MB&F won the grand prize at the 2022 Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Geneve (GPHG) with its Legacy Machine Sequential Evo. The pioneering independent watchmaker also took home the Challenge Watch prize with its M.A.D.1 Red.
Hermès also took two awards, winning both the Ladies’ Complication and the Men’s Complication categories for the same model family in different sizes and iterations.
Similarly, Bulgari won in both the Jewellery Watch and the Audacity categories, while Van Cleef & Arpels took the prize in the Mechanical Clock and the Innovation categories.
The remaining GPHG trophies were awarded to Akrivia, Grand Seiko, Ferdinand Berthoud, Grönefeld, H. Moser & Cie, Krayon, M.A.D. Editions, Parmigiani Fleurier, Sylvain Pinaud, TAG Heuer, Trilobe, Tudor and Voutilainen.
The Special Jury Prize, which rewards a key figure or institution in the watchmaking world, was attributed this year to François Junod, automaton-maker and sculptor.
MB&F is now widening the reach of its LM Split Escapement EVO, which debuted originally last year as a limited edition for the UAE’s 50th anniversary.
Launched during Geneva Watch Days, the new Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO version offers two modifications from existing models. One is the dial color, now a cool, icy light blue with grey subdials. The second change is that MB&F has rotated the entire mechanism clockwise by 30 degrees, creating a new sense of asymmetry to the LM Split Escapement dial.
The watch’s new EVO designation means MB&F has dedicated its sporty, bezel-free 44mm EVO case to house the spectacular movement, which, as it name implies, separates or ‘splits’ its escapement into two halves. Earlier LM Split Escapement models were housed in the MB&F’s dressier 44mm gold or titanium case.
Designed by Northern Irish master watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, the movement features the world’s longest balance staff. Traveling through the entire movement, the 12mm-long staff connects the large balance wheel (hovering over the dial) to the remaining parts of the escapement – anchor and escape wheel – on the opposite side of the movement.
The new model will be joined by a second, limited edition of the watch, available only at a new MB&F LAB store to be opened in Beverly Hills with long-time MB&F retail partner Westime.
That model, limited to twenty-five units, comes with a black base plate, metallic blue dial and open counters. It will be the only MB&F LAB edition released this year.
For its first chronograph, independent watchmaker MB&F teams with Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell to launch the Legacy Machine Sequential EVO, a two-column-wheel chronograph with split-second, independent and lap timer modes – a watchmaking premiere.
The new watch, powered by MB&F’s twentieth caliber, boasts a ‘Twinverter’ switch that controls both chronograph systems.
The binary switch inverts the start/stop status of each chronograph. As MB&F explains: “this means that if both chronograph displays happen to be stopped (at zero position or otherwise), pressing the Twinverter (at 9 o’clock) will cause both of them to start simultaneously. If they are both running, the Twinverter makes them stop. If one is running and the other is stopped, the Twinverter stops the one that is running and starts the one that is stopped.”
Belfast-based McDonnell previously worked with MB&F to finalize the MB&F HM1 and most famously developed the GPHG-award-winning MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual.
His design for the new watch allows the user to perform the same functions as a split-seconds chronograph. But overall, McDonnell focused the design for everyday use rather than specifically for sporting functions, according to MB&F’s Charris Yadigaroglou. Most of the new timing modes are novel to this design and not available when using a traditional chronograph.
For example, in ‘independent mode’ the wearer can assist with varied cooking times. In this so-called ‘pasta mode” the wearer could operate the two chronographs via their respective pushers. One might start when placing pasta into boiling water and the other can separately time when vegetables go in the oven. Additional modes include Simultaneous mode, Cumulative mode and Sequential mode.
MB&F places McDonnell’s caliber into its sporty EVO case much like the case that houses the latest example of the LM Perpetual. This is a 44mm by 18.2mm zirconium structure with no bezel, a domed sapphire crystal, a screw-down crown (offering 80 meters of water resistance) and MB&F’s own anti-shock FlexRing system.
MB&F will launch the new watch in two versions. One features an ‘atomic’ orange CVD dial plate and the second features a ‘coal’ black PVD dial plate. Both come with an integrated rubber strap with a folding titanium buckle. Price: $180,000.
Specifications: MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential EVO
Movement: Fully integrated dual chronograph system developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, featuring Twinverter switch allowing multiple timing modes. Manual winding with double mainspring; Balance frequency: 3Hz (21,600 vph). Three-days of power reserve. Flying balance wheel with regulating screws at 12 o’clock, Breguet overcoil. Superlative hand finishing; internal bevel angles highlighting handcraft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings, darkened bridges (NAC finish). Power reserve indication at the back of the movement.
Dial: Galvanic black dials with Super-LumiNova on numerals and hands.
Functions: Time display (hours/minutes) at 6 o’clock.
Left chronograph: Seconds displayed at 9 o’clock and minutes at 11 o’clock; start/stop pusher at 10 o’clock and reset at 8 o’clock.
Right chronograph: Seconds displayed at 3 o’clock and minutes at 1 o’clock; start/stop pusher at 2 o’clock and reset at 4 o’clock.
Twinverter pusher at 9 o’clock: binary switch that inverts the current start/stop status of both chronographs.
Case: 44mm by 18.2mm zirconium. Water resistance to 80 meters. Screw down crown. FlexRing annular dampener fitted between case and movement, providing shock protection along the vertical and lateral axes. Sapphire crystals on top and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces.
Strap: Integrated rubber with titanium folding buckle.
MB&F this week premieres MusicMachine 1 Reloaded, a sleeker, metallic encore to the first MB&F MusicMachine cylinder music box made with Reuge that debuted in 2013. Now sporting an anodized aluminum body, which replaces the original’s black walnut body, the new model retains its spaceship design with dual propellers and twin silver cylinders mounted on outrigger landing gear.
German designer Maximilian Maertens updates the original, which was devised by Chinese designer Xin Wang. In addition to metallizing (in red, blue or black) the formerly lacquered wood body, Maertens also places the mechanical machinery within an open hull to expose more of the twin cylinders and places it all atop a new rounded tripod stand.
While it may appear as a hyper-speed version of the earlier three MusicMachines, the new edition still plays the same tunes at terrestrial tempos using the same 1,400-pin revolving cylinders.
The left cylinder plays the Star Wars theme, “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back, and the theme from Star Trek. Back on earth, the right cylinder plays Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Echoing their time-telling counterparts, all music boxes require energy derived from coiled springs that is then transferred by gear trains. The owner winds the MusicMachine 1 Reloaded using two propeller-like winding levers. This puts the cylinders into motion.
As they revolve (in opposite directions) the pins pluck the teeth of steel combs, each containing a selection of seventy-two hand-tuned notes. Each comb forms a unique pair with its corresponding cylinder; neither can play properly without the other.
When in operation, the observer will notice two rings spinning alongside the winding levers. These are the device’s cylinder fan air regulators that regulate the speed of the cylinders.
Again echoing certain timekeepers (notably chiming watches), the main springs here tend to turn the cylinders faster when fully wound than when they are nearly unwound. The circular fan air regulators compensate for that difference, providing more resistance when rotating faster than slower. This means the tunes will maintain their required tempos.
Available in red, blue or black, each MB&F MusicMachine 1 Reloaded is limited to 33 pieces, each priced at CHF 18,500.
Collectors frustrated by the very limited nature of last year’s MB&F M.A.D.1 now have a chance to score a new version of the very cool, affordably priced automatic watch with lateral time display and tricked-out upside-down Miyota movement.
MB&F’s new M.A.D. 1 Red looks very similar to the original blue-tinged M.A.D.1, which was available last year only to MB&F Friends and MB&F watch owners.
Like that first watch, the new model also displays time via two highly luminous rotating cylinders around its case. Just as eye-catching is the unidirectional titanium and tungsten triple-blade rotor spinning quickly atop the watch. MB&F makes all this happen by fitting and re-engineering the watch’s Miyota movement upside-down in the steel M.A.D. 1 Red case.
In addition to the new cherry red hue on this Red edition, MB&F has thinned the bezel and added a traditional winding crown (at 12 o’clock) to the watch. The crown on last year’s blue edition featured a folding protector that doubled as a winding aid.
MB&F is making these special editions under a new brand name, M.A.D. Editions, and has long-term plans for additional models. Collectors who have previously contacted MB&F about the earlier M.A.D. Edition watch, or who already own an MB&F watch (or are MB&F Friends) are first in line to purchase the new watch.
If you’re not among those categories, there’ still a path toward obtaining your own M.A.D 1 Red: MB&F is conducting a lottery for interested buyers.
“Once we have the confirmations of the priority orders, we’ll then take all the remaining M.A.D.1 Red pieces available, and allocate them thanks to a lottery, open to everyone,” explains MB&F founder Max Busser.
“If you’re interested in participating in the lottery, which is of course totally free of charge, please go to our eShop to obtain a lottery ticket – and relax, there’s no rush, you have the next two weeks to get a ticket. After two weeks we’ll then proceed with a random draw, and we’ll let you know whether the draw has been favorable to you – in which case you will be able to place your order.”
Given the price (CHF 2,900) and the pedigree of the new M.A.D.1 Red, expect very high demand.
Deliveries of the M.A.D.1 Red commence in April and continue throughout the rest of this year. While the first deliveries will go to collectors who wrote to MB&F previously, MB&F expects to start delivering watches to the lottery winners between September and December.