With double recognition at GPHG awards and prizes for the best men’s watch of the year, as well as the public’s choice, MB&F Legacy Machine No 1 is certainly a memorable piece. It is a watch with an amazing three-dimensional appearance and characteristics that are unusual for the watchmaking brand that has built its reputation by making rather odd and futuristic looking pieces (for example Moonmachine and HM4 Flying Panda pieces). Surprisingly, the strange part is the fact that it is actually toned down when compared to other watches by MB&F. This is because it is the starting point of a new collection by the brand that brings together the best of past and future.
The Vision of Future from the Past
The new series which kicks off with this product is called Legacy Machines and it is the collection of timepieces that are inspired by the great horological traditions and successes that came during the 18th and the 19th century. However, the traditional part is not that prominent since it is reserved only for some of the basic traits of the watch, such as its round housing or the inclusion of Roman numerals. As the head of the watchmaker, Maximilian Busser, explains (MB&F stands for Maximilian Busser & Friends), this watch and other pieces from the collection that will follow are a sort of a blend between traditional and futuristic. Legacy Machine No 1 is according to him the timepiece which he and his team would make if they lived a century ago.
A Masterpiece Envisioned and Created by Mojon and Voutilainen
The most important people in the creation of the watch are Jean-François Mojon and his Chronode team who were responsible for designing the movement from the scratch and renowned watchmaker, Kari Voutilainen, who was in charge of manufacturing the design as well as for finishing. Both of their names are engraved on the movement of the watch and it is the first time that a caliber by the other brand bears Voutilainen’s name (one of his great watches, 2-Eight piece, was in the competition for the best ladies’ timekeeper of the year).
Even at the first glance, it is quite visible that Legacy Machine No 1 features very original three-dimensional design. Its dial is dominated with two separate dials (which is also done in MB&F manner though in a more classical interpretation than usual) and the large 14mm wide balance wheel appears to be floating over the dial of the watch which visually looks supreme. The oversized balance wheel that oscillates at a bit slower rate of 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz), so the wearer can see its functioning more clearly. Two dials which show the time for two different time zones function totally independently, even though they are driven by a single barrel that provides a power reserve of 45 hours once it is fully wound by hand (time on two different displays is set with crowns on the opposite sides of the case, but only the right one is used to wind the watch). The face of the watch also includes a peculiar looking and original vertical power reserve display.
The innovative three-dimensional movement of the watch includes 23 jewels and 279 components, while its opulent finishing represents homage to the watchmaking of the 19th century (internal bevel angles, polished bevels and Geneva waves).
MB&F Legacy Machine No 1 is fitted into a circular housing with the diameter of 44mm and the thickness of 16mm. Unusual for its classic shape that is far from common for the futuristic watchmaking brand, the housing itself is very complex and it consists of no less than 65 components. Available materials for the case of LM1 are 18k red gold (the model with the reference number 01.RL.W) or in white gold of the same purity (the version 01.WL.W). Since the face of the watch is so multilayered and with prominent movement parts on it, the watch needed a highly domed sapphire crystal treated with glare-proof coating on both sides. This is exactly the same material that was used at the display case back.
The best men’s timekeeper of the year is paired with black or brown hand-stitched alligator strap which fastens with a tang buckle that matches the material of the case. This model is not constructed in a limited edition per se, but it can still be considered as a very exclusive piece, especially considering the complexity of the product, as well as the limitations of the production capacities of Maximilian Busser & Friends. If you want to become the owner of the finest men’s watch of 2012, you will have to spring for a bit less than $92,000.