Introducing the MB&F Legacy Machine 101 New EditionsBy Ross Povey
What a difference a dial makes, its essentially the first thing you notice when you look at a watch and in the context of vintage watches, the dial can equate to as much as 90 percent of the value of a timepiece. For 2021 MB&F is launching a new series of its Legacy Machine 101 with a trio of new dial colours and, for the first time, a watch in stainless steel.
The Legacy Machines 101 was first launched in 2014. As the name alludes to, the 101 references, these watches were conceived as the boiled-down essence of watchmaking. As exciting and awe-inspiring as new complications are, what Busser et al wanted to celebrate with the 101 was the essentials of watchmaking. The 101 is a watch that almost literally wears its heart on its sleeve, with the balance wheel front and centre suspended about the two dials, which themselves are suspended above the dial plate. This 3D horological sculpture is housed beneath a sapphire domed glass that is more reminiscent of a museum glass cloche than a watch glass.
The two suspended dials are in bright white, the upper most displaying hours and minutes and the lower showing a 45-hour power reserve indicator. In a classically elegant way, the hands are blued-gold, which punctuates the white dial strikingly. Housed in a very traditional form round 40mm case, previous versions have included 18k red or white gold (including two limited ‘Frost’ editions with frosted finishing), platinum and palladium. The 2021 versions are available in 18kt white gold, 18k red gold and the collectors’ favourite, stainless steel.
Once your eye can get past the incredible floating balance, the most striking difference in the new series of watches are the dial hues. Gently domed, each dial is finished with multiple layers of clear lacquer which are heated, in a process called laque tendue, causing the lacquer to stretch over the surface of the dial. The configurations for 2021 are 18k white gold with a purple dial, 18k red gold with a royal blue dial, and stainless steel with a light blue.
These watches are intended to be creations that might have existed had Max Busser been born 100 years earlier, as he says: “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.”
Movement: Manual-wind in-house movement; 2.5Hz; 45 hours power reserve
Case and dial: 40mm 18k white gold with a purple dial, 18k red gold with a royal blue dial, and stainless steel with a light blue.
Strap: Hand-stitched alligator or veal strap with gold or stainless steel to match the case.
Availability and pricing: Available now.
LM101 Stainless Steel (light blue dial): CHF 49,000 + VAT (USD 56,000 + tax)
LM101 Red Gold Blue and White Gold Purple: CHF 59,000 + VAT (USD 68,000 + tax)