The domed sapphire crystal deserves discussion as well. What is worth noting is just how beautifully clear and free from distortion it is. Much of the time when you have a curved sapphire crystal you get a lens effect that causes distortion. This is good in a lens, but not in a watch crystal. Double AR coated, the sapphire crystal MB&F uses not only has wonderful clarity, but is also totally distortion free. Not all sapphire crystals are created the same, and in this case you have a fantastic example of what a high-end crystal should be like – which is especially important given its application in a watch with such a high domed ceiling.
It is true that the sapphire crystal is a bit taller than it needs to be, but the dial is impressively three-dimensional with a lot of elements going on. Just looking at the Legacy Machine 2 is a thrilling experience. The time dial is back from the LM1, with attractive blued-steel hands and a classic looking set of Roman numeral hour markers. The modern MB&F logo here (and the MB&F battleaxe logo on the crown) are among the only contemporary looking elements on the case. Which is of course an amusing fallacy because in everything but design, this is a very modern watch from a technical and materials standpoint. I think this is why “new vintage” watches are so popular. People really like old style watches, but actual old watches tend to be a let down as they are made so much better (for the most part) today.
Respecting the past, the design of the Legacy Machine No. 2 is truly modern when it you think about it. When the LM1 came out I felt sort of the same thing. I wanted to look at it as though it were a vintage style watch, but I couldn’t. Yes, the watch had elements borrowed from an era long-since passed, but it feels more like the modern version of the The Great Gatsby movie. The Legacy Machine is the past as experienced though a curated lens complete with a polished design and meticulous level of detail. It is more than the past, it is an optimistic and dramatized version of the past, and emotionally that feels very good.
All of this is worth paying for because none of it comes cheap. None of the people involved in the design and construction of this and other MB&F products are cheap. These are some of the best people in the industry, offering their skills and talents to make wearable mechanical art that we love (and that people like Max Busser know how to imagine). Despite understanding the value of a watch such as this it can be frustrating to know that owning something such as the Legacy Machine No. 2 requires having more than $150,000 of disposable finances. It nevertheless is good to have things to aspire toward.
MB&F will produce three versions of the Legacy Machine No. 2 (at least for now). The LM2 will be available in 18k red gold with a silvered dial matched to a brown alligator strap. The 18k white gold version will come with a black dial (also with a sunburst polish), and is matched to a black alligator strap. The limited edition version of the LM2 is the solid platinum model, and it comes with a blue dial and also a black alligator strap.
Wearable, viewable, and lust-worthy, the MB&F LM2 is also happily photogenic. Which is why is we enjoy calling it a real horological playmate. This is an easy piece to enjoy once you’ve understood how to fully appreciate it (and can afford it). Price is $156,000 in gold (every model) and $190,000 in platinum. mbandf.com
>Model: Legacy Machine No. 2
>Price: $156,000 – $190,000
>Size: 44mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: An educated watch connoisseur easily seduced by the grace of a fine looking modern ultra-luxury watch.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Seems expensive compared to the LM1, miss the power reserve indicator.
>Best characteristic of watch: Immersive design experience that references the best of watch making’s past while emphasizing the strengths of today’s high-end independent watch industry.