MB&F - Legacy Machine N°2
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
MB&F - Legacy Machine N°2

Legacy Machine N°2

MB&F

Sold out Contact us
Notice of laurent

Two are better than one !

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

to discover a confidential subject

 

 
Legacy Machines are wondrous reinterpretations of significant horological inventions by the greatest watchmakers in history. So the contemporary look endowed by the otherworldly appearance of Legacy Machine No.2's dual flying balances, suspended high above the dial from four gracefully arcing arms, may at first appear paradoxical. But make no mistake; LM2 is a timepiece tracing its lineage back over 250 years to three of the greatest watchmakers who ever lived: Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747– 1823), Ferdinand Berthoud (1727– 1807) and Antide Janvier (1751– 1835).
 
These horological legends of the 18th century are united not only by their inventive genius, but also by the fact that they have all constructed clocks and watches with two balances. Oscillating on high, the exalted double balance wheels of LM2 were inspired by one of the rarest mechanisms in the history of watchmaking: the dual regulator. And rarer still, the average rates of Legacy Machine No.2's dual regulators are transmitted by a differential to a single gear train, where the majority had two separate movements.
 
On display under a domed sapphire crystal cupola, the dial of Legacy Machine No. 2 is an object lesson in symmetrical simplicity. Top to bottom: the white stretched lacquer sub dial at 12 o'clock, with its blued gold hour and minute hands, is visually balanced by the large, raised differential at 6 o'clock. Left to right: the two flying balances and their escapements are identical mirror images, right down to the position of the stud holders pinning their balance springs.
 
While the levitated oscillating balance wheels of the binary regulators catch and hold the viewer's gaze, it is the large planetary differential sitting proud of the dial that is the real heart of Legacy Machine No. 2. In an incredible feat of micro-engineering − and the sheer paucity of timepieces with multiple regulators connected via a differential attests to the enormous difficulty in creating such a complex high-precision mechanism.
 
Immaculate Geneva waves, gold chatons, mirror-polished bevels and bridges designed with deliberate internal bevelled angles showcase the movement's peerless fine finishing. Consistent with MB&F's spirit of transparency, the names of the two men responsible for the movement (Jean-François Mojon and Kari Voutilainen) are hand engraved on the back.
 
Two and a half centuries after three of the world's greatest watchmakers put two balance wheels into their movements, MB&F celebrates their pioneering works by creating LM2, a timepiece with two balances hovering outside the movement.
 

Technical specifications

 

ENGINE
  • Three-dimensional horological movement developed exclusively for MB&F by Jean-François Mojon at Chronode, and Kari Voutilainen
  • Manual winding with single mainspring barrel
  • Power reserve: 45 hours
  • Differential: Planetary differential comprising 3 gears and 5 pinions
  • Balance wheels: Two bespoke 11mm balance wheels with four traditional regulating screws floating above the movement and dials
  • Balance spring: traditional Breguet curve terminating with stud holder
  • Balance frequency: 18,000bph/2.5Hz
  • Number of components: 241
  • Number of jewels: 44
  • Chatons: gold chatons with polished countersinks
  • Fine finishing: superlative hand finishing throughout, respecting 19th century style; polished internal bevel angles highlighting handcraft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings
FUNCTIONS
  • Hours and minutes
  • Planetary differential transmits the average rate of the two regulators to the single gear train.
CASE
  • Available in 18k red gold, 18k white gold, or platinum 950 in a limited edition of 18 pieces
  • Dimensions: 44mm wide x 20mm high
  • Number of components: 45
SAPPHIRE CRYSTALS
  • High domed sapphire crystal on top and sapphire crystal on back with anti-reflective coating on both sides
STRAP & BUCKLE
  • Black or brown hand-stitched alligator strap with 18k gold tang buckle to match case
 

Who's who

“Amazing. Maximilian Büsser is definitely an amazing person.” If you ask Laurent Picciotto to go over the main points of his history with the big man at MB&F, you’ll initially be met by a long silence and a pensive look. Where to begin? What about the first meeting, when “Max” was on a work placement at Jaeger-LeCoultre? When he was head of Harry Winston Watchmakers? When he transitioned to become a designer, bringing together the greatest watchmaking talent at MB&F? These are all stages in Max Büsser’s career; yet the person who passed through them has been so different in each role that it can sometimes be difficult to see the continuity. Be that as it may, the link between the two men was indeed first forged in Paris, twenty years ago. Laurent Picciotto had opened Chronopassion three years previously, laying the foundations for a brand that was to become a benchmark, but which at that time was pretty much a complete unknown beyond a tiny number of top watchmaking connoisseurs. Meanwhile the young Maximilian Büsser had just graduated from the Lausanne Federal Polytechnic School and joined Jaeger-LeCoultre. Büsser was enamoured with watchmaking mechanics. When he was in Paris, he went to see Chronopassion in rue Saint Honoré. “He stayed over three hours,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “He was enthusiastic and inquisitive. He asked thousands of questions – he was an unusual young man and already knew a lot more about watchmaking culture than he was letting on.” Max Büsser worked in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Marketing department for seven years. He left in 1991 to move to Harry Winston. The 5th Avenue jewellers in New York City had already made some inroads into the watchmaking world, but without any major breakthroughs. The first timepieces dated back to 1989, but had failed to find much success. Output remained tiny, as the young Max Büsser sowed the seeds of high-class watchmaking at the jewellers. He was soon promoted to the position of Managing Director of the Rare Timepieces department. That was when the paths of the two men crossed again. “I was out for a walk in Geneva,” says Laurent Picciotto, “when a man in a car stopped next to me. He was no longer the young apprentice from Jaeger, but the CEO of Harry Winston Watchmakers. I didn’t recognise him – he’d completely changed, even physically! He really had taken on the stature of CEO. It was amazing.” The two men then saw each other every year during the course of Harry Winston business. The watchmaking part of the brand, driven by Max Büsser, gradually took shape, “but I was interested only in the Opuses,” says Laurent Picciotto with a smile. A friendship developed and when Max Büsser left Harry Winston in July 2005, a new chapter in it began. “Max told me about his new project, MB&F, standing for Maximilian Büsser & Friends. I said just three words to him: ‘I’ll follow you.’ He was a little surprised, as he didn’t have any immediate plans to establish the brand in France and he hadn’t even got the slightest prototype anywhere near ready!” Picciotto’s instinct was right, though. The first Horological Machine, HM1, came into being two years later in 2007. “This timepiece is difficult to apprehend – you need to put it on your wrist and wait a good quarter of an hour before being able make up your mind,” remembers Laurent Picciotto. The next part of the adventure is better known: four HMs and an LM, standing for Legacy Machine, a piece that pays tribute to watchmaking inventors. It is more aesthetically accessible but no less technically complicated for all that. Each MB&F item is the fruit of the greatest talents in top watchmaking, in terms of both watchmaking technology itself and design: Jean-François Mojon, Kari Voutilainen, Peter Speake-Marin, Laurent Besse, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, Eric Giroud, and so on. “At the end of the day, MB&F timepieces really do need to be adopted by their owners. Max adds a touch of humour, born out of his uninhibited approach to watchmaking. It’s definitely a brand that brings a breath of fresh air to the watchmaking landscape, shaking it up to just the right degree,” concludes Laurent Picciotto.

Journaliste : Olivier Müller

Read more