MB&F unveil LM1 – its first Legacy Machine

The Legacy Machine 1.

Watchmaker pays homage to 18th century horology with new timepiece.

Innovative watchmaking company MB&F has unveiled its fifth horological machine yesterday, going against the expectations of the watch world by unveiling a round timepiece inspired by 18th and 19th century watchmaking.

As part of the reveal, the company asked its admirers to imagine what MB&F would have created if it had existed a century ago. MB&F’s founder, Max Busser, is said to be “an unconditional admirer of 18th and 19th century horology”, describing the time as the Golden Era, when virtually everything to do with watchmaking was invented.

The design of the Legacy Machine 1 – of LM1 – involved the help of Jean-François Mojon and Kari Voutilainen, as rumoured last month, two of the most highly-regarded watchmakers creating in classical and traditional manners.

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The movement of LM1 was created from scratch, but is said to “echo the classic calibre designs of a century ago”. It is also the first time that Voutilainan has put his name to a movement other than his own, and both his and Mojon’s names are engraved on the movement itself.

The movement does not have a balance wheel, despite MB&F describing it as the heart of any timepiece. Instead the company has missed it out on purpose: instead the LM1’s balance wheel has been placed where at the very forefront on the watch, appearing the float above the dial.

The dial of the watch has two dials, which although drive by the same regulating system, offer two independent times, offset not only by the usual hours or half-hours, but by whatever time lapse the wearer might need.

Finally, say MB&F, there is an unusual addition to the front of the watch – the world’s first vertical power reserve.

The LM1 follows four previous timepieces, which MB&F has called its Horological Machines. The design of these timepieces has always pushed boundaries, with timepieces that look like frogs, flying machines and watches designed specifically to be worn on the “rebellious” right wrist.

Max Busser has also launched his first gallery and retail space in Geneva, MAD Gallery, to coincide with the unveiling of the LM1.

 

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