MB&F recently unveiled the latest iteration of its acclaimed Legacy Machine N°2, or LM2, in a new palladium case, and featuring a beautiful aquamarine sunray dial with subtle pale green, grey and blue tones.
When it was first presented in 2013, LM2 was one of the most forward-looking expressions of traditional mechanical watchmaking in the market, and yet it was conceived to honour three of the world’s greatest watchmakers – Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747–1823), Ferdinand Berthoud (1727–1807) and Antide Janvier (1751–1835).
Two and a half centuries after the three contemporary watchmakers successfully constructed clocks and watches with two balances, LM2 reinterpreted this significant horological innovation with its two flying balances suspended high above the “dial” – at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions – each using a pair of gracefully arcing arms.
The two flying balances and their escapements are identical mirror images, right down to the position of the stud holders pinning their balance springs. While the majority of timepieces with double balance wheels have two separate movements, the LM2 stands out because the average rates of its dual regulators are transmitted by a differential to a single gear train.
The levitated oscillating balance wheels may be the theatrical centrepieces of the watch, but it is the large planetary differential – occupying the lower quadrant of the dial – that is the real heart of LM2. In an incredible feat of micro-engineering, the differential performs three functions. First, it transfers power to each of the regulators. Second, it receives the individual timing rates from each balance. Lastly, it transmits the average rate of the two regulators to the gear train, where it manifests itself as the displayed time.
Under the domed sapphire crystal, where one expects to find the conventional dial, in the LM2, we have the top plate of the mechanism instead. It has a beautiful aquamarine sunray finish with subtle pale green, grey and blue tones. The technical dial is the white stretched lacquer sub-dial at 12 o’clock, with its blued hour and minute hands.
The LM2 movement was developed to MB&F’s specifications by award-winning watchmaker Jean-François Mojon – Best Watchmaker at the 2010 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – and his team at Chronode. 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 hand-finishing.
Immaculate Geneva waves, gold chatons, mirror-polished bevels and bridges designed with deliberate internal bevelled angles (which cannot be finished by machine) showcase the movement’s finishing. Moreover, the new Palladium edition has a new NAC finish, offering a deep anthracite colour to give even more character to the timepiece. Consistent with MB&F’s spirit of transparency, the names of the two men responsible for the movement are hand engraved on the back.
Legacy Machine No.2 was launched in 2013 in 18k red gold, 18k white gold and a limited edition of 18 pieces in platinum 950. A limited edition of 18 pieces in titanium with a green face was added in 2017, and 2018 was marked by a limited edition of 12 pieces in white gold with a purple face. In 2019, a red gold blue limited edition was launched in just 12 pieces. And finally, the new Palladium model joins the collection in a limited edition of 18 pieces.