For a classically sized 40-mm wristwatch, Legacy Machine 101 (LM101) covers a lot of ground. It 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, the Swiss watch manufacture founded by Maximilian Büsser in 2005.
Visually, LM101 is dominated by the monumental suspended balance wheel, its sedate oscillations drawing the eye ever closer. Two pristine-white sub-dials 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 sub-dial below.
In an apparent feat of magic, the sapphire crystal protecting the dial appears to be invisible; creating the illusion that one can reach out and touch the prodigious balance wheel hanging 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 LM101, the display back crystal – domed to reduce the thickness of the caseband and, visually, the height of the watch – reveals the exquisitely hand-finished movement. Sensually curved plates and bridges pay homage to the style found in 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 the watch’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 fines finishing and fidelity to the horological past, its architecture and construction are 100 per cent pure MB&F.
Legacy Machine 101 is available in an 18-carat red gold or 18-carat white gold case.