Two and a half centuries after three of the world’s greatest watchmakers, Abraham-Louis Breguet, Ferdinand Berthoud and Antide Janvier, put two balance wheels into their movements, MB&F commemorated their pioneering works by creating the Legacy Machine No.2; a timepiece with two balances hovering outside the movement.
First launched in 2013, the Legacy Machine N°2 from MB&F was released in red gold, white gold, and platinum, followed by a grade 5 titanium-cased blue-green dial last year. For the latest rendering of the LM2, MB&F have returned to 18-karat white gold but with a Purple dial for a more elegant take on the original industrial aesthetic of the first LM2. The latest offering is limited to just 12 pieces.
The sunray-finished purple dial plate is given its purple hue via the chemical vapour deposition (CVD) process which evenly coats the dial surface and gives it a multi-faceted colouration under different angles of light, ranging from deep violet to an almost electric shade of plasma purple.
“When we see the colour purple, what our eyes are actually taking in is the highest possible frequency of light that the human eye can perceive. Legacy Machine N°2 also lies at the highest end of its horological spectrum.” – MB&F
The dial of the of LM2 is actually the top plate of the exquisitely finished movement, where the components are arranged in “symmetrical simplicity.” The white stretched lacquer subdial is at 12 o’clock and features the blued-gold hour and minute hands. The subdial is balanced by the large, raised differential at six o’clock. The two flying balances and their escapements, placed at three and nine o’clock, are identical mirror images of each other, right down to the position of the stud holders pinning their balance springs.
The twin balance wheels of LM2 were inspired by, and pay homage to, one of the rarest mechanisms in the history of watchmaking: the dual regulator. And rarer still, the average rates of LM2’s dual regulators are transmitted by a differential to a single gear train, while the majority have two separate movements.
The raised differential at six o’clock is the real heart of LM2 and is an incredible feat of micro-engineering. It has three roles: one is to transfer power to each of the regulators; the second is to receive the individual timing rates from each balance; and the third is to transmit the average rate of the two regulators to the gear train, where it finally manifests itself as the displayed time.
The movement of Legacy Machine N°2 was developed to MB&F’s specifications by award-winning watchmaker Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode. Mojon was awarded the “Best Watchmaker” at the 2010 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Acclaimed independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen ensured that the movement’s aesthetic style was consistent with high-quality traditional timepieces of the 19th century and for specifying the quality of the hand-finishing.
The names of the two men responsible for the movement are hand engraved on the côtes de Genève patterns on the caseback which also features gold chatons, mirror-polished bevels and bridges designed with deliberate internal bevelled angles.
The mechanical art of the LM2 is encased under a high domed sapphire crystal on top and flat sapphire crystal on the back with anti-reflective coating on both sides. The strap is a hand-stitched alligator with a folding buckle that matches the case.