Green : November 30th, 2010-15:06
YES - the PuristS literally changed my life also. I can't express it more accurately or rightfully than you did when saying " I have learned an incredible amount (not only about watches!), met wonderful people, and had great adventures". Thank you so much... 

Great to hear!

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:15

Great inspirational story!

 By: sidneyc : November 30th, 2010-15:56
Thanks for sharing that Steve! It's an amazing life story! From a watch collector to actually an important role in the world of Horology. I'm sure it's a lot of us' dream!! It's great to see one of us Purists realise it! The Chocolate Frog is amazing to s... 

I really understand your story.

 By: JerryW : November 30th, 2010-20:31
I also feel the ThePuristS changed my life. I alway though I knew a little about watches, being a huge AP fan since the mid seventies (thought that made me watch savvy). Having the opportunity to meet, travel and visit with my PuristS friends has been an ... 

Thanks, Jerry

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:16
Glad to hear your experiences as well. Hope to see you soon. -Steve

Steve, the Chocolate Frog is very cool, as is your story.

 By: CaliforniaJed : November 30th, 2010-20:57
My only regret is that I was not part of the LA PuristS soon enough to get to know you when you were the TO Moderator. (Though your successor does an pretty fantastic job himself.) Congratulations on the realization of the Chocolate Frog, and thanks. Best... 

Great story...

 By: MattS : November 30th, 2010-23:50
Great partnership, awsome watch! Passion is what keeps us going. i have only been part of the purists for 9 months, it is great how passion breaks boarders and brings great people together, virtually through internet or in real at organized or unformal GT... 

What a great story

 By: RJW : December 1st, 2010-01:11
Thanks for sharing it with us. I am a relative newcomer here and it is fantastic to read your story. Thank you very much for your Special Piece. I hope one is reserved for you. You deserve it. Regards, Richard.

Steve, many thanks for your personal story..................

 By: Topcat30093 : December 1st, 2010-02:52
Which appears to follow a very similar path to a great many of us, though the only main difference being that you were able to take the passion one step further and get to work in the industry that we love. I would love to be able to meet you and many of ... 

That is awesome Steve.

 By: MichaelC : December 1st, 2010-06:16
ThePurists has changed my life too. I joined in 2001 with a primary interest in AP, and have met some wonderful people here. The Chocolate Frog looks spectacular and I truly hope one of the 10 lands in your collection. Looking forward to meeting you in Ve... 

See you in Vegas, Michael!

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:18

Well done Steve!..

 By: moc : December 1st, 2010-07:25
Anyone s dream to turn a passion into a daily job...Huge congratulations! Wish you all the best in your carreer. See you in Vegas Yours,Mo

Thanks, Mo. See you there!

 By: SteveH : December 1st, 2010-08:19

Superb post, Steve.

 By: amanico : December 1st, 2010-08:14
That is a very nice story you put in words, here. Living his passion is sadly a dream or a defy for a big majority of the people, and blessed are thoise who can do it! You did it, and to say all, you took the risks to do it. So, yes, you deserve it. Hope ... 

I will be there, yes.

 By: amanico : December 1st, 2010-08:22
We'll try to arrange something! Best, Nicolas

great story..thanks for sharing...

 By: ocwatching : December 1st, 2010-08:17
and thank you the pieces...

Thanks Steve for.....

 By: MiniCooper : December 1st, 2010-12:27
sharing your story with us..... It is always great to read how Purists started out here... Cheers

hey, did you do a Podcast?

 By: Hororgasm : December 4th, 2010-14:46
with John Biggs and Ariel Adams?

I did indeed

 By: SteveH : December 4th, 2010-14:50
I blog too. Multitalented

quite enlightening.

 By: Hororgasm : December 4th, 2010-14:53
glad you are pursuing your life passions. i could never summon up the courage to do similar, nor have enought financial resources to.

Glad you liked it. Thanks...

 By: SteveH : December 4th, 2010-15:04
Glad you liked it. Thanks for the kind words!

Great Story Steve

 By: andrewluff : December 27th, 2010-07:35
Just seen this great story Steve and a very interesting read of how you got to work on this watch. I can't wait to get mine and will not forget your story when it arrives and I try it on for the first time! Hopefully we will get a chance to meet in person... 

This side of the Atlantic

 By: andrewluff : December 27th, 2010-11:42
Well if you ever travel over to this side of the pond (Europe that is), then let me know and I may even be able to get my choc frog from you personally or at least be wearing it over a beer! Cheers Andrew

What a great story Steve!

 By: i_am_Sam : December 5th, 2010-08:24

Thank you Steve.....

 By: CL : December 5th, 2010-23:13