Hands On with the MB&F Legacy Machine No. 1, Designed by Alain Silberstein

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MB&F Legacy Machine No. 1 Silberstein

For those who know MB&F (Max Busser and Friends), you know this is a company that is all about partnerships with the finest people in and out of the watch industry. That is why the newest launch, the Legacy Machine No. 1 Silberstein speaks volumes about the brand DNA. It is a collaboration with the well-known French designer, Alain Silberstein.

Silberstein, who founded his own brand in 1990, is known for his bold use of primary colors and geometric shapes, and — coming from the perspective of an interior designer — he also works differently with space, often creating in fractions of a meter. His Mikro watches are famed for their tiny scope but big look.

The newest Legacy Machine No. 1 Silberstein watch packs the same bold punch – but in true MB&F style. Of course, this is not the first time Silberstein collaborated with MB&F; he helped with the HM2.2 Black Box Performance Art piece back in 2009, as well, so they know what to expect from one another.


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For the new watch, Silberstein blends his love of red, blue and yellow, with his iconic triangular and rectangular hands and markers but in three-dimensional format on the Legacy Machine dial. The cube and sphere indicate power reserve, and the subdials and hands of the watch are concave instead of flat — an interesting opposition to the boldly convex sapphire domed crystal.

However, the true drama of the watch may well be the transparent sapphire crystal balance bridge that supports the balance wheel. This piece alone was two years in the development and was essential to Silberstein’s design.

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Alain Silberstein

“By highlighting the balance – the mechanism that splits time into miniscule increments – it highlights how man converts eternal time into something he can use,” says Silberstein. Thus, he wanted nothing to interfere with the view of the dial-side regulator … transparent sapphire was the only choice.
For Silberstein, this Performance Art edition of the LM1 was about embracing “eternal time” as a concept and allowing full visual access to all indications and to the dial side escapement. Even the vertical power reserve indicator with its blue cone, red cube and yellow sphere are depicted against a transparent sapphire disk.

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The watch offers hours and minutes, as well as two independent dual time zones. The hour hands of the dual time watch are bright red, the minute hands are blue – and the time zones can be set completely independently of each other. The crown at 8 o’clock sets the time of the left dial and the crown at 4 o’clock sets the time of right dial and offers the winding.

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The MB&F LM1 Silberstein in rose gold

Crafted in 18-karat rose gold, grade 5 titanium or in black PVD grade 5 titanium, the 42mm watch bears a special inscription. Engraved between the lugs and strap of this LM1 Silberstein is a Gustave Flaubert paraphrase: “Le vrai bonheur est d’avoir sa passion pour métier.” Roughly translated, it means: “Making a profession of your passion is true happiness”.

The Silberstein watch is powered by the 3D movement of the LM 1 that was originally specifically developed for MB&F from Maximilian Büsser’s sketches by Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode together with independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen.

The LM1 Silberstein watch retails for $92,000 (plus tax) in rose gold and for $83,000 in the titanium and black titanium versions.

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