News: MB&F Legacy Machine No. 1 LM1 Goes Platinum. As if White and Red Gold Were Not Impressive Enough.

Wild, extreme, outrageous, unrestrained: all might be used to describe MB&F's futuristic Horological Machines, but traditional, classical, round? With its monumental central balance; superlatively finished movement; completely independent dual time zones; unique vertical power reserve indicator and elegant annular case, Legacy Machine No. 1 —LM1— is a tribute to the great innovators of traditional watchmaking; and above all, an authentic three-dimensional MB&F Machine. Legacy Machine No. 1 was conceived when Maximilian Büsser started fantasizing: "What would have happened if I had been born in 1867 instead of 1967? In the early 1900s the first wristwatches appear and I would want to create three-dimensional machines for the wrist, but there are no Grendizers, Star Wars or fighter jets for my inspiration. But I do have pocket watches, the Eiffel Tower and Jules Verne, so what might my more traditional machine look like? "It has to be round and it has to be three-dimensional: Legacy Machine No. 1 was my answer."

After the successful launch of the Legacy Machine No. 1 in white gold and red gold now the LM1 goes platinum in a limited edition of 33 pieces. In fidelity to high-quality 19th century pocket watches, LM1 features a sedately oscillating —2.5 Hz—, large diameter balance with traditional Breguet overcoil suspended from majestic twin arches; its enigmatic regulating mechanism in full view, but without apparent connection to the movement. Both the hours and the minutes on each of the two sub dials can be set completely independently of each other —dual time zone complications usually do not allow independent adjustment of the minutes— their domed dials further reinforcing visual references to the golden age of watchmaking (1780-1850).

Looking like a miniature sextant, a world-first vertical power reserve indicator keeps track of available power while providing a visual three-dimensional counterpoint to the graceful arches supporting the balance. Gazing down through Legacy Machine No. 1's crystal clear bubble sapphire dome to the micro-mechanical fantasy below, it's easy to imagine Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo looking upon the mythical underwater city of Atlantis.

Legacy Machine No. 1's transcendental in-house movement bears testimony to the enormous talent of its creators. Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode —Best Watchmaker Prize at the 2010 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève— met the considerable challenge of developing the calibre for LM1 from a blank sheet, independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen took responsibility for the aesthetic design and for strictly ensuring the utmost respect for tradition and finish. Immaculate Geneva waves, highly-polished gold chatons and bridges with impeccably executed bevels following deliberate internal angles —which cannot be finished by machine— showcase the movement's absolutely peerless fine-finishing. The movement of Legacy Machine No. 1 proudly bears the names of both its creators, and is the first calibre other than Voutilainen's own to bear his name.

With Legacy Machine No. 1, MB&F has majestically reinterpreted traditional 19th century watchmaking excellence to create a contemporary, three-dimensional objet d'art. Legacy Machine No. 1 was awarded the Public Prize —voted for by horology fans— and the Best Men’s Watch Prize —voted for by the jury— at the 2012 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. LM1’s ingenious three-dimensional movement was specifically developed for MB&F from Maximilian Büsser’s sketches by Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode in Le Locle, Switzerland. The balance wheel and spring are at the very heart of any mechanical watch movement and are responsible for regulating timekeeping accuracy. Büsser has long been fascinated by the large slowly oscillating —18,000 bph compared with the 28,800 bph common today—balance wheels of antique pocket watches, so it was no surprise this was his starting point from which to let his fertile imagination roam free. 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 not just the top of the movement but majestically floating above the movement… even floating above the dials. While the location of Legacy Machine N°1’s regulating organ may be considered avant-garde, ‘tradition’ is upheld by the large 14mm diameter balance wheel with regulating screws specifically developed for MB&F, balance spring with Breguet overcoil and mobile stud holder.

Another very special feature of the LM1 movement is the ability to set the two time zones completely independently. The vast majority of dual time zone movements only allow the hours to be independently adjusted, a rare few offer setting to the half hour. Legacy Machine No. 1 allows both hours and minutes of each dial to be set to whatever time the user wishes.
The world’s first vertical power reserve indicator on LM1 is driven by an ultra-flat differential with ceramic bearings allowing for a slimmer complication and a more robust and longer-wearing mechanism.

Fitted with a robust 44 mm in diameter case, the engine of the LM1 composed of 279 components and 23 jewels, provides a power reserve of 45 hours while beating at a frequency of 18,000 vph. Fitted with a unique vertical power reserve indicator, the two dials display to completely independent time zones, all rounded out by a beautiful black hand-stitched alligator strap with platinum tang buckle.

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Posted on December 9, 2014 and filed under MB&F, News.