MB&F does it again and this time they're wowing us with the new Legacy Machine 101. For a classically sized 40 mm watch with a immaculate satin-brushed finished case, the Legacy Machine 101 —LM101— covers a lot of ground. Or to be more precise, LM101 covers a lot of time: over 100 years between inspiration and realization. Legacy Machine 101 embodies and accentuates the very essence of what is essential in a wristwatch: the balance wheel, which is responsible for regulating precision; how much power remains in the mainspring, which indicates when it needs to be next wound; and of course, the time. The new Legacy Machine 101 is available in 18K white gold or 18K red gold fitted with two pristine white subdials that hover just above the fine sunray engraved movement top plate. While the 18K white gold model features a charcoal gray movement top plate, the 18K red gold model is fitted with a more silvery one. These live images we have prepared for you, accurately depict the intrinsic beauty of this new fascinating timepiece.
The new MB&F Legacy Machine 101 has one more very special feature, it houses the very first movement developed entirely in-house by MB&F. While award-winning independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen took responsibility for the movement’s fines finishing and fidelity to the horological past, its architecture and construction are 100% pure MB&F. A finely engraved sun-ray pattern on top of the movement plate —dial side— subtly catches the eye at certain angles without distracting attention from the white dials of the time with highly legible hours and minutes —at 2 o'clock—, the 45-hour power reserve indicator —at 6 o'clock— and the suspended floating balance.
While the animated suspended balance visually dominates the look of the new MB&F LM101, the immaculate white dials for the time and power reserve indications are both aesthetically appealing and highly legible thanks to the high contrasting blue hands. Complementing the three-dimensionality of the balance floating in space, the white dials with their bright blued-gold hands float just above the top of the movement. The dials are gently domed with a translucent, high-gloss luster created using a lacquering process in which multiple layers of lacquer are applied and heated, causing them to stretch over the surface of the dials. To ensure aesthetic purity of the dials, a sophisticated fixation underneath removes the necessity of visually obtrusive attachment screws.
A fine golden perimeter circumscribing each dial elegantly reinforces their timeless classicism. In an apparent feat of magic, the super domed sapphire crystal protecting the dial appears to be invisible; creating the illusion that you can reach out and touch the prodigious balance wheel hanging from the elegant twin arches. The arches are milled from a solid block of metal and require more than five hours of hand polishing to achieve their mirror-like luster. And if you thought that the balance wheel looks impressive in Legacy Machine No.1, it looks even larger in the smaller diameter setting of this new LM101.
But it is in the style and finish of the bridges and plates visible through the display on the back of the movement where Kari Voutilainen has excelled in providing exquisite historical fidelity in both the shape of elegantly curved bridges and the traditionally wide space between the bridges and between the perimeter of the bridges and the case. The MB&F Legacy Machine 101 is also fitted with an off-centered crown located at 5 o'clock.
Turning over Legacy Machine 101, the display back crystal —slightly domed to reduce the thickness of the caseband and, visually, the height of the watch— reveals the exquisitely hand-finished manual-wound movement with 23 jewels and a power reserve of 45 hours. Sensually curved plates and bridges pay homage to the style found in high quality historic pocket watches and testify to the respect accorded to historical legitimacy. With its undulating Geneva waves, hand polished bevels, gold chatons and countersunk blued screws, the beauty of LM101’s movement doesn’t just stay faithful to a bygone era. It also heralds the dawn of a new epoch as it is the first MB&F calibre to be entirely conceived and designed in-house.
Over-sized ruby jewels set in highly-polished countersunk gold chatons provide striking visual counterpoints to the Geneva waves traversing the sensually curved bridges. While providing historical links with the large jewels seen in high-grade antique pocket watch movements, the ruby bearings have a practical application in reducing wear/increasing longevity by accommodating large diameter pinions and holding more lubricating oil.
While the movement of Legacy Machine 101 is superficially similar to that of Legacy Machine No.1, closer examination reveals that it is an entirely new calibre. It is not merely a scaled down version of LM1’s movement, but an entirely new calibre conceived and developed in-house by MB&F. The balance wheel and spring are at the very heart of any mechanical watch movement and their isochronic oscillations regulate the movement’s precision.
Maximilian Büsser has long been fascinated by the large slowly oscillating —2.5 Hz/18,000 vph compared with the much faster 4 Hz/ 28,800 vph more common today— balance wheels of antique pocket watches. So it was no surprise that this was his starting point. What was surprising though is just how radically he re-interpreted tradition by relocating the balance wheel from its more usual position hidden at the back of the movement to majestically floating not just the above movement but high above the dial. While the location of LM101’s oscillator may be considered avant-garde, ‘tradition’ is upheld by the large 14 mm diameter balance wheel, featuring regulating screws specifically developed for MB&F, balance spring with Breguet over-coil and mobile stud holder.
On the wrist, the new MB&F Legacy Machine 101 fits very comfortably and with indisputable wrist presence. Its mesmerizing design and beauty are rounded out by the an elegant alligator strap with pin buckle. While the 18K white gold model is fitted with a black strap, the 18K red gold version comes with a brown one. If you thought that the Legacy Machine No. 1 was impressive, wait until you see one of these watches in person.
Sticker Price $59,000 USD. For more info on MB&F click here.