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.
Wild, extreme, outrageous, unrestrained: might be used to describe MB&F’s futuristic Horological Machines, but traditional, classical… round?
With its monumental central balance, superlatively finished movement, completely independent dual time zones, unique vertical power reserve indicator and elegant annular case, Legacy MachineN°1 (LM1) is a tribute to the great innovators of traditional watchmaking; and above all, an authentic three-dimensional MB&F Machine.
Legacy Machine N°1 was 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, but there are no Grendizers, Star Wars or fighter jets for my inspiration.”
He continued: “But I do have pocket watches, the Eiffel Tower and Jules Verne, so what might my 1911 machine look like? It has to be round and it has to be three-dimensional: Legacy Machine N°1 was my answer.”
Gazing down through Legacy Machine N°1’s crystal clear bubble sapphire dome to the micro-mechanical fantasy below, it’s easy to imagine Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo looking upon the mythical underwater city of Atlantis.
Legacy Machine N°1’s transcendental in-house movement bears testimony to the enormous talent of its creators: Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode (Best Watchmaker Prize at the 2010 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève).
They met the considerable challenge of developing the calibre for LM1 from a blank sheet, while acclaimed independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen took responsibility for the aesthetic design and for strictly ensuring the utmost respect for tradition and fine-finishing.
The movement of Legacy Machine N°1 proudly bears the names of both its creators, and is the first calibre other than Voutilainen’s own to bear his name. With Legacy Machine N°1, MB&F has majestically reinterpreted traditional 19th century watchmaking excellence to create a contemporary, three-dimensional objet d’art.
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.
How much is the pleasure of this thing’s company? About $92,000 on a good day, which prices it far out the reach of non-Warlocks. This is still a prototype but it should be released some time this year. [MB&F via Professional Jeweller]