Moderator Patrick_y's Favorite: The Best Watch Presentation Boxes; Winner: MB&F
The following is WatchProSite Moderator Patrick_y's personal thoughts.
Okay! Boxes! Specifically the original watch boxes some watches come with when they leave the factory. I'm not referring to aftermarket boxes like Scatola Del Tempo.
I'm a big fan of beautiful boxes. I actually collect beautiful cigar humidors despite the fact that I don't smoke. Boxes and packaging are special to me; well-executed packaging can really elevate the product and show a lot of care went into the product. So, this all begs the question... Which watch brand makes the best watch boxes?
I started my research amongst the big watch brands. A lot of people really like the current Patek Philippe watch box; a design that Patek Philippe has been using for over a decade. One Patek Philippe fan was praising the watch so much that he went on and on about the box (it's his first Patek Philippe, and his fanboy rant is now on YouTube). Does he know that these boxes aren't that special? But what goes into this watch box? Where is it made? How is it made? These Patek Philippe wood boxes are made in South East Asia. Why South East Asia? Partially due to available expertise, existing production infrastructure and capacity, skilled yet inexpensive labor, and to a very small extent the varnishes and toxic chemicals used to make these wood boxes are less regulated in South East Asia. The boxes are made on efficient jigs in an assembly line process that allows for speed, precision, and quality. Considering that Patek Philippe buys on average around 60,000+ wood boxes per annum, I'm certain Patek Philippe gets them for a very attractive per unit price! Other brands outside of Patek Philippe have their boxes made in South East Asia; Panerai's pear wood boxes with the matte exterior are also made in South East Asia.
But if you're under the assumption that the best watch boxes come from one of those famous brands like Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, or Lange... Wait until you've seen these...
As the title already conveys, after my extensive research of various watch boxes, I have determined that the best watch boxes come from MB&F. Congratulations to MB&F! Here are most of their watch boxes over the years...
Horological Machine 1 had an unusual watch box that came in
a messenger bag. What a cool box!
HM 2 with its very rectangular case came in a very
rectangular watch box! Notice the perlage on the side of the box.
The HM3 came in this super cool box! Made in high quality metal! It looks like a UFO. It looks great parked on a bookshelf! I'm crazy about this box!
HM4 Thunderbolt came in this incredible box! It's a hangar for your jetpack. This is probably my favorite Horological Machine!
HM5 and HM8 came in this "Garage" where you could
park your Horological Machine.
HM6 Space Invader came in this outer space looking rocket
device. This is another box I'm crazy about!
HM7, the "Jellyfish" watch came in a very
appropriate box. It looks like a diving
helmet! I know I've said this already, but I'm crazy about this box as well. And the watch is awesome!
HM8 and HM5 have similar garages!
HM9 comes in this egg shaped box. Very elegant and organic, yet modern and
HM10 Bulldog comes in a super cool box! This is the box opened.
This is the HM10 Bulldog box closed. Notice the spike collar and the teeth!
HMX Comes in a baby stroller! I thought it'd come in another
"garage" like the HM5 and HM8, but nope, it's a stroller for a baby
Most of the Legacy Machines come in these super cool boxes
or some variation of these boxes, but there are some special versions
Xia Hang is a famous Chinese artist who had a collaboration
with MB&F. The watch came with two
The Alain Silberstein Legacy Machine has a box with some
nice extra touches.
The Legacy Machine Thunderdome comes in this really cool
The Legacy Machine Flying Tourbillon comes in this amazing
box. Another one of my favorites!
Keep in mind, MB&F is not a large manufacturer. These boxes cost a fortune to produce because they're mostly different between models and they're not made a few dozen units at a time unlike a major company's box where 60,000+ are made in a year. These boxes are individually made, mostly by hand because it's not cost effective to set up an automated production line when you're only making 50-100 boxes. I truly applaud Max Busser and his team at MB&F for taking the time not only for making their wonderful Horological and Legacy Machines, but also their INSANE COMMITMENT to delivering VALUE to their clients. If they spent so much time on the box, imagine how much time they spent on the watch! I give many thanks to MB&F's attention to detail, the designers have come up with meaningful boxes that are specially created for nearly each and every model of their watches! Packaging a watch is really something that is overlooked by most manufacturers. Twenty years ago, even the big brands doled out poor quality boxes as packaging was really just an afterthought. But as more brands realize that watch collecting is a lifestyle choice, it's nice that these brands realize that the watch box is an enjoyable bonus for watch fans. We keep these special sculptural boxes on our bookshelves, on our desks, in our offices, in our homes. These watch boxes are great conversation starters and in the case of these MB&F watch boxes - they're sculptures in their own right. These MB&F boxes probably have more thought and design going into them than any other major brand's boxes; I wouldn't be surprised if 100+ man hours went into the creation and design of these MB&F boxes, amortized over only 50-100 units that's an insane amount of detail considered. Take any of the Big Three Swiss brands, I doubt their generic boxes took 100 man hours to design!
I invite you to share your thoughts about your favorite watch boxes; please share photographs of your favorite box(es) as not all WatchProSite readers have seen the boxes. And what do you think about these MB&F boxes?