The MB&F Legacy 101 is a beautiful watch. It is complicated, meticulously built, incredibly crafted and anything but a weekend beater. It is also around $60,000, which is affordable by MB&F standards. An evolution of the Legacy line, this watch, at least according to the MB&F marketing, it is stripped to the bare essentials of what makes for a timepiece, at least when you view it. On display is the balance wheel, a power reserve indicator, and, usefully, the time.
Tucked away beneath the striking face is MB&F’s first in-house movement, which is on display through the exhibition caseback. But lets hit on the face, since that is the part of the watch that will have everyone else gawking. One feature, which I really love, are the blued hands for the dial, offset at the 2:00 position, and the 45 hour power reserve indicator, offset at 6:00. But not satisfied for any ordinary blued hands, these are blued gold hands.
Seemingly hovering over the two dials, suspended by the twin curved bridges that are a feature on all three Legacy Machine watches, is a gold 14mm flying balance wheel with 4 balancing screws. Tucked away beneath and to the left is a blued escapement wheel. I don’t interact in the type of social circles where I am ever likely to see one of these in the wild, so to speak, but I can’t picture a skeletonized dial that could create as much interest as MB&F is able to create with these arrangements while at the same time keeping the elements readable and dressy. Personally, I like this arrangement better than the mirrored twin time zones of the LM1 and the symmetry of the twin balance wheels on the LM2. A watch need not be symmetrical to be perfectly balanced.
Fitting a bespoke, hand wound mechanism such as this, the detailing on the movement is superb. The jewels are set in polished gold countersinks, with the remaining edges hand beveled and the screws all deeply set in polished countersinks of their own. The sapphire crystal up front is highly domed with anti-reflective coating on both sides. The case is a comfortable 40mm wide and 16mm tall with the domed crystal. There are two versions, one an 18k red gold and the other an 18k white gold, on brown or blank alligator straps with a gold tang closure to match the case. For more info, please visit mbandf.com
Matt Himmelstein – Contributing Writer
Engineer, weekend warrior and mechanical watch enthusiast. He prefers value oriented brands because, well, those are the ones he can afford while still paying for all his weekend warrior hobbies. New watch makers are also an interest because you can get often get a unique look, and the watch now comes with a story. His favorites in his small collection are a Christopher Ward altimeter style and an Anstead dive watch from a Kickstarter campaign.