Flash News: MB&F Legacy Machine 101 Frost Limited Editions (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on April 16, 2015

Ever since Maximilian Büsser introduced his more “traditional-looking” Legacy Machines, some watch lovers had been asking for a smaller-size model that would retain the brand’s unmistakable DNA but would not strike them as too imposing on the wrist. With the introduction of the 40 mm “Legacy Machine 101” last year, their wish was finally granted.

Available in red gold with silver sunray plate or in white gold with grey sunray plate, this beautiful creation that I presented almost a year agoWatches: MB&F Legacy Machine 101 (+live pics) on Watch Agora has met the success it deserved and to celebrate this slightly different MB&F model, the brand is now unveiling two “Legacy Machine 101 Frost” limited editions: 18 pieces in yellow gold (this is the first use of this gold hue for MB&F) and another 33 pieces in red gold.

These new renditions are still powered by the movement developed in-house presented last year. It places the balance wheel centre stage thanks to an arched bridge crafted in a solid block of metal with an impeccable mirror-polish finish that requires hours of painstaking hand work. The time of the day is still displayed on an off-centred white lacquered dial at 1 o’clock while the circular power reserve indicator occupies the small sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position. In both instances, contrasting flame-blued steel hands are used as was the case in yesteryear Fine Watchmaking.

This time around, though, the plates and bridges of the movement have received a galvanic gold treatment in the same hue as the case. Moreover, the plate from the dial side features a stunning frosted finish while the back is sand-blasted. Frosting is a very traditional finishing imagined by Abraham-Louis Breguet himself to protect the dial and movement from oxidation.

At the time, this effect was obtained by treating the components with powerful acids to obtain this type of uneven surface. Nowadays, high-end traditional frosting is achieved by carefully brushing the surface with a wire brush. Applying too much pressure or brushing for too long can quickly ruin the desired uniform result and very few artisans still master this technique. But when done properly, the surface becomes so hard that it is even impossible to engrave it (hence the use of sand-blasting on the back to allow for the engravings on the bridges).

In order to further highlight this fine work, the yellow or red gold bezel of these “Legacy Machine 101 Frost” has been mirror-polished: it now sends a generous amount of light onto the mainplate/dial that can be reflected by the microscopically uneven frosted surface for a truly fascinating effect.

As for all the other “Legacy Machines”, renowned watchmaker Kari Voutilainen oversaw the decorations: curved plates and bridges, hand-polished bevels, gold chatons and countersunk blued screws are some of the refinements you will be able to admire from the sapphire crystal on the back of this watch.

Although I personally prefer the Legacy Machine Nº 1 as I see no problem at all with wearing a 44 mm timepiece, I must say that I was particularly impressed by these “Legacy Machine 101 Frost”. Somehow, the frosted mainplate/dial makes it look less constrained than last year’s versions. This traditional finish also brings an additional Fine Watchmaking touch to a timepiece already full of references to Haute Horlogerie. Unexpectedly I am even more drawn to the yellow gold version even if red or white gold is usually my first choice.

In a nutshell, the “Legacy Machine 101 Frost” is an exciting addition to the “Legacy Machine” line and seasoned collectors cannot go wrong by adding one of them to their collection.

For more information please visit the MB&F web site.

For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures: