MB&F celebrates the first decade of life of its Legacy Machine with the LMX. Harking back to the first Legacy Machine of 2011, the LMX magnifies many signature features to create an even more dynamic spectacle. The floating balance wheel is new, the two dials for the independent time zones are now tilted at an angle, more of the mechanics are exposed on the dial, the vertical power reserve indicator has been redesigned, and the autonomy boosted to 168 hours. The LMX might bear the signature features of the first Legacy Machine, but practically everything has been reshuffled. The only thing that hasn’t changed position is the balance wheel. The other striking aspect of the LMX is the watch’s heightened interactivity with its rotating hemispherical power reserve and wheels. Presented in two limited editions, one in 18k red gold with black NAC treatment on the plates and bridges and the second in grade 5 titanium with green CVD treatment, the LMX perpetuates the legacy of its forebear in a dynamic new key as it embarks upon the next stage of its journey.
When the Legacy Machine was launched ten years ago, many fans of MB&F’s intergalactic vessels were perplexed. Instead of the unconventional, wildly imaginative cases of the Horological Machines, they were confronted with a round, more traditional, more consensual watch that flew in the face of MB&F’s retro-futuristic style. Had Max Büsser crash-landed his interstellar spaceships and permanently altered the trajectory of MB&F? Far from it. Instead of flying to a fantasy future for inspiration, Büsser flew back in time one hundred years to explore what kind of a watch he would have created if he had been born in 1867 instead of 1967. Dipping liberally into the fantastic Voyages Extraordinaire of Jules Verne, the engineering feats of Gustave Eiffel and the mechanics and aesthetics of pocket watches, Büsser dreamed up the first Legacy Machine. The balance wheel was the star of the show, and as you would expect with anything issuing from the MB&F creative lab, it was not hiding demurely under the caseback.
Pursuing the kinetic sculptural appeal of all MB&F watches, the enormous floating balance wheel was placed in the centre of the dial, held in place by an arched bridge as it glided majestically over two white lacquered dials. With the help of friends Jean-François Mojon for the movement and Kari Voutilainen for the impressive and historically accurate finishings, the LM1 took home two prizes (Public Prize and Best Men’s Watch) at the 2012 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. For an in-depth review of all the Legacy Machines produced to date, don’t miss our retrospective article.
The first thing fans of the LM1 will notice is that the two crowns have been moved from their original position at the bottom of the case to the top of the case. Another difference is the elegant polished finishing of the case throughout; the first LM1 displayed a mix of polished and brushed surfaces. The lines of the 44mm case are also more streamlined and refined, with a hollowed-out area running along the caseband.
The dynamic 3D architecture and animation of the LMX are kept in check by the elegant symmetry: the two crowns are mirrored by the two large wheels on the dial and the two tilted sub-dials, and the hemispherical power serve indicator is counterbalanced by the small seconds wheel leaving centre stage to the floating balance wheel.
floating Balance Wheel
The conspicuous balance wheel of the LM1 was Büsser’s nod to yesterday’s watchmakers who were obsessed with perfecting the regulating system. Placed in the centre of the dial, the enormous floating balance wheel runs at a sedate 18,000vph. Slightly smaller than the original 14mm balance wheel, the new 13.4mm balance is fitted with inertia blocks, which offer greater accuracy than traditional screwed balances in regulating its heart.
The beautiful V-shaped arched bridge rising above the dial was directly inspired by architectural elements of the Eiffel tower. The bridge on the LMX is slightly different from the skeletonised bridge of the first LM1. It is still V-shaped but is solid and rounded. More mechanical elements are exposed on the dial, including components of the gear train and the battleaxe-shaped escapement bridge between the two sub-dials in the lower half of the dial. Two large wheels, placed next to each winding crown, are set in motion when the time is set on either dial. The third wheel at 6 o’clock corresponds to the small seconds. Held in place by the straight bridges, their surfaces are manually finished to give them a curved profile and polished by hand.
Independent Time Zones
Beyond the spectacular animation and dynamic appeal of the watch, the Legacy Machine is also extremely practical. With two time zones represented on two separate dials, the beauty of the LM is that each dial can be set independently. Unlike conventional dual time watches where the hour can be adjusted, the Legacy Machine allows you to adjust the hours and the minutes. The crown at 2 o’clock, engraved with MB&F’s hallmark battleaxe, sets the time on the right dial and winds the watch.
The crown at 10 o’clock, with an engraved globe, sets the time on the left dial. The stretched white lacquer dials with black Roman numerals and blued-gold hands, Büsser’s evocation of pocket watch dials, no longer sits flat on the dial. Like the LM Thunderdome and the LM Flying T, the dials are now inclined at a 50° angle. This tilted position adds even more architectural interest to the dial. It increases the complexity of the movement that needs to transfer energy from horizontal to vertical planes via conical gears.
rotating Power Reserve Indicator
Travelling back in time to capture the spirit of the Legacy Machine, Büsser would no doubt have had a sextant in his luggage, a navigation instrument that determines the angle between the horizon and a celestial body like the Sun. Designed to look like a miniature sextant, the Legacy Machine of 2011 featured the world’s first vertical power indicator. Rising from the dial just above 6 o’clock, the two curving arms of the indicator echoed the curving arms of the bridge over the balance wheel.
The LMX has a power reserve indicator but has relocated it to noon and reinterpreted its architecture which is now hemispherical. With a new and improved 168 hours/7 day power reserve (LM1 had 45h), the indicator offers two different ways to gauge how much fuel is left in the tank. Two markers, positioned on opposite sides of the hemisphere, relay numbers from 1 to 7 on one and the days of the week on the other. By rotating the power reserve display, you can choose your preferred mode of display. If you time it just right and wind the watch on Sunday, you could rotate the sphere and enjoy a day of the week display. If you are more the forgetful type, the numeric indicator will let you know when to wind the movement. The crown at 2 o’clock with the engraved battleaxe is responsible for rotating the power reserve display, adding yet another interactive element to the watch.
Naturally, the spectacular high domed sapphire crystal that towers over the dial of all Legacy Machines is featured on the LMX. With a colossal height of 21.4mm (just shy of the 22.2mm of the Tri-Axial LM Thunderdome), viewing pleasure is guaranteed.
A new hand-wound movement
Developed exclusively by MB&F, the manual-winding 367-part movement is fitted with three mainspring barrels to offer the robust 7-day (168h) power reserve. The dial’s tight symmetry follows over to the movement with its three barrels arranged evenly around the centre. The superlative 19th-century style hand finishings can be appreciated with the internal bevelled angles, the polished bevels, the Côtes de Genève on the bridges and the lavish attention to detail throughout.
Availability & Price
The LMX will be available in two initial editions: 18 pieces in 18k red gold and 33 pieces in grade 5 titanium. A black hand-stitched alligator strap accompanies the red gold version with a red gold folding buckle; the titanium model comes with a grey hand-stitched alligator strap with a titanium folding buckle. The titanium version comes at CHF 98,000 – USD 112,000 – EUR 92,000 (excl. taxes) and the red gold version will be CHF 112,000 – USD 128,000 – EUR 105,000 (excl. taxes).
More information at www.mbandf.com.