Gut Reaction Reviews – First Look At The New MB&F LMX
Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the releases from 2021. Before we get to dive deep into the releases and go hands-on with as many of these as we can, here’s our preview and the Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new MB&F LMX. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
The architect in me sees the new MB&F LMX as a mini-universe self-sufficient in itself, a sort of mechanical ecosystem that uses kinetic energy to power the very rhythm that it beats to.
Non-poetically, my gut reaction has been to marvel over the stunning turquoise blue colour of the titanium version of the new MB&F LMX. I realise I am not supposed to, given MB&F pieces have more to them than just frivolous external beauty, but given the offering follows the design architecture of their previous pieces, it was the colour that first caught my attention when I clicked on the press email. The LMX enjoys the company of a bright, happy coloured dial that evokes a playful sense of elegance.
That said, after closer inspection of the pictures, the presence of the first-ever rotating 3D power-reserve indicator has got be my favourite takeaway from this release. That, and the inclusion of the three barrels at the back and the three-dimensional dial on the front.
Move beyond these, and one notices the dual time complication execution; it’s impressive both in its own right and as its existence as not many brands offer non-GMT but dual-zone timepieces. Most watches that do feature two separate time zones don’t do it in the way the new MB&F LMX does, with only the Alexander Shorokhoff Levels that we recently went hands-on with coming immediately to mind.
Rotate the watch a little and you notice that the LM1’s world-premiere vertical indicator has now been expanded into the aforementioned three-dimensional, hemispherical power reserve indicator where the entire display rotates, allowing the wearer to choose between day-of-the-week or numerical scales, counting down the impressive seven days of power reserve.
Surprisingly the next thing you notice is what should have been noticed first; the use of the highly domed sapphire crystal that encases the two fully independent dual time zones that reveal the dance of time on two stretched lacquer dials.
I particularly appreciate that the dials like the recent LM FlyingT and LM Thunderdome are inclined at a 50° tilt so that the time can be read only by the wearer. This intimate connection that MB&F’s designs establish between the wearer and the timepiece is something I admire particularly, and something that also makes the likes of the MB&F HM Bulldog and HM3 FrogX insanely impressive.
And above this intricate dial floats the now iconic flying balance wheel, lording over everything it surveys.
The new MB&F LMX is being released in two versions; grade 5 titanium case with blue-green CVD dial (98’000 CHF) and 18K 5N+ red gold case with black NAC dial (112’000 CHF), both very limited in production of 33 and 18 pieces respectively.
This new three-dimensional horological movement is developed exclusively by MB&F and comprises of 41 jewels and 367 components, beats at the low frequency of 3Hz and offers a super-impressive 7 days (168 hours power reserve. The manual winding with three mainspring barrels movement features a new bespoke 13.4mm balance wheel with inertia blocks that floats above the movement.
Besides the three barrels, one gets to be in the presence of an exquisitely finished movement comprising of gold chatons with diamond countersinks and various bridges with polished bevels, internal angles and Geneva waves that are arranged in a radiating sunray pattern.
The calibre is encased inside a 44mm wide x 21.4 mm high case with a high domed sapphire crystal on top and sapphire crystal on back with anti-reflective coating on both sides.
What do the following have in common? The desire to give tribute to a balance wheel, the inspiration from a Philip Dufour timepiece with two regulators, partnering up to produce revolutionary perpetual calendars, or presenting a world first in the form of a rotating 3D power-reserve indicator: the answer lies in the incredible decade long journey of MB&F’s Legacy Machines (LM).
The new MB&F LMX celebrates 10 years of Legacy Machines. Below is a brief timeline of this courageous journey that maps the brand’s ‘legacy’:
2011 – Legacy Machine No1
2013 – Legacy Machine No2
2014 – Legacy Machine 101
2015 – Legacy Machine Perpetual
2016 – LM1 Silberstein
2017 – LM Split Escapement
2019 – LM FlyingT
2019 – LM Thunderdome
2020 – LM Perpetual EVO
2021 – LMX
In Maximilian Büsser’s own words:
“The LMX is an LM1 on steroids”.
It’s hard to wish things or suggest any recommendations when it comes to MB&F timepieces, but as I have said before over the years, I would really like the brand to come up with something as unique as their design language that’s also for the average, not-a-billionaire watch collector. You know what, scratch the latter part; make it a watch enthusiast.
That’s All Folks!
If in 2011 I saw and talked about luxury plain (white dialled) watches with Roman numerals that were encased inside round cases, I could be talking about a classic Patek Calatrava. And that stands true for today as well. But defying odds, sending a shockwave through the watch industry and amongst the collectors some 10 years ago was the release of a timepiece that incorporated the above elements but was from the big-mamba of independent design brands, MB&F. It followed the design language of traditional watches, with two pocket watches sitting side by side, but also followed its own quirky rules, and combined the two to present a timepiece that had the balance wheel as its king. This was the LM1.
The MB&F’s Legacy Machines collection in the past 10 years has won four awards at the prestigious GPHG/Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. The latest addition to this lineup, the new MB&F LMX is so innately infused in the brand’s DNA that it would be unfair to call it anything else but quirky and a true embodiment of kinetic art for the wrists.
Of course it’s different, and for those living under a rock who are not aware of MB&F’s existence, it sure is bound to make your jaw drop. Just like last year’s Legacy Machine FlyingT, the new release is also a beast that can’t simply be caged inside traditional categories of dress watches or sports watches.
One of the things I have always admired about MB&F is the ‘F’ part of the brand, and the new MB&F LMX again brings to the forefront the name of two exceptional watchmakers, Jean-François Mojon and Kari Voutilainen.
Given the rarity of such design language and availability, combined with the mastery that’s evidently gone into bringing the futuristic and whimsical timepieces to life, I reckon the new MB&F LMX would be an excellent addition for any serious watch collector. It’s a timepiece with its own unique rhythm divine.
It is best suited for those who know how to play the horological game. Well.
To find out more about this and other MB&F watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are © MB&F SA 2018. Make sure to check out our reviews of other new watches from this year and Watches & Wonders 2021 releases here.