By Harlan Chapman-Green
“And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…”, I’ll bet the watch isn’t singing but if it could then Sinatra would be a good place to start. The LM1, that’s Legacy Machine 1, has certainly created its own legacy for MB&F. In think it’s fair to say that when one considers the offerings of the company, a watch with a suspended balance over the dial springs to mind before any of the Horological Machines. It’s a shame to see the Legacy Machine go, but in casual style they just couldn’t send it off without one last hurrah.
Compared to the other weird creations from MB&F, the LM range of watches was almost normal. I say almost as a suspended balance isn’t normal at all, at least on the dial side. It does make for an interesting conversation starter, even with someone who isn’t into watches the way most of us are. Like the Reverso, you could show them this, let them play around and wear it and in ten minutes you’ve got yourself a watchaholic in the making. Of course, at $79,000 it’s hardly a starter watch unless your friend happened to be a part of the same gentlemen’s club as you, but even then, being limited to a few examples, with MB&F themselves expressing that they have made very few LM1 watches in total, sub 500 even and that’s including the special editions.
The Final Edition of the LM1 is presented in steel. An interesting choice for such a high-end watch, but then again it has also appeared in titanium. The case is still 44mm in diameter, quite large for a dress watch with a 16mm thickness. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue however as the natural design of the case provides a domed bezel to accommodate the balance meaning sliding under the cuff should be pretty easy.
The calibre inside this watch is undoubtedly excellent. Designed by Jean-Francois Mojon, whose name is inscribed on the back of the watch, it was then assembled in the workshops of Kari Voutilainen for use in this MB&F watch, a real collaboration of these small independents to make a big hitting watch. The 2.5Hz beat rate is considerably slower than the norm these days, usually around 4 or 5Hz. However, no one really uses these watches to be super accurate timekeepers, not forgetting this thing switches out a running seconds hand for the exposed balance in the first place. It also means its easier to see the large balance do its magic, which is arguably what the Legacy Machine watches are all about.
If you’re wondering what the weird thing at Six O’clock is it’s actually a vertically placed power reserve indicator. Even I didn’t know that until recently, so you’re definitely forgiven if you just found out too. This watch is littered with little things like that, but my favourite part is the way the main part of the dial has been decorated. A radiant twisted sunburst extending from underneath the balance gives the watch a slightly high-tech look especially when placed next to a ‘conventional’ timepiece, that is to say, one that suddenly seems a little lame when placed next to this full on spaceship of a watch.
So it’s with a fond farewell that we get to wave off this gem of the industry. The sleek grey looks will ensure that all eighteen of the watches that are produced will fit in with the modern industrialist yet restrained designs of both motor vehicles and industrial architecture. It really is the most down to Earth of the range, and that’s just what MB&F needed to finish of this six-year saga. For more info, please visit mbandf.com