I never quite knew the exact inspiration for the Legacy Machines until I read the latest press release MB&F had sent over. It was very much a “what if?” fantasy, and I adore these types of hypothetical daydreams — indeed, I indulge myself regularly in the horological make-believe. So, the story goes that Max asked himself: “What if I had been born in 1867 rather than 1967?”. He hypothesized how he would have designed watches had he been born 100 years prior and designing watches in the early 20th century rather than the 21st? Well, the Legacy Machines were his answer.

Mechanical watchmaking 101

In 2014, Max Busser released the LM101. After the zany success of the LM1 and LM2, collectors and fans alike sat patiently waiting for the next launch from the mad Swiss maestro and his eponymous brand. When the moment came, the resulting watch was a beautifully simplified version of the LM family, stripping the Legacy Machine concept back to its basics: Mechanical watchmaking 101 as the brand defines it — I couldn’t have put it better myself.

…a piece of art in its own right.

The LM101 is not a simple watch, by any means. Let me get that straight. The watch is a piece of art in its own right. However, when the LM101 was released, it was a more raw and stripped-back interpretation of the Legacy Machine blueprint than its LM1 and LM2 brethren. But, of course, the critical family trait was still there: the “flying” balance wheel that has become the signature of the Legacy Machine collection.

Three new Legacy Machines

Today, MB&F has announced three new editions of the LM101. The new Legacy Machines are not entire redesigns or entirely new concepts, but they feature subtle technical and aesthetic modifications to the original LM101 blueprint. Going back to its roots, the new LM101 watches, focus on the essentials and highlight the watchmaking prowess contained therein:

  • The “Legacy Machine” engraving on the dial is gone, allowing for slightly larger time and power reserve sub-dials. In addition, a thinner bezel takes its place around the outer edge of the case and dial, meaning the beautiful dials don’t lose any of their visual impact.
  • In MB&F’s own words, the LM101 is designed to “embody and accentuate the very essence of what is essential in a wristwatch: the balance wheel”. The flying balance wheel takes center stage as it is suspended over the center of the dial. It also inherits the incredible double hairspring supplied by H. Moser & Cie. I find it interesting and encouraging to see that the relationship between MB&F and H. Moser & Cie is still going strong! Perhaps we might expect further collaborations between these two in the future? That could only be a positive thing.
  • When it was first introduced, the LM101 movement was the first entirely in-house designed caliber MB&F produced. Conceived with the help of legendary master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, a long-time friend of the brand, the movement features fine finishing and stunning architecture. It represents the MB&F DNA we have come to love and associate with the brand. In addition, the new LM101s have a wonderful dark grey color “NAC” finish to provide some added contrast. Lovely stuff!

Gimme the deets!

The 2021 upgraded LM101 versions are available in 18k white gold with a purple dial plate, 18k 5N+ red gold with a royal blue dial plate, and stainless steel with a light blue dial. The latter is particularly noteworthy. This is the first time MB&F has used stainless steel for the LM101 since the limited edition with HODINKEE. The stainless steel and light blue dial are an excellent combination and undoubtedly my favorite of the three new versions. As ever, MB&F has nailed all of the colors it chose for the dials, but that light blue is particularly delightful.

You can find out more about the LM101 on the MB&F website. While previous LM101 models have been strictly limited, there is no word on limits for the 2021 editions. That said, they will not be infinite, and I expect them to shift very quickly!

Retail prices of the new editions:

LM101 Stainless Steel (light blue dial): CHF 49,000 + VAT
LM101 Red Gold (royal blue dial) and White Gold (purple dial): CHF 59,000 + VAT

Follow me on Instagram: @davesergeant