MB&F - LEGACY MACHINE 101 PLATINIUM
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
MB&F - LEGACY MACHINE 101 PLATINIUM

LEGACY MACHINE 101 PLATINIUM

MB&F | 75'600 € Tax inc.

Available Contact us
Notice of laurent

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

LEGACY MACHINE 101 PLATINIUM

For a classically sized 40mm wristwatch, 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 realisation. 

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. 

LM101 has one more very special feature, one that cannot be seen: it houses the very first movement developed entirely in-house by MB&F. 

Visually, LM101 is dominated by the monumental suspended balance wheel, its sedate oscillations drawing the eye ever closer. Two pristine-white subdials hover just above the fine sunray-engraved movement top plate: At the top right, highly legible hours and minutes are displayed by beautiful blued- gold hands contrasting against the immaculate white, while the 45-hour power reserve indicator is displayed in a smaller, but similar subdial below. 

In an apparent feat of magic, the sapphire crystal protecting the dial appears to be invisible; creating the illusion that you can reach out and touch the prodigious balance wheel hang- ing mesmerisingly from 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 lustre. 

Turning over Legacy Machine 101, the display back crystal – domed to reduce the thickness of the caseband and, vis- ually, the height of the watch – reveals the exquisitely hand-finished movement. 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. 

While award-winning independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen took responsibility for the movement’s fine fin- ishing specifications and fidelity to the horological past, its architecture and construction are 100% pure MB&F. 

-
First launched in 18k red or white gold, and then in two limited ‘Frost’ editions with frosted finishing, Legacy Machine 101 is now also available in a limited edition of 33 pieces in platinum 950 – recognisable thanks to its distinctive blue face. 

ENGINE 

While the movement of Legacy Machine 101 is superficially similar to that of Legacy Machine N°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 isochronal (equal intervals of time) oscillations regulate the movement’s pre- cision. 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-inter- preted 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 14mm diameter balance wheel, featuring regulating screws specifically devel- oped for MB&F, balance spring with Breguet overcoil and mobile stud holder. 

And if you thought that the balance wheel looks impressive in Legacy Machine N°1, it looks even larger in the smaller diameter setting of LM101. 

DIAL AND INDICATIONS 

While the animated suspended balance visually dominates LM101, the immaculate white dials for the time (hours and minutes) 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 float- ing 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 lustre created using a laque tendue 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. 

FINE FINISHING AND HISTORICAL LEGITIMACY 

While the movement was developed entirely in-house, acclaimed master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen assumed responsibility for ensuring the movement’s historical accuracy of the bridge design and fine finishing. 

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 and power reserve indications and suspended floating balance. 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. 

On the back of the movement, 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. 

INSPIRATION AND REALISATION 

MB&F’s Legacy Machines were conceived when Maximilian Büsser started fantasising: “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. 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 early 20th century machines look like? They had to be round (tradition) and three-dimensional (MB&F Machine): Legacy Machines are the answer.” 

Maximilian Büsser has had a long affinity with pocket watches of the 18th and 19th centuries. Virtually all horological complications we see today were not only imagined in that period, they were developed using just paper and pen (no sophisticated computer programs), components were produced to extremely high precision using – by today’s standards – fairly primitive machines (no electricity) and finely finished, assembled and regulated to an incredibly high quality that we still strive to match today. Their generous size compared with modern wristwatches allowed for uncluttered movement architectures with beautifully shaped bridges and plates. 

While MB&F’s futuristic Horological Machines have a firm foundation in the very best of traditional horology, Büsser wanted to pay homage to that rich tradition by imagining the type of timepiece he might create if he had been born a 100 years earlier. With its large, sedately oscillating balance, domed dials, historical bridge design and classical fine-finishing, Legacy Machines are the very contemporary, yet traditionally elegant fruition of that dream. 

Legacy Machine N°1 (LM1) was the first piece in the Legacy collection; other pieces are Legacy Machine N°2 and Legacy Machine Perpetual. LM101 takes the traditional theme even further in offering a more classically sized 40mm case compared to 44mm for the other Legacy Machines. 

 

Technical specifications

ENGINE 

Three-dimensional horological movement developed in-house by MB&F Movement aesthetics and finish specifications: Kari Voutilainen
Manual winding with single mainspring barrel
Power reserve: 45 hours 

Balance wheel: Bespoke 14mm balance wheel with four traditional regulating screws floating above the movement and dials
Balance spring: traditional Breguet curve terminating in mobile stud holder Balance frequency: 18,000bph/2.5Hz 

Number of components: 229 components
Number of jewels: 23
Chatons: gold chatons with polished countersinks
Fine finishing: superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style; internal bevel angles highlighting hand craft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings 

FUNCTIONS/INDICATIONS 

Hours, minutes and power reserve indicator Large suspended balance wheel over dial 

CASE 

Available in 18k red gold or 18k white gold and a limited edition of 33 pieces in platinum 950
Dimensions: 40mm wide × 16mm high
Number of components: 35 

SAPPHIRE CRYSTALS 

High domed sapphire crystal on top and box sapphire crystal on back, both with anti-reflective coating on both sides 

STRAP & BUCKLE 

Black or brown hand-stitched alligator strap with gold or platinum 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