The watch industry: respectable, durable, established. How to shock it - be unpredictable. When MB&F release a new watch we all sit up and take note. Their designs are just so original... whacky even. Everyone expected to be reviewing a new MB&F time measuring machine this week, perhaps slightly gadety and techy in style but the MB&F Legacy Machine N° 1 is a tame and docile addition to the family, with more than a nod to traditional pocketwatch construction.
When a visionary Pablo Picasso presented Les Demoiselles d'Avignon it was received with a spectrum of strong opinions - horror, derision, admiration, a ground-breaking painting and one which brought much publicity, even so the painter was able to depart from extreme modernism many times in his career to re-discover the classically perfect form and line drawing taught to him as a child. The same applies to watch design, perhaps there will be avant-garde MB&F pieces presented in the future, but for the Legacy Machine N° 1 Max Busser had a desire to revisit the structure of the traditional pocketwatch with the addition of a few modern features, of course.
The "F" of MB&F stands for friends. Max Busser assembles some of the best in the industry to assist him with his watches. Jean-François Mojon ..... last year's GPHG winner for Best Watchmaker and creator of the Opus X and Kari Voutilainen the Finnish Master Watchmaker, an expert in fine detailing, a man not used to signing his name on anything other than his own creations ...... both worked on the LM1 Calibre. This is a pocketwatch inspired calibre, hand wound with a large balance wheel and a slow rate of oscillation, at 18,000 bph you will notice the rest between the ticks. Construction, design and finishing of the movement will be beyond perfect, as you would expect and with both of these gentlemen's signatures on the back this will be an heirloom piece.
The 14mm balance wheel has been moved from the back of the movement to pride of place on the dial where it levitates above two glossy white subdials supported by two striking arches. The subdials with their slightly domed dials display the time for two time zones and the hours and minutes on each can be set independently. A vertical power reserve indicator, a world first is at 6 o'clock, its presence providing parity and symmetry to the dial design. A high domed sappire crystal is required to accomodate the 3D elements of the dial and an exhibition caseback allows a view of the unique calibre.
The case of the piece measures 44mm across and has the addition of an extra crown, at 8 o'clock to allow adjustment of the left dial - the right side crown, located at 4 o'clock is used to adjust the time on the right dial and to wind the movement. Two editions of the MB&F Legacy Machine are available constructed in either 18 carat red gold or 18 carat white gold both editions come presented on either black or brown hand-stitched alligator leather strap.