All Articles
All Articles
TECH

MB&F Legacy Machine No. 1

Maximilian Büsser's advanced-tech wristwatch inspired by the intricate craftsmanship of early-19th-century pocket watches

by Evan Orensten
on 05 October 2011
mbf-machine1.jpg mbf-machine2.jpg

Maximilian Büsser always keeps the watch world and his fans guessing about his next creation and its inspiration. (Previous models took whimsical cues from his childhood robot toys, jet fighters and Star Wars.) Speculation on his next numbered creation, assumed to be the fifth in his series of Horological Machines, reached iPhone levels in the watch world. But what was actually going on in Büsser's mind was much more of a throwback than his usual radical watch reinventions.

An appreciation for the craftsmanship of 19th-century "statement" pocket watches led him to wonder what he would have created were he born 100 years ago, near the peak of watchmaking's era of technical innovation. This question was the root of his desire to add a second product line, and yesterday he announced the first in that line, the Legacy Machine No. 1.

Büsser acts as visionary and creative director, enlisting the help of some of horology's most innovative and respected craftspeople. It's the head-scratching kind of scene you'd love to watch taking place as Büsser describes his vision and the need for as-yet unimagined movements and mechanics. His all-star crew for the Legacy Machine No. 1 includes Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode, who designed the movement from scratch. Kari Voutilainen, a highly regarded watchmaker and artisan, created the watch's aesthetics and the many handcrafted finishes. The movement of the Legacy Machine No. 1 includes both of their names—a rare occurrence.

mbf-machine3.jpg mbf-machine4.jpg

Most probably aren't aware that nearly all of the complications that exist, and their engineering, were designed a long time ago. (A complication is anything other than the time—the date, chronograph, time zones, alarms, moon phases, etc.) Unique to the Legacy Machine No. 1 are a few twists. The most obvious is the three-dimensional movement, which brings the balance wheel, often hidden in the middle of the movement, to the top, literally; it hangs suspended from a bridge over the dials themselves. It's like putting a car's engine in the driver's seat.

Like its source of inspiration, the 14-millimeter balance wheel resembles those of larger pocket watches—which have a larger wheel that runs more slowly than those in wristwatches. Another first are the two totally independent time zones. Other time zone complications allow you to change only the hour (and a few the half hour), but no others allow you to have two completely different times set and controlled by a single regulator. While this may be more of a technical than practical feat, it's noteworthy nonetheless. Lastly, the power reserve complication is vertical—a world first and something that normally is represented by a hand or a wheel instead looks like a ski jump.

The LM1's advanced technology, unconventional aesthetic and masterful engineering make this a must-have for serious collectors, and a wish list item for those of us without the $92,000 to acquire one. Visit MB&F for purchasing information and details.

Also on CH: The MB&F Horological Machine No. 2 and the MB&F Horological Machine No. 3

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms
Loading More...