MB&F once again returned to the minds of Jean-François Mojon (and his team at Chronode) for the design of the LM2’s movement, and then Kari Voutilainen for the finishing and execution of the movement. These two talented watchmakers/designers were responsible for the Legacy Machine No. 1. The movement once again is manually wound, with 45 hours of power reserve, and operates as 18,000 bph. This slower movement speed is sort of intentional as it allows the wearer to more easily see the two free-spring balance wheels in action as they oscillate.
Compared to the LM1 you are essentially trading an extra time zone and power reserve indicator for this exotic mechanical complication. The two timepieces more than likely have distinct buyer demographics. The LM1 is outfitted with more practical complications while the LM2 is more about horological prowess designed to appeal to more intense watch movement lovers as dual balance wheel-style movements are both rare and quite expensive. What is also interesting is that aside from the tourbillon placed in the original HM1, MB&F has not really focused on complication focused watches. Busser has often described the brand as combining watches and art. Thus “we don’t create watches, but rather horological machines.” The Legacy Machine collection seems to be changing that. Until now the most complicated features MB&F has played with are unique ways of displaying the time or popular indications such as a power reserve or moon phase indicator. With the complex dual balance wheel system and planetary differential gear in the Legacy Machine No. 2, we see MB&F embarking into new high-horological territory.
The Legacy Machine No. 2 uses the same 44mm wide case as the LM1. The case will be offered in 18k red or white gold, as well as a limited edition version produced in platinum. As the Legacy Machine series is about classicism, the platinum version of the watch will be matched with the blue dial. With its large domed sapphire crystal and elegant round case, the Legacy Machine offers an entirely different wrist presence compared to what you may experience with the Horological Machines. In fact, even MB&F’s own people admit that the Legacy Machine is the “most wearable” watch they’ve produced. We have to agree. Whether or not the Legacy Machine feels like a “true” MB&F no longer matters. The LM1 was an extremely sales successful and while the LM2 will be a bit more niche, it will no doubt have plenty of fans.
MB&F will produce a select amount of 18k red or white gold LM2 watches each year, but they are not part of a limited edition. The platinum LM2 however is going to be a limited edition of just 18 pieces. While the LM1 watch is a bit more practical for daily used, the LM2 beats it in terms of mechanical complexity and dedication to reviving horological oddities of the past. Buyers will have to determine what makes more sense for them, and MB&F’s pricing will no doubt help in that regard. Price if you recall for the LM1 is $92,000. Price for the LM2 in 18k red or white gold is $156,000, while the limited edition platinum version is $190,000. mbandf.com
Tech specs from MB&F:
ENGINE: Three-dimensional horological movement developed exclusively for MB&F by Jean-François Mojon at Chronode, and Kari Voutilainen
Manual winding with single mainspring barrel
Power reserve: 45 hours
Differential: Planetary differential comprising 3 gears and 5 pinions
Balance wheels: Two bespoke 11mm balance wheels with four traditional regulating screws floating above the movement and dials
Balance spring: traditional Breguet curve terminating with stud holder
Balance frequency: 18,000bph/2.5Hz
Number of components: 241
Number of jewels: 44
Chatons: gold chatons with polished countersinks
Fine finishing: superlative hand finishing throughout, respecting 19th century style; polished
internal bevel angles highlighting handcraft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings
FUNCTIONS -Hours and minutes -Planetary differential transmits the average rate of the two regulators to the single gear train
CASE: Available in 18k red gold, 18k white gold, or platinum 950 in a limited edition of 18 pieces
Dimensions: 44mm wide x 20mm high
Number of components: 45
SAPPHIRE CRYSTALS: High domed sapphire crystal on top and sapphire crystal on back with anti-reflective coating on both sides
STRAP & BUCKLE: Black or brown hand-stitched alligator strap with 18k gold tang buckle to match case