What happens when two of the most emblematic and well-established independent watchmakers pick up the phone and discuss a potential watch? The answer is here, the result of a collaboration between MB&F and H. Moser & Cie. Even though the ties binding the two brands have existed for more than 10 years, this time it’s not about exchanging components. It’s about blending DNA. In the frame of a two-way collaboration, resulting in two watches (the other presented in a separate article), here’s what happens when a piece by Büsser receives a fumé dial. Meet the MB&F x H. Moser & Cie. LM101.
The idea of a collaborative laboratory is one of the founding principles of Max Büsser’s MB&F, co-signing the watches with some of the most talented artists, watchmakers, parts producers, designers… It’s all about the ‘F’ (which stands for ‘friends’) in the MB&F name. On the other side is Edouard Meylan and H. Moser & Cie., which not only create their own timepieces but have also been collaborating with Büsser for over 10 years, through Precision Engineering AG – a sister company of Moser that supplies balance springs. But today, the collaboration between these two passionate men, who know and respect each other for years, is moving a few steps further, in a two-way street project. On one side is a H. Moser & Cie. with MB&F elements.
On the other side is the present LM101 with multiple elements borrowed from Moser, as Max explains: “When I called Edouard to tell him that I wanted to collaborate on a creation, I mentioned that I really liked the double balance-spring, the Moser fumé dials and the Concept watch series. Edouard immediately told me that he would let me borrow these features, but on condition that he could also reinterpret one of my machines” (which gave birth to the other watch). So here we are with an MB&F concept watch… No name, no logo, no inscriptions, just the ultra-cool and immediately recognizable fumé dial, so dear to H. Moser & Cie.
“Back to basics”, the 101 of the Legacy Machine, the quintessential MB&F… This collaboration piece is based on the LM101, a watch introduced a few years ago as a reasonable offering from the usually zany brand. Smaller, at 40mm, but no less bold in concept, the LM101 is Moserized and conceptualized to become something nude and bold at the same time. The watch is housed in a stainless steel case, with the usual MB&F design and alternation of brushed and polished surfaces. It is worn on a relatively low-key brown calf strap, so nothing can interfere with the pièce de résistance, the theatrical dial/display.
What really changes in this MB&F x H. Moser & Cie. LM101 is the face of the watch, which not only gets a new dial but more of Moser’s details. The dials are the typically Moser sunray-brushed, gradient (so-called fumé) and intensely coloured base, available here in four colours – Funky Blue fumé, Cosmic Green fumé, Red fumé or Aqua Blue fumé (the latter being an exclusive for Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons). Also, in the same vein, just like concept watches by Moser, the LM101 gets rid of the logo, tracks, indexes and inscriptions usually found on its dial. A small update is to be noted on the bezel, which is slightly thinner than usual.
What doesn’t change is the display, composed of an off-centred indication with hours and minutes at 2 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock. Also, the signature arched bridge, holding the oversized and centrally positioned balance, as well as the visible escapement, have been kept – in true Legacy Machine spirit. However, there’s also some Moser DNA here, as the beating heart has been fitted with a double balance spring produced by Precision Engineering AG. Thanks to this pair of matching balance springs, the displacement of the point of gravity undergone by each spring as it expands is corrected, significantly improving precision and isochronism in a continuous quest for perfection. In addition, the paired balance springs also reduce the friction effect normally encountered with a single balance spring, resulting in optimised isochronism.
Through the caseback of the MB&F x H. Moser & Cie. LM101 is the brand’s in-house developed hand-wound calibre, with its pocket-watch inspired bridges and decoration – with, as co-creator of the finishes, Kari Voutilainen. The bridges are dark grey with a NAC treatment, enhancing their beauty and contrasting with the polished or golden parts, such as the screws, the wheels, the chatons and the anglages. The movement beats at 2.5Hz and stores up to 45 hours of power reserve.
Availability & Price
The four editions of the MB&F x H. Moser & Cie. LM101 will each be limited to 15 pieces – a nod to the 15th anniversary of MB&F as well as honouring the 15th anniversary of the relaunch of H. Moser & Cie. The Aqua Blue version will only be available at retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. This edition of the LM101 will be priced at CHF 53,000. www.mbandf.com.