For the horology buff, a watch is never just a watch. In a new short film by homegrown luxury watch retailer The Hour Glass, MB&F founder Max Busser shares how he bought his first serious watch (a steel Ebel Chronograph with an El Primero movement) after surviving an accident involving an overturned Jeep when he was 23. He recalls: “It was my celebration that I was still alive.”

Busser is one of nine creatives spotlighted in “The Lives of Artists”, a series of short films that was commissioned by The Hour Glass to mark its 40th anniversary last year. Premiering over two months on The Hour Glass’ YouTube channel, the films are — if the first, nine-minute film about Busser, which was launched on April 22, is any indication — revealing, concise and tranquil portraits of movers and shakers from the world of watchmaking, and beyond. The list of names includes independent watchmakers Roger W Smith, Rexhep Rexhepi and Urwerk cofounders Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, as well as renowned creatives such as British architect David Adjaye and American artist Daniel Arsham.

Adjaye and Arsham are no strangers to The Hour Glass and its group MD Michael Tay. Last year, Tay marked his company’s 40th anniversary  with “Then Now Beyond”, an exhibition of temporality-themed design objects conceptualised by Arsham, Nendo, Marc Newson and Studio Wieki Somers. The commissioned artists were selected by a small committee that included Adjaye.

“The Hour Glass’ mission has always been to advance watch culture,” said Tay, when speaking to The Peak last September. And just as a watch is not just a watch for the horology enthusiast, watch culture is not simply about watches. Here, “The Lives of Artists” picks up where “Then Now Beyond” left off: To continue the “conversation on how watches and its makers intrinsically belong to the cultural milieu of contemporary art and design”.

Here’s the full roster for the series:

Apr 22            Maximilian Busser, MB&F

Apr 29            Sir David Adjaye, Adjaye Associates

May 6             Rexhep Rexhepi, Akrivia

May 13           Daniel Arsham

May 20           Wieki Somers, Studio Wieki Somers

May 27           Roger W Smith

Jun 3               Marc Newson

Jun 10            Oki Sato, Nendo

Jun 17            Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei, Urwerk