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MB&F Legacy Machine 101

Angus Davies reviews the MB&F Legacy Machine 101, a watch he feels able to take home to meet his mother with its honest demeanour and freely disclosed thoughts.

This detailed review of the MB&F Legacy Machine 101 includes live images, specification details and pricing.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

I think the majority of men will concede that when they walk down the high street, their heads are invariably turned by the sight of an attractive feminine ankle. I confess, I am sometimes guilty in this regard.

Most alpha-males exhibit an animal-like instinct to admire the sinuous lines of a comely hip or shapely leg belonging to a member of the opposite sex. My editor, and wife, on reading this, will no doubt tut-tut, however, my honesty will resonate with many of my male counterparts.

Sometimes, men are attracted to ladies whose attire, make-up, persona and physique conspire to seduce. They evince a sensuous visage and coquettish allure that is difficult to ignore. These are the ladies your mother warned you about. However, you know they offer fun company and their appeal is difficult to deny.

The same could be said about watches. Some watches are imbued with a palpable quotient of exotica and naughtiness. A brand that is renowned for crafting sexy watches is MB&F. The company employs innovative design and breathtaking intelligence to ensnare admiring glances. These are watches you want to own, but know they will corrupt with their shapely forms and intelligent minds. Indeed, these watches will tempt you to ignore mother’s advice quicker than you can say, “Mrs Robinson looks very fetching in a lacy basque”.

Take the MB&F MOONMACHINE, it is the very embodiment of horological titillation with its hour and minutes displays resembling Jayne Mansfield on a cold day. However, typical of MB&F, its complexion is flawless and its mind, or movement, is rich with interesting detail, always appearing resplendent and tempting. This is a gorgeous watch, but somehow feels a tad naughty with its playful mien.

The Legacy Machine No.1 is a watch I have long since admired. It is the very antithesis of its salacious siblings. It has a virtuous persona, freely disclosing its inner thoughts with a dial that displays its micromechanics centre-stage. I have always loved this watch, but accept that it is financially beyond my grasp.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

MB&F Legacy Machiine No.1

However, MB&F has now launched a new model, the MB&F Legacy Machine 101. As soon as I met this chaste beauty, I swore undying love and proffered my hand in marriage. This is a watch I desperately want to own. Indeed, like any potential partner it has a multitude of attributes which lead to lifelong loyalty.

The front of the watch

The case of the MB&F Legacy Machine 101 is available in a choice of red or white gold. The case material dictates the colour of the dial provided. My favourite Legacy Machine No.2, launched in 2013, is the 18-carat red gold version, it is gorgeous. However, for some reason I can’t explain, when it comes to the LM101, I have fallen head over heels for the white gold variant. Love is like that, you can’t always explain the attraction, but the attraction is profound nevertheless.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

MB&F Legacy Machine No.2

The main canvas of the dial is actually the reverse side of the main plate, adorned with a finely engraved sun-ray pattern which ensnares light and refracts it to beguiling effect. On the white gold model, the main plate exhibits an anthracite-like hue and wonderfully contrasts with the case.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Time is expressed on an off-centre dial, positioned at 2 o’clock. It is pristine-white, reinforcing the virgin-like symbolism of this watch. Everything is pure and unsullied. The hour and minutes hands are blued-gold and collaborate with Roman numerals to impart the time with notable grace and legibility.

Occupying the lower portion of the dial, a power-reserve indicator resides. Smaller in scale, but no less beautiful than the hour and minutes display, it shares the same design language. A white subdial, in conjunction with blued-gold hands, indicate the status of the 45-hour power reserve. In this instance the hand interfaces with Arabic numerals to confer information.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Positioned centre-stage, reaching upwards, almost beckoning the wearer to kiss its form, the escapement is the focal point of the dial ensemble. Everything is laid bare with no secrets hidden from view, this watch reveals its intentions with rerfreshing honesty.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Legacy Machine 101 ref. 51.RL.W (red gold)

The large suspended balance wheel looks magnificent, allowing eyes to see the four regulating screws adorning its form. The balance spring features a Breguet overcoil, terminating in a mobile stud holder. This is fine watchmaking at its best.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The escape wheel and pallet lever can be readily seen. On one hand, you want to admire this watch with the mainspring devoid of energy in order to drink-in every nuance of the finely executed oscillator. However, impart energy to the single barrel with a few turns of the crown at 4 o’clock and you will become captivated by this dynamic piece of horological art with the to and fro motion of the balance wheel seducing you with each turn.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Completing the dial composition, flowing text graces an area between the two dials, proclaiming this as the “Legacy Machine”.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The case

The case, measuring 40mm in diameter with a height of 16mm, is restrained in size, suiting a myriad of different wrist sizes. Ironically, it is because it is smaller than the LM1 and LM2 that the balance wheel seems to take on greater significance, a trait I particularly appreciate.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The surfaces of the case are satin-brushed, with the edges bevelled to deliver a mirror-like sheen. Everything looks beautiful.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

A “high domed” sapphire crystal features to the front of the watch, harnessing superb anti-reflective treatment and accentuating the various depths of the vista presented dial side.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Gracing the caseback, a large box sapphire crystal offers a wide-screen view of the in-house movement. Despite this sapphire crystal being a box-type, the watch nestles neatly on the wrist and feels very comfortable to wear.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The caseback is retained with eight screws.

The movement

Sometimes a potential life-partner has the necessary beauty to attract, only to fail in the matrimony stakes when a lack of character and intellect come to light. No such allegations could be directed towards the MB&F Legacy Machine 101. This watch has an abundance of both character and intellect.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif which has become commonplace on the majority of watches costing over £2000. However, it is the way the motif, or Geneva waves as they are sometimes called, is executed on this timepiece. Each wave is beautifully defined, distinguishable from its neighbour, but with a smoothness that is readily discernible. There is an absence of machine applied decoration on this movement, everything is the result of time-served skill. Indeed, the finissage is the product of Kari Voutilainen’s timed served hands adroitly imparting a matchless finish to each movement component. I confess to being a huge fan of the Finnish watchmaker, who is now based in Switzerland. Indeed, in my opinion, he is one of the best artisans in the field of horology.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Various jewels are housed in gold chatons. The slots of screws are blemish free and the adjacent sinks are polished to a brilliant gleam.

This movement has a relatively slow frequency of 18,000 vph (2.5Hz), similar to an old pocket watch. It is this aspect which feels congruent with the character of the timepiece. The LM101 blends traditionalism with an air of modernity, a combination I personally find very attractive.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The barrel cover looks wonderful with its sunray-brush decoration twinkling in ambient light.

Recently, whilst in Geneva, I was able to examine the internal bevel angles using a loupe. Each hand applied bevel was free of scratches, twisting or facets. I could not discern any faults and concluded they were perfect.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Another aspect of this movement which appeals to my horological sensibilities is the large gap between each bridge. They allow the wearer to see the circular grained wheels of the gear train and freely disclose the perlage adorning the base plate.

MB&F Legacy Machine 101 - in-depth watch review by ESCAPEMENT

This is such a pretty movement, I could literally spend hours admiring its wondrous form.

Closing remarks

I have been fortunate to own some wonderful watches over the years, some of which continue to populate my collection. However, whilst I would find it difficult to swear to a life of horological monogamy, I do feel that I have met a horological partner that I could share the rest of my life with.

The MB&F Legacy Machine 101 is a watch that I could easily take home to meet my mother. Moreover, with an asking price of $59,000 (approximately £35,000), a few years of saving means it is an MB&F which is within my financial grasp. Indeed, this beauty is in my league, unlike some other high-maintenance lovelies which would readily bankrupt me within minutes of association.

In the form of LM101, I have met a horological partner for life, worthy of joining my horological harem.

Technical Specification

  • Model: MB&F Legacy Machine 101
  • Reference: 51.RL.W (red gold); 51.WL.W (white gold)
  • Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 40.00 mm; height 16mm; sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; power-reserve indicator.
  • Movement: Hand-wound movement; frequency 18,000 vph (2.5Hz); 23 jewels; power reserve 45 hours; 229 parts
  • Strap: Balck hand-stitched alligator strap presented on an 18-carat gold pin buckle
  • Price: $59,000 (approximately £35,000)

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