I got to sit down with Steve Hallock, the North American president of MBF and driving force behind the Swiss watch brand’s western expansion. The watch he brought for us is the LM1 aka the Legacy Machine #1, a new piece we wrote about earlier last month and that is just now shipping to oligarchs and captains of industry around the world.
First, a bit about the piece:
In fidelity to high-quality 19th century pocket watches, LM1 features a sedately oscillating (2.5 Hz), large diameter balance with traditional Breguet overcoil suspended from majestic twin arches; its enigmatic regulating mechanism in full view, but without apparent connection to the movement. Both the hours AND the minutes on each of the two sub dials can be set completely independently of each other – dual time zone complications usually do not allow independent adjustment of the minutes – their domed dials further reinforcing visual references to the golden age of watchmaking (1780-1850). Looking like a miniature sextant, a world-first vertical power reserve indicator keeps track of available power while providing a visual three-dimensional counterpoint to the graceful arches supporting the balance.
The LM1 is striking in real life. The dual dials are hand-enameled and the beautiful balance wheel hanging in the middle of the face creates a sort of clever, steampunkish beating heart that brings the whole piece together. How much is this thing? About $90,000, on a good day, although I’m sure Steve can get us all discounts.