MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - Red gold
Numerous pieces of literature, including these very pages, reference MB&F's penchant for honouring the art of customary watchmaking. It's a phrase that may seem generic when generally the watches they craft feature large floating balances or aviation-inspired cases. But specific references unequivocally convey the watchmakers' inclination for century-old watchmaking lore, and this LM101RG is one of them. Realised in 18k red gold with a bright, sleek silvery grey sunburst dial, it's a timepiece that's beauty lies in the synergy of mechanics and sophisticated styling. The 40mm case delivers perhaps a surprisingly classic yet restrained structure. Brushed on the flanks with contrasted polishing for the bezel and lugs, it's a confident and defined form that also bares enough restraint to draw the eye to the centrepiece, the dial.
The finely produced and utterly bewitching silver spiral sunburst dial plays with the pink exterior with utter class. Possessing a satinised sheen with strong waves of metallic grey, this dial base is a poetic characterisation of the watchmaker's relationship to convention. It's a complementary canvas for the adorning, incomparable architecture fundamental to its function and character. Every element displayed on this dial has a comprehensive relationship to the watch's functionality, yet they maintain the utmost individuality on their own. Two small conventional dials sit in the two and six o'clock positions. Both are white lacquer, slightly domed, feature blued-gold hands, and sit above the base dial, almost as if floating. At two o'clock, the hours and minutes are presented, with a set of thin Roman numerals and the MB&F signature. At six o'clock, a smaller power reserve indicator dial informs the wearer when the supersized balance wheel runs low on its power source. Securely positioned below the high domed crystal and measuring 14mm, the three-dimensional "flying" balance wheel beats at 18,000 vph and is profoundly suspended above the dial's centre by its arching balance bridge. The escapement wheel and anchor sit beneath the commanding balance, held by a bridge mirroring the one for the balance on a smaller and flatter scale. This is another component where this exacting variation of the LM101 stands out, as that silvery grey dial base accentuates the finishing of these bridges. Furthermore, red gold dial surrounds couple perfectly with the balanced case and 'Legacy Machine' freehand engraving of the dial. Said engraving is completed by Kari Voutilainen as a forward-facing feature which marks the joint partnership between Kari and MB&F.
A distinctive proprietary concept of timekeeping, but in rose with a silver grey dial, with exceptional finishing and decoration, the traditional lore of watchmaking is present. Sure, it's certainly different from the likes of a Dufour Simplicity or a Patek Calatrava, but it remains distant from the wildly imaginative Horological Machines. Due to its case and dial configuration, the fit and finish are reminiscence of highly collectable pink gold watches that often represent the swansong of a connoisseurs collection.
In their own words, the movement is a three-dimensional horological movement developed in-house by MB&F. This manually wound, single mainspring barrel movement offers 45 hours of autonomy and is an amalgamation of 229 components with a selection of its 23 jewels being set in high polished gold chatons. The hand finishing of this movement honours techniques and appearances of 19th-century style with Geneva striping, beautifully polished and deep chamfers, and impressive bridge structures. Furthermore, engraving isn't just restricted to the front of the watch, as the movement of this piece features further Kari Voutilainen engraving to celebrate his involvement and assistance in creating this now legendary model.
How It Wears
On paper, the LM101 measures 40mm in width and a substantial 16mm in height. That's far from petite, but that thickness is deceiving and appears much more manageable in the metal. With a good chunk of its height attributed to the domed crystal and the low-case flank placement, this is an MB&F with a sensible yet wildly particular wrist presence. The balance wheel, bridges, and two dials are celebrated and accentuated further in the flesh and its avoidable classical intention is refreshing for a piece from the artistic concept laboratory. To call any MB&F reserved or unassuming feels counterintuitive, but if there were to be any machine to fit that description, it would be the gentle and sophisticated tones of this LM101RG.
Dating from 2019, this MB&F LM101RG Red Gold is presented in very good condition, with only hairline scratches present. The watch has never been polished. Offered as a complete set with its box and papers, the MB&F LM101RG Red Gold is fitted to its original brown crocodile strap and includes its original red gold MB&F buckle.
MB&F, a creative house, watch brand and an "artistic concept laboratory", defies conventions with its unorthodox approach to horology. Led by Maximilian Büsser, who is known for his passion for the limitless possibilities of watchmaking, the brand respects tradition but isn't bound by it. Founded in 2005, MB&F, short for "Maximilian Büsser & Friends," creates groundbreaking mechanical timepieces that challenge the status quo with radical designs and distinctive sources of inspiration. Büsser, who has a wealth of experience from his time at Jaeger-LeCoultre and his tenure as the CEO of Harry Winston, established the brand with trusted partners. The company has since developed over 20 bespoke calibres. MB&F's commitment to creativity is evident in its name, and the brand maintains its innovative edge by collaborating closely with skilled horological professionals.
In 2014, MB&F unveiled the LM101, the brand's first timepiece to feature an in-house calibre co-designed with Kari Voutilainen. This model pays tribute to the essence of mechanical timekeeping by suspending the escapement and balance wheel, which are the core components of any mechanical watch, with two imposing bridges at the centre of the dial. Despite its intricate construction and bold appearance, the LM101 is a watch with simple functions, displaying only the hours, minutes, and the remaining power via an indicator. Nevertheless, its straightforward approach has played a significant role in establishing the piece as its signature model, with numerous variations that explore different materials, dial colours, finishes, and styles. As an ambitious and pioneering player in the independent watchmaking scene, the LM101 may be relatively tame compared to some of MB&F's other creations, but it is precisely this element of restraint that makes it so compelling.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium
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|Reference||51.RL.W - LM101 RG|
|Dial||Metalic grey Guilloché|
|Size (Case)||40 mm|
|Material (Case)||Red gold|
|Bracelet||MB&F Brown alligator strap|