MB&F presents the new LMX celebrating a decade of the Legacy Machine. Here are the release details. We just had the hands on session earlier today, and here is our review, with live photographs.
The Legacy Machine was unleased to the watch collecting cognoscenti in 2011 as a sort of alternative to the Horological Machines that MB&F have been creating. When Max Büsser began MB&F, never would he and his team thought that they would do round cases. Always, the Horological Machines had rectangular, complex and ultra complicated case shapes, each challenging the state of the art of case construction. But with the Legacy Machine series, stating with the LM1, was proposed as a series which is only in round cases. While still retaining the characteristics of the HM series’ horology sculpture. This was an exercise in imagination. And the LM series was and is noted for the use of lacquered dials and flying balance wheels.
The Legacy Machine came to fruition as a result of collaboration, as is the case with MB&F, with two exceptional watchmakers in their own right: Jean-François Mojon, known for his innovative engineering, and Kari Voutilainen, a living legend of classic watchmaking.
Ten years in the making
And from there, its been 10 years of new models. This latest, denoted as the X, the Roman numeral for 10 signals the 10th anniversary. Just like the HM3 FrogX (2020) marked the decade for the wild HM#, and the HMX (2015) which marked 10 years of MB&F.
Back in October 2011, MB&F had just launched Legacy Machine 1, the first creation of a new collection, showing a model with two dials indicating two independent timezones, united by an architecturally magnificent curved bridge holding the flying balance as the center piece.
We abandon our usual review format as the LMX is a very unique watch.
Review: MB&F LMX
LMX is available in two limited launch editions:
- 18 pieces in 18k red gold with black NAC treatment on plates and bridges;
- 33 pieces in grade 5 titanium with green CVD treatment on plates and bridges. 2011 – 2021
LEGACY MACHINE MILESTONES
Price of the LMX Titanium version is SGD 150,600 inclusive of GST / CHF 98,000 / USD 112,000 / EUR 92,000 + VAT.
Price of the LMX Red Gold version is SGD 172,000 inclusive of GST / CHF 112,000 / USD 128,000 / EUR 105,000 + VAT.
The new LMX is no different to the concept of the LM 1. The arrangement of a central flying balance wheel with the large and very beautiful curved bridge and the two lacquered dials remain. But almost everything else is different.
Two independent timezones on tilted dials
While the original had two dials showing independent timezones on stretched white lacquer on a slightly domed surface, the LMX offers the same two dials, but now set at an angle to each other to face outwards. This tilt requires a more complex mechanism to deliver the timekeeping to the hands.
The dial on the right is set by the crown at 2 o’clock which bear the engraving of the MB&F battle-axe and is also the crown to wind the watch. While the dial on the left is set by the crown at 10 o’clock, which is engraved with a globe to mark that it can potentially be used as a second time zone.
Mechanics under large sapphire glass dome – dial side
Under the rather significantly sized dome, the entire mechanism is more or less visible.
The LMX reveals the functional elements of the battle-aze shaped escapement bridge and gear train. The large wheels are visible from the dial side on either side are used to set the time. And a large wheel at 6 o’clock is the common seconds wheel.
Of particular note is the new bespoke balance wheel, a 13.4mm in diameter now equipped with inertia blocks in place of the traditional screwed balances of the earlier versions. The inertia balance offers greater accuracy for regulation.
Hemispherical 7-day power reserve indicator
A new interesting feature in the LMX is the advanced development of the original vertical power reserve indicator which premiered in the LM1. Instead of just an up/down vertical indicator, the LMX uses a three dimensional, hemisphere which is a mobile display showing the movement’s 168 hours (7 day) power reserve. On one side of the hemisphere, a scale is marked from 1 to 7, with the indicator showing the power reserve in days. And on the other side of the hemisphere, the markings show the days of the week. The user can opt to select which mode he prefers to use as a count of the power reserve.
The left-right symmetry of the LMX movement is right across the middle. And is plainly visible not only on the dial side, but also from the case back.
From the display case back, the three barrels required to provide the 7 day autonomy is placed evenly around the centre, and is accentuated by the sunray pattern of the Côtes de Genève finishing. The keyless works mechanism can also be seen on both wings.
Movement finishing is excellent, as all the typical haute horlogerie elements are well addressed. All the finnisage is executed par excellence, with not much to nit pick.
The LMX seems to be a fitting tribute to 10 years of innovative design and interesting sculptures as watches. The dome seems a bit high, and might perhaps be a point of undesirable contact as one goes about the day, though MB&F assures us otherwise. Other than a long term wear test, there is no way to confirm either.
The overall aesthetics, however is a powerful one. The watch looks amazingly beautiful. We are partial to the less expensive titanium option with the stunning green dial base where the entire architecture of the movement arises from, kind of like a city appearing in the horizon.
Photographed in The L’Atelier by The Hour Glass boutique in Singapore. Fujifilm GFX 50S with GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR and GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro with and without the MCEX18 and MCEX45 extension tubes. Profoto strobes.
LMX – Technical Specifications
Three-dimensional horological movement developed exclusively by MB&F
Manual winding with three mainspring barrels
Power reserve: 7 days (168 hours)
Balance wheel: new bespoke 13.4mm balance wheel with inertia blocks, floating above the movement
Time display on two inclined dials in stretched lacquer
Balance spring: traditional Breguet curve terminating in mobile stud holder
Balance frequency: 18,000bph/2.5Hz
Number of components: 367
Number of jewels: 41
Chatons: gold chatons with diamond countersinks
Fine finishing: superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style; internal bevel angles highlighting hand craft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings; polished arms of the straight bridges exposed on the dial plate, manually finished to a curved “bercé” profile on their upper surfaces.
Hours and minutes: completely independent dual time zones displayed on two dials.
Unique hemispherical power reserve with choice of weekday or 7-day indication; rotates to adjust the preferred power reserve indication.
Left crown at 10 o’clock for setting time of left dial; right crown at 2 o’clock for setting time of right dial and winding
Two launch editions: 18k 5N+ red gold case limited to 18 pieces or grade 5 titanium case limited to 33 pieces
Dimensions: 44 mm wide x 21.4 mm high
Number of components: 27
High domed sapphire crystal on top and sapphire crystal on back with anti-reflective coating on both sides.
Strap & Buckle
Black hand-stitched alligator strap with 5N+ gold folding buckle for red gold version, and grey hand-stitched alligator strap with titanium folding buckle for titanium edition.