Every once in a while, sometimes the wait is too long, MB&F releases a collaboration work with an artist. The cross pollination is often brilliant. This time round, it is no different, they hit another winner by working with the Chinese artist Xia Hang.
The Legacy Machine No 1 was announced in Singapore in October 2011. Deployant covered the launch here under our old site. The Legacy Machine No 1 x Xia Hang is a new watch, based on the original Legacy Machine No 1, in collaboration with Xia Hang.
Xia Hang is an extraordinary artist, whom we featured in our visit to the MAD Gallery earlier. Xia Hang is known for his work in comma-shaped men made from mirror-polished stainless steel, the first of the highly distinctive forms. These are stylised human shapes. And as his sculptures are often movable, the idea of using a sitting comma man as a power reserve indicator is quite brilliant. When the man is tired, and out of power, he slumps. When full of energy, he sits upright. Brilliant.
The watch is otherwise rather standard, safe for a small modification to accomodate the Mr Up/Mr Down power reserve indicators, with the usual suspended balance wheel, and two timezone indication. The dual timezone is shown on two subdials, each dial seem to float above the main dial. A complex system to fix the subdials to the main dial so that visually obstrusive screws are un-neccessary. The subdials themselves are gently domed with a translucent, high-gloss lustre created using a “laque tendue” process. This is a process were multiple layers of lacquer are applied and heated, causing them to stretch over the surface of the dials.
The movement beats at 18,000 bph, rather slow by today’s standards, but beautifully designed and finished by Kari Voutilainen. The design and finishing of the movement harks back to the days of the pocket watch, which fascinated Max Büsser and led to the inspiration to create the Legacy series. The movement is laid out in typical lepine fashion for a full bridge movement, with sensuous curves of each of the bridges reflective of the period where pocket watches ruled the day. The use of gold chatons, countersunk into the bridges to hold the large jewels is another feature which is reminiscent of old pocket watches. We think its quite marvellous.
Each watch (limited to 12 pieces in rose gold, and 12 in white gold) comes with a set full sized Xia Hang sculptures – one Mr Up, and one Mr Down., each measuring 16cm.
We think this is one amazing watch. What are your views?