September 30, 2013
by Ariel Adams
Are you ready for three pages of solid watch porn? MB&F’s newest Legacy Machine (LM2) lends itself nicely to our (virtual) pages of the most hardcore wrist watch fetishism. Look at those beautiful curves and solid lines. This is all natural horological love, and we are about to get it on… Let’s get deep inside the Legacy Machine N. 2 to see what makes it tick – aBlogtoWatch style. There are a lot of images in this post, as well as more in the gallery at the end – we recommend you check them all out.
Yes, the above words of praise are deserved because MB&F once again releases a thoughtfully designed work of wrist magic that – true to the brand’s promise – exists because of a collaboration of talented people (the “friends”) whose combined talents make items of desire such as this possible. One of the things I’ve learned about during the last few years is that it isn’t inherently that hard to get a watch made if you can afford the production process. I’ve also learned that money alone doesn’t promise a good watch. It takes a lot of work and diligent tweaking (Swiss style) that allows for designs like this to be eventually created and look fantastic. It is becoming more and more difficult for us to become impressed with high-end creations because we see the world’s top creations on a regular basis. Having said that, MB&F, through its founder Max Busser and the rest of the team have an eye for design and features that strikes a very positive chord with the horologically enamored.
I even mention all of this praise in light of the fact that the Legacy Machine No. 2 (debuted here on aBlogtoWatch with more information) isn’t all that original. That is because for the most part, the Legacy Machine No. 2 (LM2) uses the same case and dial concept as the original Legacy Machine No. 1 (hands on here). The 44mm wide case comes in 18k red or white gold, or a highly limited edition platinum-cased version. This same case design and size, along with its “superdome” style sapphire crystal is a carry-over from the Legacy Machine No. 1. Yes, on the one hand I have become accustomed to MB&F offering totally new things all the time, so seeing the same case twice didn’t prove as exciting as it’s been in the past when viewing brand new MB&F Horological Machine pieces (their other and more well-known collection of watches). On the other hand, I didn’t mind seeing the Legacy Machine case back for a second round. Even though the first Legacy Machine wasn’t a limited edition, it was nice to see MB&F build on what was clearly a winning design.
Further, the dial differences on the LM1 to LM2 are merely a reconfiguration of elements. Rather than have dual watch dials and a single exposed balance wheel as you have on the LM1, the LM2 removes one dial and adds a second balance wheel. You also lose the power reserve indicator. This little part shuffle equates to a hefty increase in price. The smallest difference between the LM1 and LM2 watch is $65,000 – more if you compare the LM1 with the LM2’s platinum version. Even though the LM1 is still close to $100,000, with its dual time displays and a power reserve indicator, it is arguably a more practical watch compared to the LM2 (as practical as a watch of this high-brow ilk can be).
So what does the lovely LM2 watch have that is missing in the Legacy Machine No. 1? That my friends would be two balance wheels joined by a differential which acts to average the rate results of each into one that powers the movement. In fact, that large gear over 6 o’clock is part of the differential. Sadly, the gear doesn’t seem to move very quickly, so it doesn’t add to the beautiful sense of movement on the dial. The dual balance wheels (operating at about 18,000 bph each) aren’t just there to look nice – though they do in fact act to look very nice. Their constant movement adds a warm sense of life to the watch. More so even than watches with a single balance wheel. Plus, because they are elevated off the dial over other features, the effect of their movement is even more impressive.
It is worth asking why a watch would even want to have dual balance wheels, especially if it only shows a single time? That is a very legitimate question. Surely these complications were meant for something more than rich guy eye candy. In fact, if any Legacy Machine watches would look good with two balance wheels, it is the LM1 because it has two independent watch dials for the time. We discussed the history of dual balance wheels a bit in our debut article on the LM2 watch (link above). In brief, these were designed about 200 years ago during efforts to make pocket watches and clocks more accurate. It was thought because mechanical watch regulation systems are inherently prone to error (because of everything from gravity, to temperature, and physical shock), having two of them would help neutralize some of those errors if the watch was able to average out the rates from both of them… Watch more watch porn »