French artist and designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (JCDC) makes his mark on watchmaking, collaborating on the M.A.D.1 for the first time.

*”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

In the 1980s, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser admired JCDC for his avant-garde pop designs in primary colors. Over the years, his respect for JCDC grew as he observed the artist from afar. Collaborations with artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat further increased his awe.

JCDC has always been unconventional, daring to disturb, disrupt, and promote artistic chaos. He made clothes out of unconventional materials like his old boarding school blanket, mops, sponges, and oil cloths, upcycling before it was a trend.

JCDC’s career started in 1968 with the Ko & Co ready-to-wear fashion company. By the end of the decade, he had become a fashion phenomenon. In the 1980s and 1990s, he branched out into film costumes, stage costumes for musicians, and even furniture. His innovative approach has enabled him to reinvent himself decade after decade. He was the artistic director of United Colors of Benetton from 2018 to 2022.

Stacked from 31 images. Method=B (R=4,S=2)

His art is expressed through installations, performances, chalk street-art, drawings, and collages. In 2021-2022, his artwork was exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the West Bund Museum in Shanghai. In 2023, he created a collection of drawings for the Gien earthenware factory.

Young Maximilian Büsser was a huge fan, saving up for one of JCDC’s bathing suits featuring pandas. Decades later, Max reached out to JCDC on Instagram to co-design a watch. This led to an extraordinary collaboration.

The collaboration resulted in the M.A.D.1 ‘Time to Love’, limited to 999 pieces. The watch features JCDC’s signature colorway on the rotor and hour disc, with a quote from the artist in French on the dial’s base. The crown features an engraving of an angel talking to the moon, a recurring theme in JCDC’s art. The strap is crafted in leather and embroidered with the name of the watch. Each timepiece comes with two straps – one in black and the other in white.