The Silberstein Effect

You ready to hear all about MB&F’s latest? Here we go.

We’ll start off with a name first: Alain Silberstein. Now, Alain Silberstein’s name is not a new one to MB&F’s stable of special projects. In fact, the last time the twain collaborated, Silberstein lent MB&F his colorful take on Bauhaus purity and restraint towards an extraordinary version of their Horological Machine 2, in 2009: the HM2.2 Black Box.

Silberstein took even the MB&F team by surprise when he presented his rendition of the HM2. A strikingly black silicium PVD-coated-titanium Horological Machine, made alive by his signature colors used on the dial markers and hands.

So well received was the HM2.2 Black Box that all eight pieces created sold out in no time. Therefore, following in the initial Horological Machine’s success, it was only logical that MB&F would once again call on Silberstein for yet another amazing project. And as we now know, things were already underway sooner than we had anticipated.

At Basel 2016, close friends of the brand were treated to a glimpse of that anticipated timepiece — a Legacy Machine this time, reimagined with Silberstein’s special touch, named the Alain Silberstein LM1. This is really not a watch you see every day, but then again, the LM1 isn’t exactly a watch you see every day and neither is Silberstein’s playful take on design and aesthetics. So the result of the two coming together is quite extraordinary.

Deviating from the original LM1, we now have concave subdials dressed with primary colored hour and minute hands. The bridge holding the balance wheel on the dial side of the LM1 Silberstein is now a solid piece of sapphire, as opposed to the two pronged wishbone style bridge that we’re more used to seeing on the LM1. If the dial side balance wheel was a point of focus before for the LM1, it even more so now with its new bridge, which is held onto the dial itself, by just two securing screws.

Of course, not forgetting the unique vertical power reserve indicator of the LM1, which in this instance has also received the Silberstein treatment. The crown on the Alain Silberstein LM1 is different too, shaped in a triangular form with fluted sides. This triangular crown is yet another one of Silberstein’s signatures from watches that he once produced under his eponymous brand.

On top of presenting the LM1 in an all-black PVD-treated titanium case with Silberstein’s unique touch, a second version of the watch will be produced in a titanium case and yet a third version in red gold, where the main dial will bear MB&F’s spectacular frost treatment.

Turning the watch over, the business side of things, reveals the movement that we are already familiar with on the LM1. Save for the fact that here, the surfaces of the movement’s bridges are again given the frosted finish. The only other instance where MB&F has applied the incredibly difficult to achieve frost treatment on a movement, is quite possibly just on the LM101 Frost.

This whimsical and colorful surprize-around-every-corner approach seems almost to be a design philosophy of Silberstein’s. And with the treatments he’s given the LM1, the red-gold version is, without a doubt, the biggest curve ball that Silberstein’s thrown in MB&F’s direction this time. But in the same way that the HM2.2 Black Box was a pleasant surprise for everyone, when it was first unveiled, I think we can agree (IMHO) that the Alain Silberstein LM1 too, is bound to receive a great deal of attention.

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