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MB&F - Legacy Machine 101 Frost

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First presented in 2014, Legacy Machine 101 from MB&F remarks the essence of a mechanical watch: the balance wheel or regulating organ, the indication of how much power remains, and of course the time.

With the new Legacy Machine 101 Frost limited editions, these essential elements stand out even more effectively against the backdrop of the new frosted gold dial (actually not a dial as it is the top plate of the movement).

Released to mark the 10th anniversary of MB&F, the new model will be available in two limited editions: 18 pieces in yellow gold and 33 pieces in red gold. Use of yellow gold is a first for MB&F and a further tribute to traditional watchmaking.

The "frosted" finish (or "finition grenée" in French) was introduced by Abraham-Louis Breguet in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to protect dials and movements from oxidation – more common at the time since watches and clocks were not water resistant – and decorate at the same time.

Originally, frosting was obtained by treating the components with a special acid mixture and then heating on an open flame, which was quite dangerous. These operations were replaced by a safer method consisting in carefully brushing the surface with a wire brush. Not an easy task because it is very difficult to obtain a uniform result. In fact, too much pressure or brushing for too long can quickly ruin the desired matte surface with uneven polish.

Very few artisans today create true frosted finishes: the majority of surfaces that look frosted have in fact been bead blasted, which does not quite have the same visual impact.

To enhance the contrast, the suspended balance wheel of the Frost is rhodium plated making it really stand out.

Two white lacquered subdials hover above the fine frosted movement top plate: contrasting blued-gold hands display hours and minutes at the top right, while the 45-hour power reserve indicator is displayed below. A fine golden perimeter circumscribes each dial enhancing the overall elegance.

LM101 Frost's highly domed sapphire crystal follows the line of the perfectly polished twin arches from which the balance wheel hangs.

The display back crystal, slightly domed to reduce the thickness of the caseband and  visually, the overall height of the watch, reveals the meticulously hand-finished movement slow-beating at 18,000 vibrations per hour or 2.5Hz.

While award-winning independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen took responsibility for the movement's fine finishing and fidelity to the horological past, its architecture and construction were developed in-house by MB&F.

Like the LM101, the classic case of the 'Frost' is 40 mm wide x 16 mm high. The highly polished bezel and lugs make the matte surface of the frosted dial stand out.

The price of the MB&F Legacy Machine 101 Frost is Swiss Francs 58,000 plus taxes.

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